Look, we are all aware that hiring in 2021 was a challenge, and I am not aware of anyone thinking that this phenomenon is going to change anytime soon. If you are business in the Tampa Bay area looking to hire early in 2022, be prepared for a longer and harder search than you may expect. While you may still get lucky and find the perfect person quickly, most roles will take time to fill.
Wages vs. Culture
Like most small business owners, I want my employees to love to come to work. I want them to feel appreciated and respected. BUT…that doesn’t pay their bills. Recently it was reported that the Tampa Bay area is leading the nation, among large metro areas, with the largest inflation rate in America at 8%. Wages matter more to the employees today than culture. Please don’t overhear me on this. I am not saying culture is not important, it absolutely is. But in our experience, 99 times out of 100 if given an option, employees are choosing wages over culture.
Job Opportunity vs Candidates Available
Recently I interviewed a candidate for my own office in Tampa and scheduled a follow up interview within 48 hours. Unfortunately for me, that candidate received multiple offers and chose one before we moved to my interview. My point is that I am experiencing the same problems every other business in the Tampa Bay area is experiencing. I’m not just telling you about them, I’m living them.
Our reality is that there are more open roles than there are active job seekers. For those looking for work, many will have multiple offers to rely on. We just have to realize that like it or not, there is heavy competition for candidates and we must move quickly to get the right candidates into the right roles and be prepared to pay a higher price for them.
Perfect vs Reasonable
Slowly, very slowly, we are starting to see businesses come to the realization that waiting for the perfect candidate is not a benefit in this hiring season. We are seeing businesses relaxing some of their requirements and adjusting roles to fit the candidates available.
Personally, I would argue this will be the most critical component to hiring in Tampa Bay in 2022. I do not see a flood of candidates coming back into the market early in 2022. So, if you want perfect, you likely will need to pay a premium for that employee and likely search for a while. My recommendation to all of my clients at this point is to be somewhat flexible in your hiring process to get take advantage of the people who available today.
I know this isn’t a newsflash, hiring in 2022 will continue to be challenging. But if we look at the economic data around hiring, we can better understand the dynamics of the Tampa Bay market. As business owners we cannot simply stick our head in the sand about our market realities. We all love our businesses, but to keep them successful we must pay attention to realities the market is giving us.