Finding the right time to hire

As workers relocate across the country, expand their work base, and shift the frontiers of America’s daily commute, the talent pool available to companies has grown exponentially. It also means that employee candidates are willing to wait for the perfect opportunity (or move on to greener pastures) when choosing their next role. With so much unknown about the ever-changing job market, it can be difficult for organizations to know when to make hiring decisions. Hire too early and you can run into tight margins; hire too late and risk burning out key employees.

Here are some strategies that can help human resources departments understand today’s job market and strategically decide when and how to hire.

1. Change your hiring mindset

According with the doctor. Dan Harrison, founder and CEO of Harrison Assessments, a predictive talent acquisition assessment that focuses on helping HR and talent management professionals across the talent lifecycle, corporations need to adjust their mindset when looking for employee candidates.

“Many companies approach talent management with a finite (or win-lose) mindset. Finding more people and hiring the best talent is considered critical to ‘winning’ the talent game,” says Harrison. “While there may be some True to this idea, such a limited view of talent management causes leaders to overlook the purpose of playing the game (i.e., approaching hiring, developing, and retaining talent as everyone’s job, no winner or loser).”

To help hiring managers question their current mindsets, Harrison lists several possible strategies that can help build an “endless mindset.”

  • Offer real and compelling benefits: Ask employees for feedback on their needs and follow up, providing more employee benefits, extra PTO, hybrid working options, or other benefits that employees want.
  • Create mutually beneficial relationships: All employees are different. Great leaders must get to know their employees to ensure their skills and interests match their current role, leading to greater workplace satisfaction and greater engagement.
  • Make talent management a group effort: If everyone works together to create a positive and rewarding workplace, everyone can fulfill their role within the company. Tailor communication channels to employee preferences and encourage your company’s leadership to consider employee well-being when making large-scale decisions.

two. Know the value of communication

Nobody likes to be left out of the loop. One of the most consistent complaints I’ve heard from job seekers is the frustration of intensive hiring processes and lack of communication from managers.

Imagine you went through the application process, updated your resume, wrote a cover letter, and attended an interview. Each of these steps takes time, forcing candidates to wait days, weeks, and, yes, even months between the next step. At each stage, companies have the option of communicating with job seekers.

When looking to attract new talent, company leadership and your hiring team should create a communication plan for applications. Decide early on which deadlines and processes you will share with candidates. For example, if your company has decided to do two rounds of interviews (an initial interview with the hiring manager and a second panel interview with leadership), let potential hires know.

Likewise, set clear expectations when inviting them to continue enrolling. Are candidates expected to complete an exam or provide a portfolio of work? Should applicants expect an experimental design? By setting clear expectations for candidates, you give them the chance to prepare and showcase their best work.

3. Create a “headcount plan” to stay flexible

As much as economists love to predict the future, the reality is that it’s best to prepare for some surprises. With rising prices in transportation costs, housing and daily necessities, employment is also in a state of flux. To survive, many families are reassessing their needs and looking for jobs with higher salaries, better benefits and more stability.

One of the best ways to plan for these turbulent economic times is to create an accurate headcount plan that encompasses current employees, unfilled roles, and business needs. Talent acquisition leaders and managers must be creative in their hiring solutions and remain flexible as they try to meet expectations for growth and profit.

For example, the growing gig economy has increased the number of freelancers and experienced contractors in the workforce. A company that is looking to downsize certain departments and roles may consider hiring freelancers a viable option rather than investing in a full-time employee. On the other hand, managers should collaborate across departments and consider expanding roles or offering an internal promotion to increase retention rates.

Don’t forget to hire the logistics. Liaise with your talent acquisition teams to coordinate plans for large-scale hiring or potential layoffs. Can they handle the number of potential candidates you plan to interview, or should you hire new recruiters and human resources people first?

Even though the current market upheavals can seem overwhelming and mind-boggling, there are solutions to today’s hiring problems. Companies that cultivate this “infinite mindset” and build a reputation for communication will always attract quality candidates. When leaders create positive and innovative work environments, the economy, the job market and employees all benefit.

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