With the unemployment rate holding below 5% this summer, the economy continues to steam ahead in job creation, making it more difficult to find the right skilled workers for certain industries.
In particular, it is estimated that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries have an unemployment rate near the 2 to 3% range depending on the US market and type of position. The healthcare industry alone has added 470,000 jobs over the past 12 months with computer programmers and engineers also in top demand today.
There are several strategies to consider when deciding what your business should do in such a competitive market, when the demand is so high for highly skilled workers.
Be More Strategic About Benefits
According to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), many firms are more strategic about the use of benefits, targeting certain perks to highly skilled employees. Healthcare, retirement savings and professional development opportunities are richer for the most sought-after candidates.
With a recent SHRM survey finding health benefits at the top of the list for employees, followed by leave benefits and flexible work assignments, this strategy should help you differentiate your offer from others they may get.
Succession Planning: The Best Strategy to Ensure Future Growth
One of the best answers to your future needs is to grow the firm organically where “practically possible”. This strategy requires you to fill vacant positions by considering your future needs and investing in training and development programs. You need to align hiring plans with the firm's areas of growth and employ cross-training programs that enable current employees to move into high-demand roles.
Not all positions can be filled organically but it is a strategy to consider with careful future planning. Paying for an employee’s educational growth, including certifications and degrees, should also be considered as part of this strategy. Pairing with local universities and colleges that offer the right training and education is key and ultimately could be a good source for hiring recent graduates who have potential.
In a market that’s increasing favoring the candidate, it is a good idea to partner with a trusted career consulting or employment firm. The right experts can help guide you the process of enriching your firm’s offering to candidates and keeping a healthy flow of new highly skilled recruits joining and growing your firm.
Compensation is a given for highly skilled performers: they expect compensation to match their experience, but they also seek advancement opportunities. Demonstrate that your firm provides professional development programs that can help them grow professionally and personally. Present them examples of challenging projects you can offer that could be exciting and just beyond their comfort zone to expand their skill sets and build their confidence.
Expanding your Search & Working Remote
In order to attract and hire the ideal talent for your organization, you many need to think outside of your current market, in particular if you are in a large metro market. Sometimes, secondary markets have less competition for excellent candidates and could be easier and less expensive in the long run to pay for their relocation expenses. You could also provide options for such candidates to work remotely as part of their package.
This strategy allows you to expand your target market of candidates and offer you more potential prospects. Relocation expenses will be more than offset by finding the right set of skills to be more productive for your firm. Through the power of mobile working technology, candidates could also be provided the option for working remotely a few days a week as a way to offset relocation to another market.