The most recent Jobs Vacencies Report from the Statistics Canada showed another record-breaking number of job openings in Q3 — over 913 000! That means candidates are able to be selective, most often deciding between multiple job offers. Competition in the job market has never been more fierce. More often than not, candidates are the ones interviewing companies. Yes, you want to hire the RIGHT people for your team, but if you can’t do that swiftly, you have little chance of landing the best talent.
Based on our experience with hundreds of customers, there are four key reasons why companies aren’t able to move faster right now:
- LOW PAY: Many companies, not realizing how much the job market has changed, are simply not offering competitive market rates, and in a talent-led market, talent are choosing roles with higher pay. Inflation is also playing an important factor in candidates’ decision making.
- POOR CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE: The standard hiring process is cumbersome, with lots of layers and hurdles and many people involved. Thrown off by new hiring processes, managers are still looking for the perfect match, are busier than ever, or are unsure how to assess skills in a remote interview setting.
- HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Are you looking to buy or build? Most companies are looking for talent with the perfect profile. In that case, they must be ready to make extremely competitive offers. And this is where it all goes wrong. They perfect talent without the price tag. Successful hiring managers will often opt to build talent.
- LACK OF FLEXIBILITY: Companies are struggling to decide when, how, and where their staff can work, and many, believing on-site is the only way to stay connected and productive, are refusing to consider remote workers or flexible schedules.
Sound familiar? While all of the above challenges are relevant right now, the need to be flexible has become the most urgent issue as COVID-19 numbers are at an all time high with the surge of the Omicron variant. Sure, the need to come back into an office or even just bring workers together in person might be beneficial — once it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, there’s work to be done, turnover is continuing (remember the Great Resignation?), and most managers are struggling to make the hires they need to deliver on their projects.
There are many reasons why exploring new ways of working can improve your results and help you hire faster. Let’s explore a few.
FOCUS ON SKILLS, NOT LOCATION
The more accommodating you can be about where employees work, the more you can remove location from your hiring equation and focus on what matters: the skills and experiences people bring to your organization. Workers from all industries are increasingly choosing the work/life balance afforded by moving to cities with lower living cost. Wherever they move, their skills follow, creating a decentralization of knowledge. Gone are the days where cities were hubs of AI or Tech talent.
Companies are constantly delaying their return-to-office plans, remember at the beginning of the pandemic when most companies planned for a two weeks work from home? Now is the perfect time to help executives revisit the WHY behind the need of limiting hiring to local areas, which will limit the pool of talent to work with. You will easily find leading companies now advertising remote positions for pretty much any role. Think about it, what’s the point of being at the office if it’s only to sit on Zoom calls all day?
IMPROVE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
This benefit is no longer news. Well over a year ago, Fast Company outlined the many benefits and necessary adjustments for employers who want to leverage remote work to improve workplace diversity. A more recent article from LinkedIn provides even more detailed benefits for specific groups of employees and supports not just improved diversity but also inclusion.
If you’re serious about bringing diverse ideas, backgrounds, and experiences to your workplace, adopting new ways of working will no doubt help. Companies that have used this time to be serious about attracting diverse candidates are already ahead of the game. If you’re not sure your company is taking diversity seriously, point out the fact that diverse organizations outperform their peers to get their attention.
COMPETE ON PRICE
We know that most skilled workers are leaving high-cost areas. Companies trying to adjust salaries based on location are finding it hard to attract talent. People want to be primarily remunerated based on their skills and not their location. The talent shortage is also not helping companies who are trying to pay lower for workers based on their location. The market is still working to figure out how to handle compensation and location. Tap into smaller pockets of talent outside major cities. Work on creating offers that attract people. Yes price is important but make sure to be competitive on other areas such as benefits, vacations and perks.
WORKERS WANT SAFETY
Customizing physical locations to provide a safe workplace that is conducive to collaboration, while following public health guidelines is expensive — and risky. No one has figured out yet the acceptable trade-offs between being together and being safe. As health concerns continue (and likely will for some time), 70% of workers want flexible work. Your best path to attracting top talent is to get flexible.
Workers are prioritizing work/life balance like never before and organizations developing flexible working structures are seeing healthier candidate pipelines and lower attrition.
Extending offers with adaptable work arrangements is just the beginning. Once you hire those new colleagues, you’ll need to look at the rest of their journey to deliver a great onboarding process, and an incredible work experience. Many organizations are already making strides on not just reworking but truly rebuilding the future world of work.
Don’t wait to see what the next phase of this pandemic will do to the future of work. Embrace flexibility today, advocate for hybrid work, and get great at hiring and onboarding remotely. Companies who are all in on remote are progressing every day as they adapt and rethink best practices for hiring, onboarding, collaboration, and career development in ways that will win the talent war over the next year.