Insight Blog

Hiring Outside the Box

Hiring Outside the Box Economists polled by Reuters forecasted that 150,000 jobs would be added to nonfarm U.S. payrolls in January 2022. The actual number was 211% higher! 
According to an article published by Bloomberg, “The strong demand for workers, coupled with the very low supply, fueled wage increases in 2021.” It continues on to state that workers in 2022 are expected to maintain much of the bargaining power they had over the last 12 months.

In a tight labor market that seemingly favors employees, there is greater competition for top talent.

So, what is a hiring organization to do? Here are four trending methods organizations have adopted for recruiting and securing new employees—plus an additional suggestion we are admittedly partial to.

1.  Speed up the Hiring Process
Qualified candidates are in high demand, and they know it.
They are looking for a streamlined, direct, and positive hiring process. If the process takes too long, keeps the candidate guessing, or is unclear on next steps, it is likely that the candidate will pursue another opportunity. They may even consider the clunky process a reflection of how the organization feels about them as a candidate or an indicator of the company culture and what working there may be like.

What is good timing? Six weeks seems to be the magic number. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average hiring process is 42 days long. A recruiter or representative from Human Resources should be in touch with a candidate within two weeks of receiving their resume and schedule an interview within a week, leaving three weeks for additional interviews and decision making.

That said, it is not recommended that an organization sacrifice quality for speed. It is better to secure the right candidate in 60 days than the wrong one in 30 days.

2.  Offer Bonuses
Some companies offer a referral bonus as an incentive to employees who recommend qualified potential employees. Advantages: the bonus can help improve employee satisfaction, leading to improved rates of retention; the bonus can help identify qualified candidates who were likely unknown to the hiring manager; the bonus can cost less than advertising the position or contracting a third party to aid in recruiting efforts.

Sign-on bonuses, while they do not benefit existing employees, can be a quick and effective way to gain the attention of prospective employees. These can be paid in a lump sum or across the first year of compensation. Though not tied to performance, they often prompt good work practices from new employees who feel immediately valued.

3.  Start an Apprenticeship Program
Apprenticeship programs are being implemented to provide an employee pipeline. One example was recently highlighted in Health Facilities Management Magazine. Advocate Aurora Health (AAH) St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee awards health care facilities apprentices a journeyperson’s card upon completion of 5,200 hours of required training. The program is state sanctioned by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
In an effort to attract recruits, AAH collaborated with the Wisconsin Healthcare Engineering Association to build a program that other health systems would recognize. Furthermore, AAH partnered with the Milwaukee Area Technical College and a representative from the American Society for Health Care Engineering to create a curriculum that ties specific steps and hour milestones to compensation increases.

Apprentices train alongside current AAH facilities employees who went through their own training sessions, learning how to serve as mentors and then demonstrating a sense of pride when given the opportunity to showcase their knowledge.

4.  Reach Re-entering Citizens
In a less traditional approach, ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors), a national construction industry trade association with more than 21,000 members, entered into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Covering all Pennsylvania counties, the agreement intends to help formerly incarcerated citizens start a career in construction through registered apprenticeship programs. ABC chapters will also promote the benefits of hiring individuals who are reentering the workforce.

This agreement was covered in a recent article published by Construction Executive.

Additional Suggestion:  Retain a Search Firm
Executive search firms are familiar with current market conditions, usually have an extensive network of industry contacts, and excel at recruiting candidates who may not be actively looking to make a career change.  What’s more, their consultants can offer advice and share best practices for a fair and efficient hiring process—usually in less time than when an organization takes on the challenge alone.

To discuss any of the trending methods highlighted in this post or for more information about working with an executive search firm, please contact a Helbling search consultant.