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Hiring in a Candidate Driven Market


As far as hiring goes, 2021 has been an interesting year. Societal issues (among other things) have created a candidate driven market. A candidate driven market is one where demand is exceeding supply. Interestingly, as employers struggle to bring on new hires, company's have been willing to increase pay for new hires. But it appears that hasn't been enough.


So, what can employers do to help drive better hiring?


First, focus on culture. Speak with current employees regarding their perception of the culture and see if there are gaps between what kind of company you want to be and what kind of company you are. A positive, deliberate culture does not happen by accident, it must be cultivated and nurtured.


Second, look closely at your managers and see how their teams are doing. People don't quit companies, they quit managers. In my personal experience, this is quite true. There are dozens of free tools available to help companies help their manager's improve. One site I particularly like is https://rework.withgoogle.com/subjects/managers/ . Google has uploaded a lot of their tools and resources after completing an exhaustive study on effective management. The strategies they offer are simple, effective, and best of all, free.


Third, evaluate your entire compensation package. Candidates do not evaluate a company strictly on the pay structure. In fact, pay and job satisfaction are loosely correlated, especially when pay reaches a certain threshold. Essentially, once an employee reaches a pay level that meets their basic needs, they begin to look for intangible things that make their work life better. Given that we spend close to a third of our lives at work, it makes sense that employees want more than "just a paycheck".


Is paying a higher salary enough?

The short answer is: probably not. In every market, top talent is looking for more than a steady paycheck. Generally speaking they want rewarding, challenging work that keeps them engaged. They also want to do this work in an environment that allows for emotional safety, development and purpose.


Stop trying to fix the flowers!

Alexander Den Heir once said: "when a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower". It is an inescapable fact that employees are largely a product of the environment and culture their managers provide. Creating a positive work environment will not only help you attract top talent, but it will help you develop and retain your own top talent. Happy employees mean happy customers and that can lead to greater profits. As a 2006 study published in the journal of marketing concluded: ". . .each 1%improvement in ACSI customer satisfaction scores for an employer was associated with a statistically significant 4.6% boost in its overall stock market evaluation . . . " (Source: https://hbr.org/2019/08/the-key-to-happy-customers-happy-employees ). Simply put, taking care of your employees is good for the bottom line.


Every macroeconomic cycle brings with it new challenges. At the end of the day, the companies that are agile, the companies that are willing to change and respond quickly to the shifting market forces are the ones that tend to thrive. Now is the time for forward thinking companies to differentiate themselves by solving one of the biggest problems that currently exists in the marketplace: finding talent. The best way to do that? Look within.


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