Someone on their phone completing a job application in a tight labor market

How to Attract Applicants in a Tight Labor Market

How to Attract Applicants in a Tight Labor Market 1200 600 Sprockets

We’ve all read the headlines about low unemployment and how available jobs outnumber job seekers. However, this isn’t a reason to give up hope in your recruiting process. People are still willing to change jobs and there are untapped portions of the labor market. Read on to hear our tips on attracting applicants in a tight labor market.


Work-Life Balance

What people crave is work-life balance. Getting to spend time with their family, watching Netflix after work, having time to go to the gym. Offering flexible scheduling and hours that fit what the employee needs can set your business apart from others that are hiring. In your job ads, be sure to include which shifts you are hiring for and whether they are flexible!

Competitive Pay + Benefits

Those in the hourly workforce crave stability and a fair wage. A 50 cent/hour difference in pay may be the difference in choosing where to work. By offering competitive wages for your area – and advertising them –  your business will stand out.

If you can’t manage to offer the increased wage to all new employees, consider outlining when and how a pay increase can be obtained. By giving people something to work towards, they begin seeing a future with the company and may be willing to accept a lower starting pay in exchange for long term gains.


Growth Opportunities

What might surprise hiring managers is that applicants for hourly positions often want more than just a job. While it’s true that those ages 16-24 are often seeking a temporary position, those beyond that age range seek more. Applicants ages 25-34 seek a career path. Those who are 35+ want a long term job. By advertising on job descriptions what the potential career pathways are for an entry-level position, you are more likely to attract quality applicants.


Faster Time to Hire

The average time to hire for restaurants is 27 days, retail is 33 days. Most applicants are looking for a job ASAP. By speeding up your time to hire, you are more likely to get applicants to say yes to you before getting an offer elsewhere.

A few tactics to speed up time to hire are pre-hire assessments, which quickly weed out bad candidates, allowing you to immediately contact those who are recognized as a good fit. Another emerging tactic is utilizing text messaging to schedule interviews, so you don’t waste time playing telephone tag.


Go Beyond Job Boards

While the common job boards like Indeed, Snag, Monster, and ZipRecruiter are essentials to where job openings should be posted, it’s also important to get creative.

There are untapped sections of the labor market who are willing to work but are often overlooked. One of the largest is the aging population. Oftentimes they want to work, but are looked over in favor of younger workers who may be around longer. But, the aging population are good, hard-working people. By expanding beyond job boards and back into newspapers, senior centers, and community centers, you may attract an unlikely applicant pool.