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The Talent Fix

Tips to Navigate a Tight Labor Market

By June 24, 2021No Comments

As of June 2021, many states have reopened, allowing businesses to operate at full, or near-full, capacity. Restaurants, travel, hospitality and entertainment companies are seeing surges of customers eager to escape the mandated lockdowns. While there’s no doubt this influx of consumers will give the economy a much-needed shot in the arm (pun intended), many businesses are having a difficult time staffing to keep up with demand. Further still, companies are suffering from labor shortages at all ends of the employee spectrum, including at the executive level. The competition for executive talent is particularly high, with executive turnover predicted to reach historic highs (a recent Bain report predicts CEO turnover to rise as high as 30% in 2022), as the “Great Resignation” takes hold.

So, with all this in mind, let’s look at some best practices you can employ to attract executive talent and fill those key positions at your company.

Be Transparent

Misunderstandings about salary requirements are the number one stumbling block during the recruitment process. It is extremely frustrating to the company and to the candidate to go through the entire interview process only to find out there is an unbridgeable gap between the compensation the candidate requires and how much a company is willing to pay. This can be difficult to navigate, as many candidates are reluctant to share their compensation requirements and many companies do not publicly publish their salary ranges. The lack of transparency from both parties can lead to wasted time and ultimately the loss of the best candidate. Our advice? Have the salary conversation early in the process. This will help you direct your focus toward qualified candidates you can afford to bring into the organization.

Offer Incentives

Many companies have had to not only raise wages but also offer incentives like rewards and unique benefits to secure qualified talent. Such incentives can include lucrative bonus plans and sign-on bonuses; flexible work arrangements, such as the ability to choose hours or to work from home; or other perks like top-tier healthcare plans. Marketing these incentives can also give you an edge over your competition and help drive more resumes from qualified candidates.

Implementing this strategy is important for recruiting entry-level and mid-management employees but is critical for recruiting executive-level talent. Remember: not only is the competition from other companies fierce but 70 percent of the workforce is made up of passive job seekers. These employees know they are valuable, and they get recruited for their skills, knowledge and experience. The pool of C-level talent is made up almost entirely of these individuals, so competitive pay and bonus structures paired with unique incentive plans are a must to attract high-caliber talent.

Culture, Culture, Culture

Cultivating and marketing a positive company culture is often thought of as a strategy to attract entry-level and mid-management employees. But culture should be an important focus of your executive recruiting strategy as well. Establishing your organization’s values and beliefs are not only core to the identity of the organization, but also reflect the beliefs and attitudes of the leadership team tasked to execute on those very expectations. It is imperative you set your executives up for success, and that begins with evaluating whether their values are in line with the company culture.

Adopt Technology

In addition to the pool of qualified candidates being smaller these days, the hiring timeline is also shortening, placing pressure on hiring managers to identify and onboard employees at a quicker clip. A recent McKinsey survey of 100 CEOs found that during of the pandemic, 95 percent of their companies changed their hiring processes. The most common adjustment is a move toward virtual interviews due to the heavy adoption of video conferencing platforms. Companies that have embraced this change have enjoyed the benefit of expediting an interview process that was traditionally reliant on face-to-face meetings.

Secure Expert Hiring Assistance

Companies need every advantage when trying to secure talent over their competition. One strategy is to secure an executive talent firm to lead the search. In general, but especially during a labor shortage, a good search firm can provide expertise in finding and securing quality employees, ultimately saving you time and money. You should be sure to choose your executive talent firm wisely. The firm should have experience in advertising, recruiting and screening for talent, but more importantly, the firm should also have experience hiring for the particular position for which your company is in need within your industry. When communicating with an executive talent firm, be upfront about your needs and provide as much information as possible about your business and the position for which you need recruiting services to help guide the search.

Be Prepared to Negotiate

It is costly to replace key employees, and quality candidates may come to the negotiating table with multiple offers in-hand. As such, there is frequently pressure to negotiate the offer. In addition to the sign-on bonuses discussed earlier, increases in base salary, extra-PTO, and opportunities to quickly advance within the organization are negotiation tools that you can utilize to help you get your candidate to “yes”.

An “All of the Above” Approach

Recruiting in today’s competitive market requires a multi-pronged strategy to engage and retain the best employees. Whether offering competitive compensation packages and perks, leaning into your company culture as a competitive differentiator, or embracing technology to streamline your hiring process, there are a lot of strategies you can embrace to ensure you rise above the competition. Additionally, engaging expert assistance to source executive talent is another tactic that can help elevate you in the eyes of a candidate, shorten the recruitment window, and ultimately help your bottom-line.

Michael Callam is president of Gertsburg Licata’s Talent and M&A advisory groups. He can be reached at [email protected] or (216) 573-6000 x7003.

Gertsburg Licata is a full-service, strategic growth firm, specializing in business law, M&A advisory and executive talent solutions for entrepreneurs and executives of start-up and middle-market enterprises. Our proven process ensures time and resources are dedicated to identifying the goals of your organization and how your executive talent needs align with that vision. Our expert recruiters partner with you to build your dream management team, securing the best talent to help drive value for your employees and customers. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you secure your next competitive advantage.

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