If you are a business looking for the perfect candidate in a competitive job market like New York City, it can be difficult to stand out amongst the other companies that are vying for a job seeker’s attention. The search for qualified job leads is only the first part of the process, and weeding through the dozens of qualified candidates for the one can take weeks. That timeline can stretch even longer in major markets like NYC, which is why you need a finely-tuned staffing strategy to make your business stand out to the candidates who matter.
Hiring and onboarding new talent is expensive, and doubly so if you don’t find the right person, so in this blog post we’re going to review a few simple things that you can do to make sure you are attracting the best talent in the crowded market of job seekers.
1. Open yourself up to Passive Candidates
Think about the last time you were looking for a job — it’s entirely possible you weren’t actively seeking a new opportunity, but one came up that looked interesting and then one thing leads to another… and before you know it you are interviewing for the position. You may not have known it, but you were a passive candidate – someone who isn’t out on the streets pounding the pavement out of necessity. You aren’t alone either, as over 75% of working professionals consider themselves passive candidates, i.e. open to new job opportunities.
Attracting these types of hires is an essential way to get your company on the radar of more qualified leads. If you can lasso an engineer that is working on a similar project at another company, their spin-up time may be less than someone who isn’t coming from similar work. Having a new hire that can hit the ground running sounds pretty nice, right? Of course it does, but you’ll never get their attention unless your company’s profile is raised high enough to capture it.
2. View your company as an outsider
Having a strong brand and recognizable culture is the first step in attracting passive talent. If your company doesn’t look better than the one they are currently employed at, it’s going to be a hard sell to get them to jump ship. Take a step back and look at your company through the eyes of someone looking for a job — does your website reflect a modern and fresh place of work? Are you interacting with potential candidates on places like LinkedIn or Twitter? Are you actively marketing your company with social media that reflects your company culture? These are things you’d probably be looking at if you were applying for the job, so make sure that you can answer yes to all those questions.
3. Make sure your job description doesn’t stink
Harsh words? Maybe, except we can probably all remember a time where we read an unclear job description, shrugged, then applied anyway. Job descriptions should be the filter at the top of the funnel, actively telling candidates if this job is or isn’t for them. Unless you like sorting through stacks and stacks of resumes, a good job description is the best way to keep everyone from applying for your job. This type of pre-screening can save you (and your hiring managers) dozens of hours by stopping the unqualified candidate from even applying in the first place.
4. Be explicit about qualifications
In smaller markets, casting a larger net makes sense for finding candidates for your job as there may not be as many qualified people with those exact qualifications. However, when you are looking to stand out in a crowded job market like New York, then you need to be clear about what you are looking for and the exceptions you’ll make. For instance, if you are absolutely firm on 3 years of experience in a specific field, then explicitly state that in your description. You may still get jobseekers that apply with less, but you can confidently dismiss that resume and move onto others. Being crystal clear about these expectations for applicants will save you the hassle of interviewing an unqualified person.
5. Appeal to a candidates’ needs
Sure, you are giving them a job and a salary. That might be enough if you are hiring a management position at a fast food place, but most professionals are seeking out a company that provides benefits beyond just a paycheck. These can be tangible benefits such as health insurance or gym memberships, or they can be the intangible feeling of spending their time at a good place to work. Clearly stating what your company can give a potential employee makes your business stand out amongst others who may think a high salary is enough. Your job description should reflect the company brand and the job personality that your business has worked so hard to grow. Make sure these things are reflected clearly in your job ad.
6. Treat the Interview as a Two-Way Street
If you are really interested in finding the right person in a market that is packed with potential, then your interview should feel like a conversation rather than an interrogation. Bring in team-members that you trust to the interview, and don’t stick to the same old questions that everyone has heard a thousand times. Your company will be more memorable to a candidate if you challenge them with questions that makes them think, as well as showing them that you are engaged in a way that other companies are not. A job-seeker is most likely interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them, so be sure to use that time to really feel each other out and make sure it’s a good fit for both parties.
7. Use all the tools available
Creating a good staffing strategy and raising your companies’ profile can get you a lot further in the hiring process than most companies, but even then it can be hard to really find that perfect person. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and tweak your job descriptions or change where the job is being posted. Working with a staffing company that knows your niche can give you access to candidates that you didn’t even know were in your pool of possibilities. Large markets are going to hold some of the best and brightest job seekers, so don’t be afraid to reevaluate your strategy if it isn’t netting the best results.
Looking for more ways to net the brightest talent in competitive markets like New York City? Contact Premier Talent Partners to see how we can help give you the talent your company deserves.