What are the biggest hiring challenges employers face right now?
Mary: The record low unemployment rate is the biggest challenge. Employers have fewer candidates for open positions, and many candidates receive more than one offer. After two years of non-traditional work schedules due to the pandemic, we have discovered that candidates want flexibility – they want remote options and autonomy over when they come into the office.
What happens if an employer cannot offer a remote option?
Mary: I’m honest with employers. If you are trying to fill an in-office position, you will have a limited number of candidates. I encourage employers to consider offering a flexible schedule if possible. I also suggest offering direct-hire positions, rather than temp-to-hire. Temp-to-hire has worked well in the past, but today’s candidates want the security of a direct-hire position.
What other factors influence a company’s ability to hire the best candidates?
Mary: The salary and benefits package are important. Candidates have more opportunities in today’s market, and inflation has cut into salaries’ overall value. We also encourage employers to respond quickly after an interview. Last week we sent a candidate to several interviews, and he had three offers soon afterward. If you’re moving too slowly, you’re going to lose good candidates.
What do you want to tell employers who are trying to find the best candidates?
Mary: Be flexible, pay a competitive salary and have a good onboarding program. You need to engage your employees to keep them. If you are going to ask them to come to the office, make it fun.
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