America’s Low Unemployment Rate and Your Talent

8 tips for being an attractive organization inside and out

low unemployment rate

The low unemployment rate brings talent challenges

America’s incredibly low unemployment rate sounds phenomenal as a stand-alone metric.  However, if you back up and look at its ripple effect, you’ll see many challenges that come from the economy being at, or near, full employment.

The natural repercussions of such a low unemployment rate, such as wage inflation and shrinking talent pools, affect organizations’ ability to grow.  What can you do about it?  Let’s take a look at how you can bolster your internal and external efforts during this candidate-driven market.

Be Attractive to Talent Outside Your Organization

Population growth has flattened out but companies still have jobs to fill.  This combination means it’s harder and harder to find qualified candidates, especially high-performing leaders.

The shrinking labor force could mean you need to stretch a bit more than you’d like.  Your traditional hiring practices may not get you the talent you need in today’s market.  Think about how your organization can draw in top-end talent using these 4 tips.

  1. Don’t limit yourself to local candidates
  2. Be sure your benefits package is appealing
  3. Consider nontraditional talent pools
  4. Be very aware of your organizational brand

Unpacking the 4 Tips of Attracting Talent Outside your Organization

Hiring a local candidate is convenient and less expensive.  That’s obvious and ideal.  However, don’t shut the door on a leader that is clearly a great fit for your organizational needs just because they live out of town.  Finding someone who has the competencies you require AND aligns with your character, culture and chemistry is worth a great deal…probably more than a relocation package.

Your benefits package should include more than an alluring salary.  Consider everything from bonuses, insurance, time off, schedule flexibility, retirement benefits, car allowance and more.  Salary is important – and should be competitive – but more and more people are looking for something even more fulfilling.

Traditional talent pools that served you well in the past may be dried up now.  Especially if you’re looking for a high-level candidate, you’ll need to think beyond the obvious.  Brainstorm new ideas to find the people with the skills you need. You may also find that you need to put on your “sales hat” to woo “passive” candidates over to your organization. In that situation, an executive search firm can help you immensely.

Your organizational brand is so, very important. People will develop an opinion about working at your organization from their first interaction.  It’s best if you’ve spent time ensuring that the opinion is a positive one.  This topic is multi-faceted so I’ll refer you to other articles we’ve dedicated to it. (What is Employment/Organizational Branding?    Developing and Sharing your Organizational Brand,  and  Fear can Damage Your Organizational Brand)

Be Attractive to Talent Inside Your Organization

  1. Develop a healthy corporate culture
  2. Promote from within
  3. Offer leadership development opportunities
  4. Provide comprehensive onboarding

A healthy corporate culture is the difference between keeping your star employees and having them go looking for something better.  It colors the entire working experience – for better or worse. This is another topic that is vast and we’ve covered extensively in other articles.  Sufficient to say – it’s a big deal, and you should treat it as such. (4 Components of  a Healthy Corporate Culture,   3 Must-Have’s for Extraordinary Corporate Culture,   and  Destructive or Healthy Corporate Culture?)

Promoting from within has many benefits.  It can save you from searching high and low for your next key leader when you are already employing some high-potential talent.  (See this article for 10 characteristics of promotable employees.)  Promotions also reinforce the organization’s desire to invest in their employees’ development as well as reward competent, team players.

Offering leadership development opportunities provides fresh challenges and new skills for current employees.  This is a win for the organization as well as each person who gains greater skills.  Whether it is a workshop, online course, new project, or something completely new, employees don’t want to leave a place that offers such advancement opportunities.

Comprehensive onboarding is one of the first stages to ensure your organization is attractive from the inside.  When new employees feel welcomed and well-equipped to do their job, they will be more inclined to feel great about their new employment.  If this is an area you know you need additional help with, we recommend Leadership Excelleration, Inc. to help you excel in this area of retention.

Today’s Talent Pressures Can Motivate You for Tomorrow’s Win

Obviously, these 8 tips are especially critical in today’s economy, but you can consider this extra pressure a blessing.  Knowing that you need to take action to stay ahead will cause positive movement in your talent strategy. And that is a win.

When you’re proactive about managing your talent, your organization will model a healthy and attractive place to work.  This is great news for cutting costs on hiring and retraining that occurs in unhealthy environments.

Centennial can help you build and retain your leadership team even when talent is scarce. We’ve experienced a variety of economic conditions over the 40+ years we’ve been in business.  When you have a critical role to fill – or a whole team – we can help you achieve your goals.  As companies of all sizes vie for the same limited resource – quality candidates – be sure your organization is attractive inside and out.  Drop us a note if you’d like to hear more.

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