You’ve heard how tight the current job market is. And if you need to hire employees, you will need to cope with the market as it is. There are steps you can take to assist in your quest for new hires.

Steps you can take to enhance your organization’s appeal to candidates include the following:

  1. Network with Colleges and their programs: If your organization typically hires new college graduates in large numbers, connect with nearby colleges with useful degree programs. Work with the college placement offices to participate in on-campus recruiting processes, internships, scholarships and classroom or club speaking opportunities. You will gain earlier access to students and an opportunity to build relationships with potential candidates. An internship in particular will provide an opportunity to evaluate the candidate’s work ethic and job-related skills.
  2. Create or participate in networking opportunities: Join a job-related group on LinkedIn, a professional organization in your area or other business-related organization. These will provide your organization, its professionals and leaders with opportunities to network and to create/maintain visibility in the professional or local business community. When the market is tight, networking and referrals are more effective in reaching passive job candidates who are not actively looking for a position.
  3. Build an online presence and consistent, credible image: Be aware of your online messaging and branding. Be consistent, and refuse to post low-quality information and graphics online. Make sure that your organization’s website, annual report, social media and LinkedIn profile are immaculate and up-to-date. In particular, ensure your website Career Center is appealing and continuously edited. Old job postings (which still appear to be open) can kill interest in candidates who think there are too many jobs open. What does that say about your organization? Old postings, even if unfilled, should be edited and reposted with current dates.
  4. Create a conscious work environment: Be aware of causes and groups your organization supports, where it advertises, how it treats its employees. With internet ratings and organizations like Glassdoor, where employees and former employees can rate the organization and its employee-related practices, it pays to plan and manage all aspects of how an employee is hired, engaged and mentored within your organization. Employees quit bad supervisors as often as they leave organizations for other reasons. So it pays to make sure employees are well trained and well managed. Candidates look online, engage with current and former employees identified via social media (such as LinkedIn) and professional groups, and gauge their interest based on overall company image, values, business actions and ethics.

    There are also steps your organization can take to streamline the recruiting and hiring process and project an effective picture of your organization during the various steps:

  • Know what you want, communicate your needs clearly, and advertise in multiple ways and places.
  • Get your team organized before you advertise; decide who will interview at what step in the process, and who will handle the myriad of steps in between. Once the process is underway, team members should expect to operate like a SWAT team: an organized team with requisite skills and a division of labor, a commitment to the goal and not quitting until the goal is achieved. No Delays, No Excuses!
  • In setting up your process, determine the steps you will need to determine your applicants’ skills, experience, training and job knowledge. Assess their behaviors, motivators and soft skills. And plan to do this in the quickest time frame possible and in the fewest number of onsite visits. For example, use a phone screening for the first interview to qualify candidates. Have successful candidates visit the work site once and interview with multiple people during that visit. If you waste time, your most desirable candidates may be hired by another organization before you bring about a decision.
  • Create efficient and replicable steps. Create Interview Guides with questions for the phone screener, hiring manager, other team members and the owner or executive, if applicable.
  • Maintain contact with candidates throughout the process. Let the candidate know how to reach one contact person, typically the first screener. Schedule as conveniently as possible for candidates and confirm the details.
  • Send a turndown email to any candidate who spends time interviewing, whether in a phone screening interview or on-site conversation. With today’s electronics, there’s no excuse for ignoring a candidate who invested time to interview with your organization.
  • Don’t leave any courtesy to chance. A tight job market is truly a time when, as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a great first impression.

While you are assessing the candidate and his or her fit with the organization and job, the candidate is looking over everything about the company, interviewers, online information, company values and reputation.

Need help sorting all of this out? Feel free to reach out to us at We are experts in helping you to build a successful attraction and retention system.

1 Comment

  • This is a great topic. We should all pay attention to what Ginny has to say regarding these tips for increasing your chances to attract and retain the very best talent. We should never lose sight of the fact that we, as the employer, are not the only ones that are conducting an interview.

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