The heat is on

As the economy heats up and the demand for labor increases, now is a good time to examine hiring practices. The employment market is undergoing a major change as employers seek to hire candidates at all levels across the various functions within an organization.

The reasons are numerous. They could have they been running a lean organization and now need to increase headcount due to a demand for their goods or services. They may see changes in their markets and want to be prepared. Or, the employer simply may be reacting late and trying to play catch-up.

This is where we are at with this economy. So where are you?


Permanent hire or temporary employee?

During the late 1990s, when the demand for labor was high and five-figure sign-on bonuses were common, did an organization need to make all of those hires permanent or should it have used temporary employees?

You would have paid above-market value for this talent, but with the costs for hiring permanent employees on the rise, it would have been wiser to use temporary employees, allowing your organization to remain nimble and making it easy to shed costs quickly.

Today, when you’re looking to hire, ask yourself whether you need temporary or permanent employees. Is the talent needed for the long run or for a nine-month project? Should you limit your exposure by utilizing a temp-to-perm option? Consider all these questions before hiring a new employee.


Know what you need

After determining the type of candidate you are seeking and establishing a job specification, act decisively. As the labor market’s demand increases, your sense of urgency during the hiring process should match the increase step for step.

The last two or three years have permitted employers to be selective. They have been able to take their time, interview multiple candidates and invite them back for a third or fourth interview. But those days are gone.

Know who you want and act quickly. There is competition now for talent, and you must be prepared. If you hesitate or are caught in a situation where your hiring team is not on the same page, you stand to lose out on an individual who has the capacity to make a difference in your organization. And losing this person could be the difference between success and failure.


Get them started

Another way to lose a candidate is to not pay close attention to the start date. Once you have acted decisively and hired the candidate you desire, get the hire on board as soon as possible.

If the new hire is employed elsewhere, he or she should start within two weeks at the most. If the person was unemployed, one to two days should be sufficient. Once a candidate has accepted an offer, he or she has nothing to lose by interviewing or checking out another opportunity.

A lot can happen in a short period of time in this market. By having a candidate start sooner rather than later, an organization will get the new hire’s mind off the job market and focused on the new position.


The time is now

The economy is accelerating. The reality is that many organizations should have made a strategic decision last year to hire qualified candidates. If an organization had done this, it would have top talent in position, trained and poised to contribute at a high level to an organization’s success.

But many organizations did not hire qualified candidates last year, as they should have. Now is the time to act decisively to put the right people in place. Shawn Fier is vice president of operations for Systems Research Inc. Reach him at (847) 585-8806 or [email protected]