As many companies look at 2016 in their rear-view mirror and begin to look ahead to the possibilities of 2017, we are getting questions from our clients on what it will be like to hire in 2017. Our answer is that we expect the start of 2017 to continue the patterns we are seeing today.

This means hiring will continue to take longer than you would like and will be a drain on the time you have for other projects or business duties that drive revenue. Additionally, you will need to play defense with the people you already have. Here’s why: Our Tampa Bay unemployment rate in November was at 4.9%. Additionally, ADP announced that nationally 216,000 net new jobs were added to private employers and the Department of Labor showed a 178,000 increase to non-farm payroll.  This matters to you why?  Because it means most great candidates are currently employed and have multiple employment options today. So how can you be competitive?

For 2017 here are some great tips on how to find and retain great talent for Tampa Bay businesses.

First – Know your current employees are being recruited and they are interested – Earlier this year, CareerBuilder released a study that 76% of full-time employed workers are open to new positions.  Plan today for how you are going to treat your best employees for 2017. Sometimes the best recruitment strategy is keeping the person you already have. Get aggressive, make them feel appreciated and wanted. Remember that recruiting, training and the time it takes for a new employee to get up to speed in your business is not cheap.  If you do lose a person, know that the national average time to hire, per a recent DHI report is 28 days.

Second – Look beyond today – Too many times we see employers caught flat footed when a person leaves and they haven’t groomed anyone internally to help with the role. In our experience many owners are hiring for their needs in this moment, without a thought to what skill set they may possibly need tomorrow to help them grow. In today’s market find the position easiest to hire in your organization and then recruit a person who can fit that position today, but has the attitude and/or skill set to grow for tomorrow and then train them.  If you do lose someone, promote from within and recruit for the easier to fill position.

Finally – Understand salaries are rising, get used to it – Increasing salary levels are continuing to take center stage for both retaining and recruiting talent. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Wage Growth Tracker shows that wages have increased at 3.9% in a rolling average for the past 3 months (October numbers, last available). Keep in mind, there can be other issues driving changes for candidates, but salary levels are always in the discussion. Be proactive with candidates and employees on what drives them. Work to find issues beyond money where you may have more flexibility and opportunity to appease them. As the market continues to tighten for recruiting, look to sell candidates on your company with other advantages that are of importance to that specific employee.  Frequently we hear benefits, paid holidays, growth opportunities, and additional training are some of the hot button issues mentioned when we ask candidates what is important to them.


To gain more insights into the hiring market in the Tampa Bay, look to our website at for our blogs, HR tips and types of positions we recruit for.  If you are a business owner looking for a team to partner with you in 2017, please let us know!

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