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Tips on Attracting Top Skilled Labor Talent

News and insights for job seekers and hiring managers.

Tips on Attracting Top Skilled Labor Talent

It’s no secret that it can be extremely difficult to source and hire great talent in the current competitive skilled labor markets. 

You need to be confident that you’re hiring the best people. Your entire workforce should consist of staff and employees who help make your company more successful. So how do you build that “perfect” workforce? 

At Top Notch Personnel we help you strategically navigate the talent markets in the Witchita, KS region. We’ll help you find the best skilled labor talent available. We focus on companies just like yours, and we take every hiring client’s job search, or searches, personally. We want to understand your hiring needs completely before we even start our search process. Call one of our recruiting professionals at 316-425-4501, or get in touch online today!   

It’s all about finding workers that are highly skilled and highly motivated. And if you’re running a human resources or hiring team, the entire team will have to have an excellent grasp of what it takes to hire the best people. 

It really comes down to a simple work-to-workforce equation. 

In the current labor market, that equation is slanted in favor of the candidate. There are just not enough job applicants to fill all of the open positions that employers currently have. According to CNBC:

“More than 9.5 million Americans were unemployed and looking for work in June, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. At the same time, job openings in this country hit 9.2 million, a new record high. Statistically, there is an open job for every person looking for one. But even as employers signal that they are ready and willing to hire, they are having trouble finding workers ready and able to fill the jobs.

In its most recent Beige Book report, the Federal Reserve said labor demand was broad-based, but nine out of its 12 districts reported only slight or modest job gains over the past six weeks. ‘Labor shortages were often cited as a reason firms could not staff at desired levels,’ according to the report, which is an anecdotal survey of businesses around the country.”

That’s an eye-opening statistic for sure. So what’s the bottom line? Hiring professionals of all stripes have to be effective with the sourcing, screening, interviewing, and hiring processes.

In this post, we’ll drill down into several key aspects of effective, successful hiring practices in this hyper-competitive skilled labor market:

  • Being Knowledgeable In your Industry, the Workforce, and Competitors 
  • Screening Candidates Properly
  • Promoting a Solid, Welcoming Corporate Brand and Culture 
  • Leveraging Local Partnerships and Training Programs
  • Bonus Tip! 

Let‘s start close to home.

Be knowledgeable about your industry, the workforce, and competitive job offerings. 

You will need to know what types of compensation and benefits other companies in your industry are offering skilled laborers and tradesmen in order to be competitive.

This starts with a keen understanding of who, and what, you’re looking for in your new employee.

You need super-accurate job descriptions.

Hiring teams and HR professionals must have accurate job descriptions so they can attract, source, and hire the best candidates for their companies. This includes hard skills, certifications, and experience. It also includes soft skills and a “Plan B”, which we’ll touch on later in the post.   

Bad hires are expensive. When an employee leaves within the first year, for any reason, it can cost you anywhere from 25%-100% of their salary to replace them. You want to get the job description right. You also want to make sure you’re reaching the entire addressable talent pool.

Don’t freeze out qualified candidates, especially women! Women were hit the hardest by unemployment during the pandemic. Women’s unemployment has also been slower to recover than men’s.    

There are great female candidates out there ready to pursue careers in manufacturing and skilled labor jobs. 

Bear in mind that women are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet 100% of the posted requirements, while men will apply if they meet 60%. This is according to Harvard Business Review, and it reinforces the need for meticulous candidate screening. 

Always have a “Plan B.” If you can’t find the perfect candidate that meets all of your stringent requirements, are you willing to hire and train? You and your hiring team should have contingencies like this on your internal job description. 

Be ready to screen every candidate through the lens of a long-term, productive, cultural fit who adds value to your company.

Have an employee referral program and encourage current employees to apply for jobs.

This type of program is a great way for employees to help recruit and hire talented people from within your company’s skilled labor ranks. It’s also an excellent low-cost method to reach outside of your organization through the personal networks of your employees.  

Your employees know the company culture and environment better than anyone else.  They also have unique and personal insights into what their friends might enjoy about working for your company. An employee referral program can be a great way to increase your applicant pool with qualified candidates.

Offer competitive salary and benefits packages, including work-lifestyle benefits.

Put together a matrix of what your offer packages need to look like to be competitive. First, consider direct employee compensation or salary. Then promote your brand, culture, and flexible benefits in addition to salary. 

Work-life balance benefits can also be super-important. These benefits include everything from flexible work schedules to remote work options, PTO, family and maternity leave options, and more. They can affect the mental and physical health of your employees. You need to explain the work-life balance and cultural benefits that your company provides in detail.  

