Batter up, recruiters—it’s time to play hardball. You’re working in the tightest employment market in a generation. Unemployment is low, the economy is strong, and job candidates have never been better informed of the power they can wield at the negotiating table.
From seasoned members of Generation X to the new graduates of Generation Z who are about to walk off the graduation stage and into their first jobs, these candidates know their worth and are prepared to take advantage of market conditions when it comes time to talk compensation. according to the 2019 Yello Recruiting Study, six in 10 job seekers today feel empowered to shoot for a higher-than-usual salary when considering an employment offer or asking for a raise.
In fact, they already are. U.S. wage growth has been hovering above three percent for nine consecutive months, and according to a recent survey of American CFOs by CNBC, labor costs are expected to be the most significant expense for employers nationwide over the next six months.
Although talent acquisition teams certainly have to respond to market forces by preparing competitive compensation packages, there are three key ways to lessen the overall emphasis on wages. Take a page out of your favorite baseball team’s playbook and step up to the plate with these three strategies.
Build a Strong Bullpen
In baseball, the bullpen is the area where a team’s relief pitchers warm up before being called in to join the game. In recruiting, your bullpen is a pipeline of passive talent that admires your company. To keep your company’s bullpen of talent warmed up and ready to enter the game, you should be serving them content that showcases your employer brand. That starts with building a strong talent community and showcasing your company’s personality on your career page and on social media. Let candidates know what’s great about working with you — because if they can imagine your company as a place where they can grow and be happy, the salary factor won’t be as important, and you’ll have a much easier time winning them over with your offer.
Always Watch Batting Practice
Smart pitchers keep an eye on the other team’s batting practice so they can get a sense of each batter’s natural swing and pitch preferences. Knowing where a particular batter likes to see the ball helps inform the pitcher’s choices when he’s on the mound. For recruiters, this means taking time to talk to candidates about their motivations, which you can do starting from the first phone screen or video interview. What’s going to move a candidate to “take a swing” at your offer? Yello’s research indicates that work-life balance, job duties, and career growth opportunities are among the most important factors. By zeroing in on what your candidate wants, you can determine how to present your opportunity in the most appealing way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Play Small Ball
“Small ball” is an effective baseball strategy that emphasizes putting runners on base and moving them into scoring position. It’s not flashy—you won’t see any swing-for-the-fences moments in this style of play—but it does get results through deliberate, fundamentally sound base hits, bunts and steals. In terms of recruiting, your team can play an effective small ball by providing candidates with a positive interview experience from start to finish. Use automated interview scheduling software to help you swiftly move candidates through the interview process and candidate evaluation tools to keep your team on the same page without wasting time. Fast evaluations enable quick decisions, and quick decisions make strong impressions on candidates who want to join a team that values their skills and time.
About the author: Jen Meza, is the VP of People at Yello.