Navigating Benefits

Turning to Creative Recruitment in a Tight Labor Market


  • In order to attract talent in a tight labor market, it's important to offer a good health care plan, provide supplemental benefits and place a focus on employee wellness

  • Invest in current talent so you don't lose them—consider offering the ability to work remotely and use flexible hours



  • Offering volunteer opportunities that build meaning and purpose can also help attract quality applicants

Posted by December 5, 2019

For the first time in years, employers are once again facing a surplus of job openings and a shortage of applicants. This confirms the fact that creative recruitment efforts are vital in a tight labor market. Organizations need to find ways to stand out.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of available jobs has exceeded the number of unemployed U.S. workers. This means that if your company is looking to attract and recruit top talent on a budget, you’ll need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Here are some helpful tips for recruiting talent in times like these.

Get Creative With Your Efforts

Smaller businesses can’t always compete by simply offering higher compensation. In a tight labor market, organizations need to get creative. This means that you’ll need to look more closely at your benefits package and brainstorm what your company can do to stand out.

You might want to focus some of your recruiting efforts on different talent pools, such as military veterans, older job candidates and disabled applicants. For instance, you could develop relationships with career centers at nearby military bases, as they can send qualified candidates your way. You might also start utilizing social media more for recruiting, such as posting job opportunities on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn groups.

Offer a Good Health Care Plan and Supplemental Benefits

One thing your company can do to stand out is display a commitment to employees’ health. Some employers still require their staff to come to work while they’re sick or give them a hard time if they need to see the doctor. When the job market is tight, applicants may start seeking out organizations that will treat them right.

To account for this, offer a great health care package that has plenty of in-network doctors nearby. Make sure applicants know that your company values their health. This could include encouraging sick staff to stay home, giving time off for doctor appointments and subsidizing memberships to nearby gyms. You might also want to invest in a wellness program that offers benefits (such as lower premiums) if employees meet certain health goals.

You could go a step further and evaluate all the voluntary benefits your organization can offer, including a dental plan, vision plan and supplemental insurance packages like disability, cancer and illness plans. Unique benefits like pet insurance or farm share benefits can really help your company stand out.

You might also consider making your health benefits available right away—including for family members. Some businesses make new hires wait 30 to 90 days before certain benefits kick in. You can set your organization apart from the competition by offering benefits sooner.

Consider Flex Hours and Remote Opportunities

For some employees, flex hours and the ability to work remotely can be a real advantage that many larger companies simply don’t offer. Flex time is helpful for individuals who occasionally need to stay home with a sick relative, leave early to pick up a child from daycare or avoid rush hour on a long commute. Other employees might prefer a more long-term remote position so they can stay at home with their children or simply because they concentrate better in a quieter environment. Allowing opportunities like these might be more valuable than money to some applicants.

Invest in Your Current Talent

While a focus on recruiting new talent is crucial, you should invest in your current talent to help turn them into leaders. That means encouraging them to take part in training and development opportunities.

Fund their attendance for workshops and conferences that can make them even better in their fields—and show you appreciate their work by offering rewards, bonuses, pay raises and time off. It typically costs less to invest in the talent you have than to find and train brand new talent.

Offer Opportunities That Build Meaning and Purpose

Some employees want to make a difference in this world that goes beyond their jobs. Consider giving your staff an opportunity to volunteer in a purpose-driven project. You might, for example, inspire colleagues to join a Habitat for Humanity project or volunteer at a local animal shelter. You can give time off for these opportunities, or focus on a different nonprofit organization each month that your business will help. Let your team members help decide what organizations to focus on each year.

As you can see, creative recruitment ideas can really help your company stand out from the competition when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent in a tight labor market. You can also utilize employee turnover calculations to help predict when talent might leave and brainstorm ways to prevent it.

Interested in evaluating a few different benefits packages and weighing your options? Visit United Concordia Dental’s website to read up about the different Group Dental Insurance Plans on offer.

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