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3 Strategies to Hire Quality Employees in a Tight Labor Market

April 12, 2018

iStock-497523726The national unemployment rate is 4.1%. A big part of this is due to the growth in manufacturing in the US. When you add in the impact of the skills gap, it's becoming more and more difficult to find top talent to fill open jobs.

With this, 58% of HR leaders say their hiring volumes are increasing. However, even with the increased hiring volume, HR leaders don't necessarily expect their recruiting teams to grow correspondingly. So, how do we find individuals who will meet our needs and who have the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that will help your organization succeed? It's time for organizations to rethink how they attract, hire, and retain talent. Here are three ways you can do more with less: 

1. Use Your Own Workforce

By implementing referral programs, your workforce can come together to source candidates for you. Many organizations have referral programs that use incentives, but this can work without incentives, too. I work with a large auto-manufacturing organization in the Midwest who asked each employee to refer one employee, with no incentives involved, and this generated 500 applicants in three days! 

2. Be Critical, Not Picky

The requirements should be actual requirements. If you need specific skill sets, measure for those skill sets. Really understand the essential requirements of your position. Does the candidate really need a high school degree if they have all the other skills you're looking for, like problem solving abilities or basic math skills? You can do this by creating a basic competency model and assessing candidates for these skills. If you're knocking out candidates based on high school degrees or previous manufacturing experience, you may be missing out on individuals who have those skills that you really need.

Read more: Not All Competencies Are Created Equal

3. Be Efficient

Top 10 Tips for High-Volume Hiring Success in a Tight Labor Market-413688-editedThe average time to hire in manufacturing is 24 days. Cut down this time by using an automated unproctored assessment at the first step of the application process. This assessment screens out candidates who don't meet your requirements, leaving only the qualified candidates to move on to an interview. 

Think about it. 1,000 people can be taking an assessment at one time. By streamlining the process and weeding out individuals via an assessment, this frees up your interviewers to focus specific KSAs needed to do the job.

Related: How to Conduct Better Interviews in the Current Job Market

As the job climate only continues to skew towards the perfect storm (low unemployment, high job growth, and a skills gap in the workforce of tomorrow), these strategies can be used across any industry to more efficiently and effectively find, hire, and retain quality candidates, allowing your organization to succeed in this tight labor market.

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You can also access the full webinar below.

High-Volume Hiring in a Tight Labor Market

Steven Jarrett, Ph.D. Steven Jarrett, Ph.D. is a Senior Consultant at PSI. He has extensive experience developing, implementing, and validating legally defensible selection solutions for organizations. Steven has worked in a variety of industries including manufacturing, retail, healthcare and education.