These soft benefits can be deal makers when competing for job seekers in the current competitive labor market. 

Also, consider the near, mid, and long-term career opportunities that your company provides for employees. Are there ample opportunities for advancement, promotion, personal challenge, and increased compensation? If the answer is no, you may need to reevaluate. Direct-hire candidates are almost always looking for great long-term employment benefits and opportunities to advance.

Make sure you’re screening candidates properly.

Make sure you’re screening the hard and soft skills of every prospective new hire in the context of your job description.

Candidates need to be evaluated and screened within the guidelines of your hiring team’s job description.  You need a full assessment of every candidate’s skills and personality. This will let you know what a candidate’s capabilities are on the job, and also if they’ll be a good fit in your organization’s culture.

Resume screening is an important part of the process.

Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) tools can be extremely useful, but they’re not the end-all solution. A strategic partner who knows the local markets, the candidates, and who understands the hiring process and the hiring company’s job search, can be an invaluable tool.

Virtual and in-person screening can be used effectively for hard and soft skill evaluation as well as cultural fit assessments. Remember, using every tool available will reduce your time-to-hire and help ensure that you get the right candidate for the long term.  

Make sure to ask behavioral questions during the interview.

These are the questions that interviewers can borrow from the field of behavioral psychology to gauge a candidate’s personality and competencies. We recommend getting familiar with the STAR method to see how candidates might typically respond to behavioral interview and screening questions.

Behavioral assessments are important, especially in the context of your job description and requirements. Will the new hire be working in a leadership role or primarily by themselves? Will they be interacting regularly with clients or internal management? 

These types of questions can help to shape the number and type of behavioral questions to use in the screening process. 

Establish a welcoming and diverse company culture. 

Statistics show that your company is going to be much more productive and employee retention rates will improve significantly with a more diverse workforce. That’s according to Glassdoor, and it’s music to the ears of HR professionals!

Partner with local trade schools and offer in-house training programs. 

Manufacturing companies need to provide more training opportunities, especially for women.

According to online trade group Women In Manufacturing:

“Did you know?! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, In FY 2019 there were 25,645 active female apprentices and 256,850 male apprentices. A Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is a proven model of apprenticeship that has been validated by the U.S. Department of Labor or a State Apprenticeship Agency. RAPs give employers the ability to access a diverse pool of talented potential employees who are prepared to step into entry-level management positions through obtaining paid-work experience, classroom instruction, and nationally recognized qualifications.”

Companies are working with trade unions and local trade schools to attract more women into early training programs and apprenticeships. This is a good start, but more work needs to be done. 

Manufacturing companies also have to make sure that they are making certification programs available to their female workforce and encouraging women to take advantage of these programs. More diversity means a significantly larger talent pool!  

So what’s the bonus tip we promised? 

How about a no-obligation, 30-minute call to discuss your hiring needs? At Top Notch we understand the Witchita and overall Kansas markets better than any other recruiting firm. 

There are skilled labor professionals available in the Witchita region right now. That perfect candidate might be out there right now, waiting to fill your staffing or direct-hire needs. 

Top Notch Personnel is the premier staffing and recruitment agency in Wichita, KS. Serving the aircraft, construction, manufacturing, janitorial, and call center industries, our team puts great people to work at great companies like yours. Service excellence, accuracy, speed, and integrity are the hallmarks of our service.

Don’t settle for less than Top Notch.

Top Notch Personnel is laser-focused on delivering consistent, accurate, and timely hiring solutions for our client’s staffing and recruiting needs. We know that every business is unique. With that uniqueness in mind, we tailor every service to the specific needs, goals, and challenges of our individual clients. 

Our recruiting and staffing services are designed to save time and deliver bottom-line results. We commit to understanding your business operations first. This enables us to provide optimized searches for your labor and staffing needs. We provide these outcomes faster and with more accuracy than anyone else in the industry.

At Top Notch Personnel, you’ll be treated as a unique client with unique requirements. When you call our recruiters and staffing experts, they’ll know who you are and exactly what you need.

Are you a hiring manager or human resources professional with a job search, or multiple searches, underway? 

We’re here to help. Once we understand your recruiting and staffing goals, we’ll start connecting you with the right candidates, right away. 

At Top Notch Personnel, we help clients just like you find that perfect candidate every day!

Call us today at 316-425-4501, or get in touch online. Our expert recruiters are waiting for your call.

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