Hunter Hamilton- finance and accounting staffing and recruiting
Finance + Accounting Recruiters

The old adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” can be applied to all areas of business.

Staffing is no different. To make successful hires in 2016, you can’t hope for the best or do what you’ve always done. It’s a much different hiring environment today than it was even a few years ago. Unemployment rates continue to drop and, for many titles, the number of job openings is greater than the number of available candidates.

The market has changed and hiring strategies must follow. These tips will help you create a hiring blueprint to better attract talent in today’s competitive market, make job offers that will get accepted, and retain new employees.

How to Hire in 2016

1. Be diligent.
As you prepare to hire in a competitive market, there’s one word to keep top of mind: speed. The A-players won’t wait around for you. You can’t drag your feet during any steps of the hiring process or you’ll quickly find your top candidate is no longer available – and you’ll need to restart the hiring process!

2. Create your plan.
The best way expedite the process is to strategize. Talk about the hiring process and who will be involved ahead of time. Look at everyone’s schedules and begin to backfill dates on a calendar. If the job is open today, figure out when you need to conduct interviews and make your final decision.

3. Understand your target market.
Recruiting is a form of marketing. To be a successful marketer or recruiter, you need to be able to put yourself in your target market’s shoes. Begin by identifying your ideal candidate, including: core competencies, education and experience requirements, personality, etc. Then determine what motivates this type of worker. A flexible schedule? A casual work environment? Benefits? Outline what you have to offer and align your pitch with these needs.

4. Review the competition.
To better understand what you’re up against, review the current supply and demand for the position and going pay rates. If you need help, many staffing agencies have access to tools to conduct thorough research.

5. Look past the resume.
Once you begin to receive applications, keep an open mind. In a competitive market, it’s wise to be flexible. Depending on the job, consider hiring someone with less experience but great potential. You will need to invest additional time in employee training training, but you may find your next exceptional employee.

6. Maintain open communication with candidates.
Connect with applicants within 24 hours of receiving their application. Share your timeline and stick to it. After each conversation or interview, let candidates know when they can expect to hear from you. This shows a respect for their time and may also prevent them from prematurely accepting an offer from another company.

7. Make a competitive offer.
To ensure that your offer is in line with your candidate’s requirements, discuss pay during the second interview. Refrain from asking for a salary history; instead, ask for salary expectations. It’s a jobseeker’s market and you may need to make adjustments to your pay range in order to compete. Also review market rates and what competitors are paying. You need to be willing to pay more if you want top talent.

8. Onboard to retain.
There are no second chances at making a great first impression. After your candidate accepts the offer, it’s time to begin the onboarding process. In addition to creating a strong start, an onboarding plan increases profitability, kick starts productivity, sets expectations early, and helps increase retention rates.
Alternative: Skip multiple steps in the hiring process.

To successfully hire top performers, you need to be speedy, yet thorough – this can be a tricky balance. To streamline your processes, partner with a staffing agency. They will take care of many steps in the hiring process, saving you time and money.

In short, hiring success in 2016 can be achieved with the “Two S’s” – strategy and speed. You need to have a plan in place and be prepared to move quickly to keep candidates engaged. This will create a positive experience for your candidates and the hiring team – and, ultimately, lead to a successful new hire!