June 10, 2016

In a tight job market, he who hesitates is lost

By Jim Annis, CEO


Oops ... lost one. Oh, and there's another. Wait for it ... and ... gone. What's happening? Companies are losing key employees left and right. In the talent acquisition game, this market is hot, hot, hot. Companies cannot delay hiring people. Our headhunting and recruiting side of the business is so busy that we've had a handful of situations where companies who were interested in candidates lost out because they did not move quickly enough – literally within minutes. How many times can we say it? You snooze, you lose. The early bird gets the worm. Postponement is the father of failure. Has it sunk in yet?

Today's job market operates on two assumptions related to procrastination. First, your A and B players – yes, the ones you employ right now – are being recruited constantly. Unless you create a culture worth staying for, then prepare to lose your shining stars. In the 2014 EPIC Report by EDAWN, the study created a forecast with the number of jobs and the number of residents that will potentially be located in the study areas by 2020. Based on current and anticipated growth trends, the study area was segmented in 18 “EPIC zones.” The where and how growth will occur is largely based on expected changes in land-use patterns and economic activity over time. The Regional Economics Models, Inc. (“REMI”) model projects the demographic, economic and associated public revenue changes the Study Area expected between 2015 and 2019. In 2014, the report suggested that the market would demand hiring 50,000 people in the next five years. Fifteen months later, hiring is above that curve. Population growth is above that curve. Are you willing to play ostrich and hide your head in the sand?

The second assumption is that if you are recruiting, you are not the only one they are talking to, so you better give candidates the pay they want as well as paid time off. Finders keepers, losers weepers. It is a seller's market. Caution – this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is another tough love article, just like our recent "$14 is the new $10." Typically when there are plenty of candidates, as HR experts we counsel that you should do your due diligence and spend sufficient time to look for Mr. and Mrs. Perfect. During normal times, just the right experience, personality and fit are important. In this market, knowledge, skills and ability (or KSAs) are more important than fit because you have to act now and think later. It's like we are in an opposite world.

The Applied Companies have been privileged to win many Best Places to Work Awards over the past several years. We are proud of our company culture. And yet we are still not immune to these market conditions. We lost a member of our C suite three years ago and it took a bit of time to recover. How will you act now to shape your company's future?

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today’s workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied's COO, contributed to this article.

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