With Unemployment Rates Below 4%, Who’s Doing the Interviewing?

In May of 2018, the national unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in the previous month. It is the lowest rate since April 2000, as the number of unemployed decreased by 281,000.

As national unemployment rates decrease, recruitment for executive talent has taken on its own unique characteristics, resulting in dramatic changes to the overall retained search process.

Middle market companies that touted their idealistic culture, setting them apart from larger competitors, is now more scrutinized. Candidates are now leading the interview process, having more choices and forcing companies to put their best practices forward.

Before launching a search, employers should consider the most important factors that allow them to compete for talent. In this fueled environment, employers should examine their compensation structure to evaluate whether they can attract talent. Further, in this competitive market, employers must consider whether their interview process is organized and dynamic.

It’s now more important than ever for employers to rise to the occasion and bring their best to the table to recruit and retain top executive talent. Wise employers recognize this shift and embrace this new culture of recruitment by accepting that the interview process is now mutual; and transparency and consideration are expected on both sides.

 To respect a candidate during the hiring process, employers must respect the hiring process itself. Don’t skip steps, be on time and prepare an agenda, interview questions and offer transparent information on the company. Don’t try to host critical face-to-face meetings online. This is the time for relationship building and not online platforms. A personal handshake, eye-contact and being present is always a better way to communicate.

A savvy candidate will view the interview process as a window into your business. As an employer, this is your opportunity to showcase your business, the position, your employees and your brand.   

Employers must be committed to diligent scheduling. Tardiness and unstructured meetings are perceived as a lack of respect and an indication to candidates of what it would be like to work in your organization.

Many employers are feeling the need to rush the process in an effort to fill positions quickly. Unfortunately, this is often interpreted by candidates as disorganized and not forthright in presenting transparent information, which is critical to a strategic hiring process. A structured approach will save time and resources if properly managed as well as strengthen the fabric of the organization.

Before defining next steps to implement to thrive in this changing landscape, it is critical to understand the reasons why. A superior hiring and onboarding process will result in:

1. Better hires

2. Improved loyalty

3. Longer tenures

4. Less turnover

5. Stronger teams

6. Improved reputation and corporate brand

7. A respectful working environment

8. Higher productivity

Here are a few suggestions…

Set aside certain dates and times for meetings and stick to them. When you postpone or reschedule an interview with a prospect, you send the message that the candidate’s time is not as valuable as yours and that your company is disorganized.  

A candidate wants to be excited about the role you are recruiting for. She/he needs to be motivated by your ability to present the position with clarity. It is important for employers to quickly discern the candidate’s priorities and address them during the process.

The candidate should leave your organization with a solid understanding of the position requirements, company culture, next steps and a timeline when a decision will be made.

A strategic and respectful approach to hiring and onboarding has a high ROI. Creating and honoring a defined process goes far beyond recruitment. It builds a foundation of respect and consideration, critical elements to successful hiring.

At Executives Unlimited, Inc. we help employers present their best hiring process. We are committed to responsibility, integrity and leadership in helping our clients with their strategic executive workforce planning. For information about our services, call us at (866) 957-4466 or contact us online today.