You may have heard the analogy that a job interview is like a first date. The candidate researches her “date,” puts on her best outfit, and does her best to make an impression to earn a second date. But what happens when the balance of power in this relationship tilts?

There’s no denying that in 2018 it’s a candidate’s job market. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that about 6 million jobs are open at U.S. companies, near an all-time high, while unemployment is at its lowest point since the recession.

With candidates in the driver’s seat, employers are forced to adapt their tried and true hiring methods to win the war for today’s top talent. Here are four top tips employers should follow if they want to stay competitive in today’s job market.

Define Your Required Skills vs. “Nice to Have’s”

When there is a surplus of excellent candidates for a position, employers can stand to be picky. But in a candidate-driven job market, they may need to compromise.

During the candidate screening process, make a list of the skills required for doing the job. Any candidate selected for interviews must have these skills. Then, determine the qualifications you’d like to see but wouldn’t be a deal breaker if the candidate didn’t have. Perhaps a strong candidate could learn these skills on the job.

Another thing to keep in mind when screening candidates is sometimes “soft” skills like personality traits are just as important as “hard” skills like software knowledge. These should also be clearly defined by the hiring manager.

Don’t Drag Your Feet

If you schedule your first and second round interviews three weeks apart, you’re doing it wrong.

With a healthy job market, skilled workers know they have many options, and simply will grow frustrated with a slow hiring process. The longer you take to get your candidate to the final offer stage, the greater risk you have of losing the candidate to a competing company’s offer. To win in this environment, employers must make a commitment to prompt communication, quick decision-making, and out-of-the-box solutions—like a Skype call with a major decision-maker who is out of town during the interview time period.

Do Your Salary Research

Hiring managers will likely secure a budget for a particular salary range when looking to hire for a new role. But is that salary realistic for what top talent expects?

Make sure to use sites like Glassdoor and Indeed to research what compensation your competitors are offering for similar job titles. People are a company’s most important asset, and if you fail to offer a competitive salary, you risk losing top talent. Finally, consider the high costs of turnover in a position, and whether that $5,000 salary cut in the short term is worth it in the long term.

Think About the Full Package

While offering an enticing salary is crucial, job seekers are not just about the money. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, and have different opinions on what makes an enticing job offer than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. So even if your target salary range is lower than your competitors, consider adding other Millennial-friendly perks to your compensation package like flexible work schedules, healthcare incentives, and tuition assistance.


Let Us Help You Win Over Top Talent

From careers in marketing analytics to consumer packaged goods jobs, the executive search consultants at BrainWorks have made it their mission to help you stay competitive and win the talent wars. Get the highest return on your recruiting investment – let BrainWorks find the most qualified candidates in your next search.

Article by: Brooke Miller

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