I have talked a lot about how regardless of our economy we are in a labour shortage – period. With business climbing back and companies looking to hire again (yay) they think – no problem, we’ll just throw an add up online and get lots of great people to choose from. So how is that working for you?
In my estimation there are really 4 waves of hiring and available staff coming out of a bad economy and in to a strengthening one.
Wave #1 is when you can throw your net in the water and get lots of good, qualified applicants. Unfortunately and obviously there were and are lots of good people out of work. But I do want to point out that every resume you received was not exactly what you were looking for either. The % of qualified candidates with the education and experience you were looking for that lived in the area where you were searching was still a small % of resumes you received.
Wave #2 is where we are now. Most of the people with exactly what you are looking for are of the market. People with good experience, good references and a good network go quickly – in fact they are the first to go off the market. So now the people who are still on the market don’t have the exact experience you are looking for, maybe not the exact education or training and probably not in your preferred search area. You may have to look at relo, more training and perhaps some specific education – costs are rising again! DO NOT fool yourself, this is the situation. If you continue to think that the market is flush with the perfect candidate for you at a bargain price – they are not! Now is the time to tighten up and perhaps enroll the services of some professionals to help you get the right people. I also want to stress that the market is not strong enough yet for people to jump ship from their current job and (in the words of ABBA) take a chance on you! That happens in wave 3! So pulling people from the jobs that have gotten them through the difficult economic time (even if they don’t like it or are under paid) is still difficult.
Next up Wave #3. This is the next phase in which the right people for you are gone and finding them is like a quest for a crazy hidden treasure with 50 other people. It is a race to the finish – or candidate and truly the best offer wins out. This is the phase where you will see more passive job seekers (already employed) jumping ship for opportunities they feel pay what they are worth or growth opportunities. Those perfect teams you have assembled at bargain prices consider it gone unless you take immediate and corrective action NOW!
Get ready for Wave #4. This is what happened in 2008 – chaos! Too much business, too few staff period, forget the right staff. This is the Wild Wild West stage. Bidding wars, over paying for average talent or warm bodies and away we go.
There is something I would like to clarify here as well. I have used the term the “right” candidate as even though there are some vey good people still out there, their experience may be niche or specific and hard to match. In no way am I intending to insult people having difficulty trying to find work or imply that anyone out there is not a good or qualified employee.