By Mike Kappel

As a small business owner, one of your responsibilities is finding employees to work for you. But, hiring authorities could be having a hard time recruiting highly-skilled employees. Why? We’re living in a candidate-driven market, meaning qualified workers are in high demand.

Recent trends in recruitment

Having been a business owner for over 30 years, I am familiar with the hiring process. One of my companies, Top Echelon, recently surveyed its customer base of over 5,000 recruiters to find out recent trends in recruitment. These trends reveal the challenges of finding and hiring talent.

Finding qualified employees

In the report, there were five dominant industries that recruiters were placing the most: manufacturing (17.2%), followed by information technology (12.8%), healthcare (10.3%), engineering (7.0%), and finally accounting/finance (6.6%).

These five industries counted for more than half of the placements reported. That means these industries need employees the most, which is great for workers with relevant skills.

The report also covered industries that were the most challenging for recruiters to make successful placements in. Recruiters had the hardest time placing candidates in information technology (18.3%), followed by engineering (11.4%), healthcare (11.0%), and manufacturing/industrial (10.6%) positions.

According to the report, industries that were hiring the most were more difficult to place. As a hiring manager, you might have some challenges searching and learning how to hire great employees in your industry.

Tips for sourcing candidates

It can be difficult to source candidates and get them to apply, but there are a couple of things you can do to attract top talent.

First, write an attractive job description. Do not be vague. Instead, say exactly what you are looking for in an employee. And, include a salary range to help draw in interested applicants.

Second, utilize the internet. Post job descriptions on your company website, social media accounts, and top job boards. Let people know you’re hiring. If you’re still having trouble finding qualified candidates, consider using a recruiter. A recruiter has a broad network of connections to find candidates who match your needs.

When the resumes start coming in, leverage the benefits of an applicant tracking system (ATS) by using it to quickly sort candidates by qualifications. That way, you don’t waste time trying to find candidates who most match the job description—your ATS does the work for you.

Getting candidates to accept job offers

When you find the candidate who meets all of your business’s needs, make them an attractive offer. Getting candidates to accept job offers can be tough in a candidates’ market.

There are many reasons a candidate might reject a job offer. Top Echelon’s report found the top three reasons for candidates rejecting job offers:

  • The salary was too low for the position (29.7%)
  • Other offers were better (24.5%)
  • Hiring managers took too long to make an offer (24.2%)

Qualified candidates are in high demand and they know their value. They have salary expectations and won’t wait too long for an offer.

Tips for reducing the number of rejected job offers

Understand that top candidates can be difficult to hire in certain industries and localities. Candidates don’t want to wait around for a job offer from you if they are receiving offers from other businesses.

Don’t drag your feet during the hiring process. The average hiring process takes 23 days to complete. If your hiring process is stretching into its third month, it might be going on too long. Would you be willing to wait three months for a job, or would you be looking at other businesses?

When you make a candidate a job offer, it needs to be fair and attractive. If funds are low at your small business, offer great employee benefits, like paid time off, casual dress code, flexible work schedules, and the option to work remotely.

Figure out what businesses in your area offer employees with similar jobs. You can use the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to compare wages before making a job offer to a candidate.

What these recruiting trends mean for hiring authorities

Understanding current trends in recruitment is important for anyone in charge of hiring. If you are having a difficult time finding highly-skilled candidates and getting them to accept job offers, you aren’t alone.

When top talent is sourced, hiring managers could lose out on making the placement because of low salary offers, fierce competition, and a slow hiring process. To reduce the risk of candidates rejecting the job, speed up the hiring process and offer competitive wages.

Mike Kappel is the CEO of Patriot Software.