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How to Hire Effectively When Unemployment is Low

Apr 16 , 2018


Many states and regions are experiencing extremely low unemployment right now, which is making it difficult for employers to find enough good workers to hire when they have open positions. In Colorado, for example, overall unemployment is down to 2.1 percent, and overall U.S. unemployment is 4.1 percent.

When fewer people need jobs, there will be more open positions companies want to fill. It is also harder to keep employees in times of low unemployment. But although recruitment may be more difficult, there are effective ways to hire in a tight labor market. 

Get Creative About Salary and Benefits

While salary may not be the number one consideration for top talent, a competitive salary along with creative benefit offerings can be a major selling point. Attractive compensation packages make top candidates feel they can get something from you that they can't get from another employer. Some creative benefit offers include student loan repayment, sabbaticals, and PTO hours for volunteer work. 

A few companies have even started offering unlimited vacation time as long as job performance doesn't suffer, finding that vacation time is self-limiting when tied into performance. These employers get to look generous and convey a sense of trust in their employees, and employees get flexibility and the opportunity to have additional time off if they are efficient and can get their work done. 


Do Whatever You Can to Stand Out

Standing out in a positive way will attract attention to your company, which can bring a steady stream of applicants even when unemployment is low. There are a variety of ways to stand out. Two major ones are cultivating your culture and reputation and being responsive and courteous when interacting with everyone, not just prospective candidates. 

Word gets around when someone stands out from the crowd for positive reasons. Dealing with complaints and doing what you can to make things right will preserve your reputation and improve the way the public perceives your company. That doesn't mean changing things just because one person complains, but it does mean reaching out to that person, engaging them in a conversation, and doing your best to make sure they know you have good intentions and are doing everything you can to be a model company. 

Improve Employee Engagement and Make Them Ambassadors 

It may be impossible to stand out in a positive way without making sure your existing employees are engaged and feeling positive about their workplace. Engaged and satisfied employees will become ambassadors for your brand and increase your positive word of mouth, drawing quality candidates to you with minimal effort. Retention will also be improved, which will help prevent hiring crises.

Trying to hire without first making sure your current employees are taken care of is like putting the cart before the horse, and it will end up causing you nothing but problems; nevertheless, many companies do just that and then wonder why they are losing valued employees as fast as they are bringing new ones in. 

Instead of having short-staffed employees spend time on hiring tasks, you can let GDH help you implement the initiatives necessary to hire top talent in a market with low unemployment. Contact us to see how we can help.