6 creative ways to find talent in today’s tight labor market

6 creative ways to find talent in today’s tight labor market

Companies have always understood that finding quality talent was difficult, and yet it seems impossible to find standout employees recently.

Job fill rates in the United States are staying put at 60%, causing massive issues with talent acquisition. You might be dealing with a talent search that’s not working or rising talent acquisition costs. But finding talent shouldn’t have to feel like a never-ending battle.

Most organizations are stuck in the past when it comes to sourcing talent. These tried and true methods like posting to general job boards and attending community networking events may not be as effective as they once were. While those methods may bring in candidates, they might not turn into employees or fill open positions as quickly as you’d like.

A recent study from OpenView Venture Partners has found that companies are seeing a 2x increase in the time it takes to hire new employees. Companies that use external recruiting help saw time-to-hire increase 91% from 68 days pre-2021 to 130 days. And if you’re using an internal team, hiring time has increased by 23%, from 77 days pre-2021 to 95 days. If you’re trying to backfill a position or give your team more help, you can’t afford to wait.

Winning the war for talent means you must rethink your process and utilize creative talent sourcing strategies to fill your job openings strategically. Here are six creative strategies to try out today.

1. Leverage Online Communities and Social Networks

Online networks are popular hangouts, and job seekers use these areas to find work. Your organization can connect with passionate employees on LinkedIn, Facebook and Slack groups, and Twitter threads.

For example, Fishbowl is an app dedicated to specific communities. There’s one community in Fishbowl called All Things MBB. Current and ex-MBB professionals join this community to connect and discuss industry news and best practices while also discussing new job opportunities and salaries. 

Communities also form around specific locations. If you have a job opening in a big city or state, you can likely find a Facebook group by searching for that location with the keywords jobs or help wanted. Groups like San Francisco Jobs are all over Facebook to help people find work in their area.

Lastly, you might look at special interest groups — particularly if you’re working on attracting more diverse candidates to your company. Facebook groups like Women In Marketing support women, but they can also be a great place to look for emerging talent.

2. Utilize Niche Job Boards

While job boards like Indeed have become a staple in the way companies recruit talent, it can be challenging to compete with companies with a bigger budget to sponsor job listings. It’s partly why some organizations struggle to get their listings seen. And if you have money to throw at your posting, you might be overwhelmed by the number of applicants you get (especially if they aren’t all qualified to apply).

Many companies are experimenting with niche job boards to combat issues with large job boards. Niche job boards revolve around a specific topic or job type. For example, you might want to work with a company like efinancialcareers for due-diligence and financial reporting roles or Energy Jobline list your energy-sector-specific opportunities.

These sites have spent years cultivating an audience of visitors who identify with their site’s mission and the types of jobs they post. Getting your new opening listed on a niche job site will narrow down your search by getting in front of talented people in a specific area.

3. Look to the Rapidly Growing Remote Workforce Platforms

There is more interest in remote roles than on-site roles for the first time. According to recent LinkedIn research, even though remote positions make up 20% of all paid job listings, they received 50% of all job applications.

Employees want to work remotely, so they’re turning to new sites to make that happen. Graphite is a platform that matches organizations to vetted independent experts. We can help you find subject matter experts who have done the work in roles like corporate strategy, market research, finance, technology, and more.

Many organizations are turning to platforms like Graphite to quickly address immediate needs, address skills gaps, gain greater access to top-tier talent, and accelerate speed to market. The best part? Our matching process speeds up time-to-hire — enabling you to start working with a vetted expert within 13.5 days.

4. Rework Roles for the Project-Based Economy

Companies need full-time employees to create structure and long-term success for a business, but engagements can and should consider short-term business growth. Companies often need employees or contractors who can boost company profits, create a product, or move the company along quickly. 

The point? Your next role might be a project-based one.

The project economy has become a large part of the business world, and the value of projects will grow from $12 trillion in 2017 to $20 trillion in 2027. As a result, projects will have a place in business success, and companies need to adopt them early.

You can hire an independent expert or an employee to handle a specific project, like launching a new product, facilitating a digital transformation initiative, or developing your go-to-market strategy.

5. Consider Candidates You Might Have Overlooked

Remember that candidate you may have looked over in the past? That person can be the one you need now. Companies often look for employees with specific domain expertise, but that’s not always possible in today’s tight labor market. Sometimes you need to focus on candidates who are a great culture fit and then focus on training to create a skill fit.

One of the most obvious ways to utilize this strategy is by recruiting an impacted group of people, like teachers. Teachers have been at the forefront of the Great Reshuffle because the pandemic has burnt teachers out, and lack of pay/upward mobility has made the idea of leaving easier for teachers.

Unfortunately, some teachers find it difficult to leave the profession because it can be challenging to transfer the skills they’ve learned in the classroom to sought-after positions. If your organization wants to recruit teachers, you need to make it easier for their transferable skills to shine.

The moral of the story is this: Your organization can easily teach the specific skills that are unique to your industry, like the specific software you utilize. Most employees will have to learn those skills, even if they’ve worked for a competitor.

6. Host Your Own Talent Search Event

One of the best ways to find talent and get involved in the community is to hold an event. Events allow you to meet potential talent and put a face to some of the resumes you’ve been looking at.

With the internet, it’s easier than ever to hold an event on Zoom. You can add breakout rooms with various professionals in your company’s HR department or a team that needs more employees. While Zoom isn’t always ideal for getting to know employees, virtual events are a must if you are hiring for remote roles.

If you plan to hire for hybrid or in-person roles, you can try holding an event at your office. For example, in 2020, Honeywell needed to add more sales professionals to their pipeline, so they hosted a happy hour at their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Planning an event can be tiring on your own. However, if you know relevant companies are hiring, you can try splitting the cost with a few other organizations. A joint event can be a great way to network and meet more candidates than you could at a solo event.

Finding Creative Talent Sourcing Strategies 

Companies struggling with finding talent today are not experiencing issues in a vacuum. While finding a job isn’t simple for employees, they have more tools than ever before to find a job that fits their needs. Thankfully, creative solutions will make sourcing talent easy for employers. It’s time to let go of legacy strategies that are expensive and hard to maintain. 

By mixing things up and using methods like leveraging online communities, reworking roles for the project economy, and hosting talent events, companies can get a leg up on the competition and win better talent.

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