Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.

Tips on Recruiting in a Tight Labor Market

Beth RosenbergerBy Beth Rosenberger

Bringing in new talent is tough right now. Unemployment is at historic lows, and most employers are struggling to fill positions across the board. The frustration is palpable:

“There just aren’t any good people out there looking right now!”

“No one wants to work anymore!”

“We just keep getting ghosted by candidates!”

These are just some of the most common phrases I hear from my clients.

As a recruiting firm, our job is to find great talent, share new opportunities with them, and broker an employment deal. I get it, though: not everyone is in a position to use a recruiter. So, this blog offers some of our best tips to help a human resources department or small-business owner navigate the search for great candidates.

Define Your Process before You Get Started

Selecting among many images of potential hires.Make sure you clearly lay out your path to hiring. For example, if you have a staff accountant position and need it filled by Aug. 1, plan to start working on filling the role in June. Do you have a clear and concise job description? Is your pay range well defined, and do you have a benefits summary with costs of health care? What is your interview process, and who will be involved? It is critical to have these ironed out before starting your process so you don’t lose time once the process starts rolling.

Keep the Process Tight!

Make sure you know the interview timelines and communicate them clearly with candidates. I cannot stress this enough: set expectations and provide updates if the process is taking longer than anticipated. If someone interviews with you, assume they are interviewing with five other companies.

Target Passive Job Seekers Whenever Possible

Recruiting passive candidates (those who are not actively seeking a new role) is the most time-consuming aspect of talent acquisition. If you are able, search for qualified candidates on LinkedIn or Indeed and send messages to them telling them you’re impressed with their skills and ask if they’d be open to having a conversation. Because of the time commitment, this is where recruiters can really help. That’s what we do! But if you elect to do this, remember this process is ultimately a numbers game: you need to reach out to a sizeable number of candidates (usually 100-plus) to get a pool of a few to interview.

If You Find Someone You Love, Jump!

Don’t get hung up on the fear of “missing out” on other good candidates. Trust your instincts and move quickly on candidates you like! Remember, if you love them, there are likely several companies who also love them.

Be Competitive and Flexible Where You Can

If the job requires work to be done full time on-site, can you be flexible on working hours? If your health benefits are a little more expensive because you’re a small company, can you offer a few more off days or a little higher base salary? Consider paying for fringe benefits like Spotify or gym memberships. People want to feel valued, and signs of appreciation can be shown in many ways. Not everyone wants to be fully remote these days, but they all want flexibility in their lives outside of work.

There are other creative ways to find great candidates, including setting up apprenticeship-style training programs, being open-minded about what you can find versus what you can train, etc. Apprenticeships and job training may require a larger time commitment, but could be well worth your investment if it means you have skilled employees that will help you grow in the long run.

Recruiting can seem daunting, but if you set an action plan, create deliverable dates, and allocate the right resources and time it will be easier to fill your positions and get great talent on your team. Job postings only go so far these days. Having a strong plan of action is often the key to picking your next great hire.

Beth Rosenberger will be co-presenting a session on how to find and keep top talent at PICPA’s 2023 Insurance & Financial Institutions Conference on Nov. 29-30. Check out the full agenda and sign up today

Beth Rosenberger is president and founder of the recruiting firm Halsen Solutions LCC. She can be reached at beth@halsensolutions.com.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the PICPA's officers or members. The information contained herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For actionable advice, you must engage or consult with a qualified professional.

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