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The Challenges of the Current Marketplace (and How to Overcome Them)

by User Not Found | May 23, 2017

By Stacy Pursell
The VET Recruiter


When it comes to hiring, every market presents unique challenges, and the market we’re currently experiencing is no exception. Now, when times aren’t good, the main challenge associated with the market is that a lot of organizations are NOT hiring.

However, the current market is not challenging in that way. It’s challenging in a much different way, but the result is the same: not being able to hire the people you want to hire.

The current market is what is called a candidates’ market. This means candidates are the ones driving the market. It also means that there are numerous job openings and there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill them all. When that happens, employers have a small talent pool from which to draw. So they must do whatever they can to hire the employees they need to reach their goals for growth and profitability.

Top candidates in today’s market are referred to as “passive candidates.” No matter what state the economy is in, there are generally more active job seekers than there are passive candidates.

There are a lot of differences between passive candidates and active job seekers, starting with the fact that active job seekers are actively looking for a new job. Passive candidates aren’t even officially pursuing a new opportunity. There are three reasons why this is the case:

1. They’re basically happy where they’re working now, although they would make a strategic move for the right opportunity.
2. They’re too busy at their current position to actually conduct an active job search.
3. They don’t want to risk the confidentiality of their search being breached at any point in the process.

The problem is that the hiring process of many organizations is not geared toward targeting passive candidates. Their process is more geared toward the active job seeker. Organizations often attempt to leverage the power of the Internet alone and only attempt to fill their open positions through online job advertisements. While it’s true that approach will get some applications, it’s not the most effective way to identify the best candidates in the marketplace.

With that in mind, there are three things that organizations must do in their quest to hire passive candidates:

1. Identify the best candidates and not just the best candidates that have applied to job ads.
2. Recruit the best candidates and convince them to consider their employment opportunity.
3. “Sell” the candidates on both the opportunity and also the organization.

The most important thing that organizations should recognize about passive candidates is that these candidates have options. An active job seeker may or may not be employed. If they are employed, they are likely dissatisfied with their current employment situation.

A top passive candidate, on the other hand, is most often employed and at the very least, they’re content with where they are and what they’re doing. Top passive candidates are not desperate. They can afford to “pick and choose” which option is best for them.

Organizations often fall into the habit of not modifying their hiring process to meet the challenges of market conditions. Market conditions are definitely different now than they were during the Great Recession. The problem is that some companies are still trying to use the same hiring tactics that they used during the recession. Those tactics are not going to work in today’s candidates’ market.

Specifically, there are two main things that organizations must do to hire the best candidates.

1. They must realize that time is of the essence and they can’t let the hiring process drag out.
2. They must continually “sell” themselves during the process to convince top candidates to work for their organization.

I have an example that perfectly illustrates all of this. A few months ago, I presented a highly qualified candidate to one of my clients, a bigger company, as a matter of fact. However, this organization’s hiring process was slow. As a result, the candidate was “hanging out” in the company’s hiring process for an inordinate amount of time.

Lo and behold, before my client could get around to making an offer of employment, the candidate was snatched up by a smaller company in a matter of days. The problem was that the bigger company dragged out the hiring process, which is a cardinal sin in today’s market. Consequently, that organization was not able to hire the talent that it wanted to hire.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a bigger company or a smaller organization—you must acknowledge the challenges of the marketplace. We’re definitely in the midst of a candidates’ market, which means the best candidates have a lot of options and a lot of opportunities.

It also means that they won’t select your opportunity if you don’t do what is necessary to attract, recruit, and hire them.

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