If you have been paying attention to trends in the job market, you will know that much has already been said regarding how difficult it is hiring staff today.  As a matter of fact, last week another round of news stories documenting the hiring woes in the US were published when the new jobs numbers were released. Here is an example of just one story that was published on Friday by CNN Money: Wages should be going up because there is a record number of unfilled job openings and employers complaining about difficulty finding workers.”  Now that we have made the final turn of 2017, today is an appropriate time to offer some suggestions on what you may want to consider if you are going to be hiring in 2018.

Don’t look for perfect, look for talent!

Within Tampa Bay, I don’t care what recruiter you use to find talent, we are all hiring from the same pool of candidates.  Nobody has a “proprietary” database of candidates that only they see. Great talent is on and off the market as quickly as I can snap my fingers.  In this market, you have two choices.  You can wait for perfection, and that may mean months of waiting, or go after the person who has the basic skills, drive, talent, and motivation to be successful. Sure you will have to train them on some aspects of the position, but if you hire the right person that loyalty can go a long way. If you are a bit flexible here there can be some great talent to be found, but you will need to invest some time into that employee in the beginning.

Hiring will only become more difficult!

If you happen to be driving around, look at the marquis signs for fast food restaurants. You know we are in a tight labor market when Wendy’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s are posting “open interviews” on the sign in front of their business. We can discuss the reasons why people may not be applying at these locations at any time, but unquestionably part of the reason why is because their normal candidates have jobs already and aren’t applying like they normally would be to these.

As a matter of fact, a recent Goldman Sachs report (Goldman Sachs Economic Research) predicts that the unemployment rate in the United States will continue to drop through the end of 2019.  If talent acquisition is difficult today, imagine what it will be like if our national unemployment levels drop below 4%.  If you are looking to hire, you need to move efficiently in the process. The candidates you want will be in and out of the market quickly. They are not going to wait for you to make a decision.  Secondarily, if you really have a top-tier candidate, the odds are very strong that they have multiple offers to choose from.

How do I keep the staff I have?

A recent study by Aon (Aon) shows that the average salary increase in the US this year will be around 3%. Additionally, they said, “…more than two-thirds of employers are taking some type of action to increase merit pay differentiation in 2018.” What does that mean? In short, businesses are looking to pay their high performers more. As you are trying to retain and recruit high performing staff to your business, compensation will always be a top priority for all involved.  It may not be the only priority, but it will be one of the components people will use to decide if they want to stay in their current role or leave. We would recommend you look at your industry trends to determine where your compensation levels are and adjust accordingly.  If you want great talent, you need to keep your wages competitive with your industry.

Additionally, I have never met a business owner or senior executive who admits their business is just an average place to work. In all cases, they will tell me how great their company is and how wonderful it is to work there. However, have you polled your employees to see if your own impressions ring true to them?  If your wages are at or above the average levels and yet you still have high turnover, have you asked your current employee’s why? Too often we see employers react to their perception of their business and not their employee’s perception of the business.  If you are trying to retain talent, more often than not, it is the employee perception of your business that will drive people to stay or go.

How can a recruiting firm help me in my hiring process?

One of the things I like to tell prospective clients is that we prefer to be viewed as a partner to your business and not just a vendor. We want to see you be successful and we want to play a part in that success with you.  Look at us as an external partner that you can lean on for information, market intelligence, competitive intelligence etc. By the very nature of our business, we do not operate in a closed environment. We are speaking with, and learning from, a large volume of employers and employees in the market every day.  While our primary objective is to find you great talent, we are happy to partner with you to help solve any hiring/retention problems you may be having.

If you are looking for a firm to partner with, please feel free to give us a call to set up a meeting to determine if we might be a good fit for your business.  To learn more about PrideStaff St. Pete Clearwater, please go to and check us out!  We wish you a very happy and successful 2018!

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