When you have a critical position open, you may be dreaming of the candidate who will fulfill it. Perhaps you imagine someone creative, skilled, and driven—yet flexible—with the savvy to take your company to the next level.
Then you take a step back and notice there are 20 other companies salivating for your “perfect candidate” too.
With lots of competition for senior- and executive-level employees in this market, you’ll need to be strategic and go the extra mile to attract the right candidate—or team. From years of experience matching top-tier candidates to the right company, even in a tight market, we know exactly what goes into the secret sauce.
Why candidates have the upper hand in today’s job market
Why is it a tight labor market for companies right now? Simple supply and demand for white collar talent—stirred further by current events.
To start, there aren’t enough educated candidates for the open roles in technology, sales, and customer service across hot fields including data science, machine learning, software engineering, business intelligence, and many more.
In addition, the trend toward remote work was already warming up when Covid protocols broke it wide open. As remote work becomes mainstream, candidates who commanded a premium salary in expensive cities are relocating to areas with a lower cost of living—but bringing their salary histories with them. This brings up average salaries nationwide. While Midwestern companies used to be able to get a “deal” on talent, that advantage is disappearing as “location” is no longer a factor in many job searches.
And finally, the pandemic shook up the market even further as more than 700,000 workers in professional and business services left their jobs. White collar workers—flush with cash from a year of living lightly and lots of time to think about what means most to them—aren’t interested in grinding it out somewhere that doesn’t offer a compelling package of challenging, meaningful work, with room to grow, and perks.
With even more companies now striving to fill these roles, a stellar candidate isn’t going to accept work for less than an exciting position with career opportunities at a buzz-worthy company.
But we know how to find, attract, and sign on standout candidates—it boils down to three proven tactics.
Three crucial ingredients for landing the candidate you want
- Move quickly.
Be prepared to act fast once you start receiving resumes or matches from a staffing firm. Schedule interviews, make offers, and move the process along without gaps. This may mean doing more work to streamline HR policies and time your search when all stakeholding parties are prepared to communicate in real time (for example, when no one has vacation scheduled).
Expect that the best candidates are getting 4–5 offers at a time, so larger companies need to be able to move as fast as a startup to nab top candidates before they accept another opportunity. How fast is fast? In some cases, we are seeing offers within a few days of applications opening.
- Sell your company.
Know your “elevator pitch” for why your company is an outstanding place to work—then back it up by demonstrating it throughout the interview and offer process. Outline tangible perks and ensure that positive elements of your company’s buzz and culture are on display—whether it’s a friendly, approachable team, craft-beer-and-pizza parties, exciting new patents, an influx of funding, or other evidence that your company is worth serious consideration.
- Sell the career.
Don’t just sell the job you’re hiring for: paint a big-picture view of where top candidates can go with your company, and beyond. What other positions and titles might signing on lead to? Share examples from other employees of how saying yes now will lead to a richer, fuller career for them. Clarifying the variety of opportunities to advance also communicates that you don’t view them as disposable, and are open to supporting their career trajectory.
It’s a challenging market for businesses seeking senior- and executive-level talent, but with preparation and planning, you’ll be ready to attract—and sign—amazing candidates to fill critical roles and keep your company on track to meet its goals.
Need a trusted partner to tackle this process? Broadreach Staffing is here when you need us.