According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national unemployment rates have dropped from 9.8% in 2010 to 3.9% as of April 30, 2018, creating a tight maket. The dilemma of employers is how to adapt to a smaller pool of applicants, while recruting top talent. Additionally, how do companies aggressively go after the best candidates while maintaining a high level of ethics and keeping within legal guidlelines?

Innovative vs. Ethical

Employers are finding savvy new ways of recruiting that reduce costs significantly, while reaching a large target audience. Innovative giant, Zappos has done away with formal job titles. They recruit using their own private social network site and encourage applicants to reach out directly via their site. Another trending interview process includes video interviews through Skype, Google Hangouts, and video software specifically created for recruting. This method significantly cuts the cost of flying in potential applicants for onsite interviews. Deciding on ethics can be a slippery slope. Although methods may not be illegal, there are questions about the ethics behind aggressive poaching. Going after clients, vendors, or partners is generally considered unethical and a sure way to damage trust. A "do whatever it takes" stance to recruiting may garner results, but  going so far as to disguise yourself as a janitor or posing as a waiter at a company holiday party, may not be the best way to retain a positive corporate image.

Is it Legal? 

While it might seem ideal to raid your competitor of talented employees, you may have to consider whether those candidates have signed non-compete agreements that could present the possibility of costly legal action from your competitor and whether those agreements can be considered enforcable by the state.

Recruit Before an Immediate Need Arises

Being proactive in recruiting involves anticipating the needs of staffing before problems arise. Working continuously to find the right candidates helps businesses run at their optimal level. Best practices include keeping and collecting resumes on file to call on when interviewing opportunities come up. Employers may also choose to keep a continuous ad on their website to spark interest in their company. Additionally, proactive recruitment includes keeping current employees happy with training programs, competitive compensation, and benefits which foster retention and lower turnover.

Rethink the Value of Older Candidates

Older workers can help businesses reduce costs and provide a reliable workforce. Most bring a wealth of experience and skills that can cut down on the amount of time needed to train. They are generally reliable, will show up on time, and tend to love their jobs much more than their younger counterparts. Efficiency and the confidence to offer ideas and recommnedations give them an advantage of undestanding how jobs can be done more effectively, which also saves money. They take pride in a job well done and tend to go above and beyond to make sure a project is completed on time.

Person being picked for a job.

Hire for Cultural Fit and Train for Skills

A company's culture includes their mission statement, vision, and values, and how those fit into the day-to-day operations of the company. If you find an applicant who fits your culture, it is likely that training will be easier because they already understand how to apply their skills to their new position. They are also more likely to stay longer and reduce turnover.  Working with people who share our values creates a positive work environment and a foundation of loyalty.

Build Your Own Internal Talent

Investing in your current employees through professional development programs, courses, and additional training allows employers to promote within. This not only saves money in the time needed to recruit for higher level positions, but improves morale. Employees who understand that moving up the ranks within the company is possible, there is a strong incentive to work hard to achieve career goals and seize opportunities when they arise. The learning curve is also significantly shorter. The employee already has a general idea of what needs to be done and doesn't need time to adapt to new procedures.

Get Out There!

Regular attendance at industry events allows interaction with individuals who may be in the market for a new job. Participating and networking within industry groups, conferences, and trade shows puts employers in touch with a large pool of possible applicants. Be sure to follow up and keep in touch with strong candidates even if a position isn't currently available. When a position does become available, reach out to those established connections. Ask for referrals and keep a steady list of those to call on.

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