6 Ways to Adapt Hiring Practices to the Improving Job Market

As the economy improves, employers accustomed to a big selection of eager candidates will have to look harder for the right people.

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By John Boitnott

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In recent years, we've experienced an employer's market, as the economy has driven many skilled professionals back into the job market. One job posting could bring in a flood of resumes, leaving employers with the enviable problem of choosing from the best talent in the area.

As the unemployment rate creeps back down again, however, employers will likely return to a problem this generation hasn't experienced very much. Instead of posting an opening online and waiting for talented candidates to come to them, employers will be forced to search for the right job candidate. Here are a few key ways employers will change their marketing strategies in the new market.

Related: Hiring: Why the Most Skilled Candidate Isn't Always the Right Candidate

1. Professional recruiters. The information technology industry already realizes the many benefits of joining with a professional recruiter to find skilled talent in your area.

A good recruiter will not just post jobs for you and forward resumes. He'll also learn as much as possible about your organization and look for candidates who will fit with your corporate culture. This ensures you're choosing from applicants who are more likely to be a good fit for your team, which has proven to decrease turnover.

2. College career centers. In a job seeker's market, it's important for employers to be as proactive as possible. Some businesses have found that local campuses are a great source for entry-level employees. They are participating in job fairs and providing information on openings to be passed on to graduating seniors.

Many of these employees have likely participated in internships and summer jobs that give them experience that will translate well to the position you're filling. By working with your nearby higher learning institutions, you'll have the opportunity to snag a great employee before another company does.

3. Outsourcing. Thanks to the ability to connect with workers online, contractors and freelancers are becoming a more viable alternative to hiring staff.

As the market for full-timers shrinks, businesses have the option of sending work offsite or bringing a temporary employee onsite. This also gives growing businesses the ability to have someone complete work for a specific project without the long-term commitment a salaried employee brings. Outsourcing marketing tasks to a specialized in that type of work brings the benefit of their experience.

Related: Employers Benefit Most When Every Hiring Candidate Has a Good Experience

4. Interns. College students work hard to stock their resumes with experience in their chosen industry. Some college degree programs also provide class credit for doing an internship while students are in school, with those students often working for a low salary in exchange for those credits.

That provides a great opportunity for you to get an eager-to-learn employee who will handle your entry-level tasks in exchange for a reference. You may even find your next great employee through an internship program, which will save time since the employee will already be trained and familiar with your business.

5. Open-mindedness. When an employer is weeding through an inbox full of resumes, little things may serve as red flags.

You may see a three-month gap in employment as a reason to immediately rule out a candidate when you have 100 resumes to review. With only three responses to your ad, you'll likely take a deeper look. You may even bring an applicant in for an interview and find the perfect team member in someone who simply took a short break between jobs to find the perfect position.

6. Employment marketing. Marketing is an important part of any recruiting process. As the pool of qualified candidates who are looking dwindles, hiring managers must be more creative to attract attention.

Take the same thoughtful approach to creating a job ad as you would to your blog or social media posts. Jazz up the language to match the theme of your company culture, adding in humor if possible to show you're a fun place to work. Young professionals are more interested than ever in finding an innovative company that believes hard work doesn't mean you can't have fun.

Even in an employer's market, these tips can improve the quality of resumes you receive in response to a job posting. This proactive approach will ensure you're able to pick the best person for your team, rather than being left to select from those who happened to see your ad.

Related: 5 Reasons You Need Interns to Build Your Business

John Boitnott

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Journalist, Digital Media Consultant and Investor

John Boitnott is a longtime digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He's written for Venturebeat, USA Today and FastCompany.

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