The tight labor market in Central Ohio is a challenge for any business, but it’s even tougher when that’s your primary role. Acloché, a staffing company, has gotten creative at finding talent for its clients.
CEO Kimberly Shoemaker says it has become a daily conversation, and while she’s been through these cycles before — where there’s more job positions than people — this one has lasted a bit longer than others over her nearly two decades at Acloché.
“Our mission is connecting people to complementary teams, but recently we’ve been baffled, as are most people, with the very tight labor market. We’re regularly considering new and innovative ways to keep ourselves connected to that workforce in Central Ohio,” she says.
Strong job candidates have become savvier about the interview process. They look at all aspects of a company and have more control. Shoemaker says this means if applicants don’t feel connected to whatever potential employer they’re looking at or if they find the process too consuming or overwhelming, they simply move on to the next opportunity.
She says it’s a continual process, and sometimes managers have to consider how skills can transition to a new industry. Does a job candidate have the right attitude and core competencies, but can be trained on the skills?
Ease and simplification are crucial. Managers shouldn’t become complacent if they feel like they have the headcount they need because that can easily change.
Acloché also doesn’t become complacent with a challenge like remaining competitive and attracting the best talent.
Shoemaker says it requires continuously evaluating recruiting methods and applicant processes. The company obtains feedback, which comes from all parties, to make sure it’s not too cumbersome. Then, it’s a matter of making regular adjustments.
“It’s not uncommon for our entire leadership to be very hands-on, day to day, and working in our operations and working with the candidates and working with the clients to figure out how we can eliminate the red tape that we’re seeing when it comes to the disconnect between job candidates and open positions that are out there,” she says.
Shoemaker also believes it’s important to look at your rate of return. You cannot assume something is working, even if that’s what everyone is saying.
“If you’re investing money into some sort of technology platform, in order to look for employees, you really need to look at the rate of return as to what value is that bringing to your organization. We do that frequently,” she says.
Again, communication is important. While the Acloché team has daily discussions about what’s working, what isn’t and the gap analysis between open job positions and people looking for work, it recently went a step further.
Shoemaker says they brought the whole management team in for an afternoon town hall meeting on recruiting strategies. What worked in Marysville might not work in Lancaster or Delaware, but some best practices can be spread across the entire organization.