How to ignite your hiring process given this “Economy”

I heard a commercial the other day that referenced ‘the economy’ in a negative way, and I started thinking, “Are we still in a bad economy?” So…

  1. I checked the DOW–about double the bottom out number it hit in 2009. (15,467 if you’re curious)
  2. Next, I checked the interest rates from the FED–they are up over a point higher than they were in April. (a sign of a strong economy)
  3. We sold our house in Fishers, IN in just 6 days
  4. A friend of ours sold their house over the summer in just 1 day
  5. Finally, I work for a recruiting firm where we can barely keep up with all of our manufacturing openings. (check)

I understand and am sympathetic to geographic pockets, industries, and people who have legitimately been affected by economic factors outside of their control. However, if your company views the economy as ‘down’, it’s going to negatively impact your hiring strategy and process, and you most likely won’t be as aggressive and efficient as you need to be to land strong talent. 

With that in mind, I want to give a few ideas on how to approach the hiring process if you are struggling with finding (or landing) new hires, given “the economy” (which is actually really strong right now).

  • Embrace the fact that it’s a candidate driven market right now. Accept the fact that you’re going to have to ‘sell’ them on your company, opportunity, and culture. It’s not always enough to just give them an offer. Candidates have options, and instead of ignoring it, a more powerful stance would be to embrace it and simply know who you are as a company and highlight that to the interviewee.

***This does not mean be desperate or beg, but realize you have to be bringing something of value to the table–step up your game as a company!

  • Speed it up! If you are taking longer than four weeks to get an active candidate through your interview process, you are at risk of being too slow. If you take longer than six weeks (for a non-Executive role) you are downright inefficient. There will be times when delays occur, but here are a few tips:
    • Get through the first step quickly. Usually it’s a phone screen, and with people working longer hours–recruiters and HR need to be open to talking after 5pm or on weekends. That 30 minute investment can save upwards of 5-7 days.
    • Speed up your offer approval process. If you take longer than five days to approve an offer, that is just way too long. Communicate earlier with the decision maker on the likely range of salary. Get pre-approval for a number, anticipate travel schedule, use e-approval, etc.
  • Creative Offers (If you can’t increase a salary, try this)
    • If you are hiring skilled trade employees–you can cover their COBRA during the waiting period for benefits. Or give them a sign on bonus! A little goes a long way–$750 is a small price to pay for a talented trades employee.
    • If you are hiring an engineer or salaried employee with 5+ years of experience, give them 3 weeks of vacation. Or gym memberships, iPhone, iPad, etc. Everyone wants Apple products, and everyone at least wants to be member of a gym.
    • Executives–equity! If you are uncomfortable with actual shares develop a plan that is the equivalent of stock/dividend based equity plan. Tie them to the results.

Finally–I recommend you reach out to a proven and highly productive Technical and Manufacturing search firm to help you both find and fill jobs. Feel free to reach out to me through LinkedIn!


–Rick McKeldin

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