One of the Top Undervalued Strengths in a Company: Kindness

The job market is – possibly – slowing. (Although some economists describe the current. U.S. labor market is “still ...

The job market is – possibly – slowing. (Although some economists describe the current. U.S. labor market is “still chugging along,’ as it added 253,000 jobs in April.)

While we’re still at a low unemployment rate (3.4 percent as of the April jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics), there now are 1.7 jobs for every job candidate. And, while that doesn’t sound bad it’s definitely not the 2.0 jobs for every candidate right before the start of the pandemic, when the job market was considered to highly favor job seekers, rather than employers. (And we’re not even talking about the number of job openings later in 2020 and 2021 when many people quit their then-current job during the “Great Resignation.)

Yet if the job market slows for job candidates – which it will…someday, if not soon – chances are great that employers will, once again, have the upper hand when it comes to hiring.

Which often means companies may treat their employees/candidates with less respect.

This is human nature: we tend to appreciate/want things more when they are scarce.

Yet when we feel things are plentiful and should remain that way for the foreseeable future, we can take them for granted, not work as hard to acquire them and pay less attention to them/take less care of them.

Human nature or not, taking candidates/employees for granted during a job market downturn is inadvisable.

Here’s why from a business standpoint:

Candidates remember – and remember well – how a company treated them when they applied for a position.

Treat them poorly when candidates are plentiful and they will ignore you when candidates are scarce.

Even those you hire also will remember how you treated them when they were moving through the application process:

  • Did you acknowledge every candidate’s application?
  • Did you let them know if they wouldn’t be considered for the position as soon you as ascertained that?
  • When you interviewed candidates, were you flexible as to the time or even the day of the week? (Some candidates can only interview after work hours or on their days off)?
  • If you told candidates you’d make a hiring decision in X days or weeks, did you let them know your decision in X days or weeks? (Or did you at least let them know your decision was delayed?)
  • Did you stay in touch with interviewed candidates over time? After all, if you interviewed someone, they probably had some qualities/skills which were attractive. They could become employees for another position in the future.

As for those candidates you hire during a downturn?

  • Did you provide them with information about their first day of work before their first day of work?
  • Did you give them onboarding forms before their first day?
  • Send them company swag?
  • Set up their email, Slack, phone, get them a company laptop (as applicable) before their first day?
  • Did you introduce them to their teammates before their first day (if remote workers) and on their first day (if in office workers)?

Our point: showing great consideration for all candidates and new hires goes a long way to helping you find great people not only when the market turns toward candidates, but also when you need to hire quickly, no matter if the job market favors employers or candidates.

Treating all candidates with kindness also increases retention of those you do hire because companies with high employee engagement have low turnover rates.

Some strategies to improve your turnover rates:

  • Offer competitive pay rates and benefits.
  • Foster a positive workplace environment, one that provides opportunities for leadership development, career development, new skills training, mentoring, etc.
  • Consider offering flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, on-site childcare, tuition reimbursement, etc.
  • Recognize and reward employee achievements.
  • Provide regular – and back-and-forth – communication between management and the workforce, as well as between managers and their team members.
  • Promote work-life balance. Tools in this regard can be the opportunity to work remotely (at least a few days a week), offer sabbaticals, and – of course! – generous PTO.

Being kind to candidates and employees especially is critical during this IT talent shortage.

The overall job market may be slowing, but as we wrote in a previous blog post, IT professionals are hard to come by.

Treating your tech candidates extremely well during and after the hiring process is absolutely critical if you want to attract, hire and retain them.

Dexian can help. Whether you need high-level tech, financial or professional staffing and recruiting services for short-/long-term projects, direct-hire or temporary assignments, learn more about our services.