How a Competitive Candidate Market Affects Your Hiring Process

by EdgeLink on May 12, 2015 in Hiring, Job Market

How a Competitive Candidate Market Affects Your Hiring Process

It seems the only guarantee in life is that nothing stays the same. Look back a few years and candidates were at the whim of those scarce few companies hiring. Now, as approximately 54% of employers look to hire full-time, permanent IT employees, we see a reversal in favor of a competitive candidate market. That type of shift means old hiring tactics will have to go the way of the Blackberry Sidekick.

Last year, Indeed found that if a business fails to fill an open position in the first 30 days, there’s a 57% chance that it’ll remain open for 3 months or more. That can have a serious financial impact. What’s behind that hiring inertia? We think we have an idea.

At EdgeLink, we interact with a high volume of clients filling IT positions and we’re finding that those who gird themselves for change and adapt fast are seeing better results with candidates.

That’s why any company that wants be an eminent force in this competitive candidate market needs to distinguish themselves in three clear ways.

1.) Research the Current Market

In the digital age, everything changes quickly and compensation is no exception. Salary in a competitive candidate market barely has a moment of stasis. The annual Dice Tech Salary Survey proves a year’s time can make a competitive difference.

For example, take a look at the average Software Engineer. In 2014, he or she could expect to make $101,941 on average, which was up 4.1% higher than the year before. A typical Security Analyst saw an even better uptick. They earned $83,821 on average, which put them 7.5% higher than the year before. Operating on old assumptions about a desirable salary for those roles would relegate any business looking to acquire them to the back of the waiting line.

To excel at this during a competitive candidate market, businesses need to be aware of as many contributing factors as possible. Popular programming languages can be found in the TIOBE index, which shows the languages trending most in search engines. Salary guides like the Dice Tech Salary Survey can predict where competitive salaries will go and staffing companies can measure the pulse of the current market. How you get relevant data on the candidate market is up to you, but there’s no question that it has to be done.

2.) Keep the Hiring Process Quick

In a competitive candidate market, it’s not outside of the norm for that tech professional you’ve been courting to be in talks with your competitors. The IT talent shortage has skewed the odds against employers. Speed paired with efficiency has become all the more important when hiring.

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. You had several promising interviews, each with a different company that appeals to you. Unless one really stood out above the others, would you delay accepting an offer or move fast? There are rarely any guarantees, so most candidates would take the safe bet. That’s why those companies that extend the offer first are often the victor.

Speed doesn’t mean compromising scrutiny or quality. It just means having a streamlined screening process. Successful businesses thoroughly evaluate what they want in advance. That way, there’s little reevaluation of quality candidate parameters being brainstormed on the fly. Moreover, businesses with several screening steps need to complete them in quick succession. Long lag time almost guarantees the candidate will be gone.

3.) Put Emphasis on Your Culture

A dollar amount alone isn’t going to sway most candidates. Though an offer needs to be competitive, most people don’t get excited to go to work because of their paycheck; they are motivated by an office culture and unique benefits that value them.

Articulate what distinguishes you from boring 9-to-5s. Have answers to questions like:

  • What makes an average workday in your office engaging?
  • How do your projects stand out?
  • What makes your team out-of-the-ordinary?
  • What benefits do your employees value most?

All throughout the process, you need to make each of these points clear. Your website, your job advertisements, and your interviewing process needs to convey why candidates need to work for you over every other opportunity. Selling your culture can no longer be a restrained process.

Bringing It All Together

No one piece alone sets up a business to thrive in a competitive candidate market. All three factors (market research, a quick process, and emphasis on your culture) are what is going to keep candidates from wandering to other pastures.

If you’re still feeling the strain of enhancing your IT staff in this competitive candidate market, reach out to our team at EdgeLink. We’re up to date on competitive compensation, we move with efficient speed, and we learn about your values and culture to get the right candidate for your needs. There’s no “one-size-fits-all,” just service tailored to you.

To learn more about how we can help your company, contact us here.