Labor Day is summer’s last hurrah, one final three-day weekend before the 9-to-5 workforce straps in for the long slog to the winter holidays, with nothing but Columbus Day and Halloween candy to keep things moving.
But as human resources managers square away their affairs over the next two weeks leading up to fall 2017’s big debut, what are the chances they’ve forgotten one major loose end in need of tying off?
What are the chances that, while biting into a hot dog and lounging in a porch rocker, they will remember they have absolutely no plan in place for recruiting after Labor Day?
Labor Day recruitment: Why it really matters this year
Usually June, July and August are notoriously bad months to find talent. Usually.
But this summer is bucking the trend in a big way. According to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings increased by more than 461,000 in June, growing to 6.2 million. Reuters reported the jump in openings as the “highest level since the data series started in December 2000.”
Actual hiring rates during June, however, were about as predictably low as they’ve always been. No surprises there: It’s difficult to recruit effectively during vacation season. But come Labor Day, once potential candidates return from their beach trips or complete their summer internships, expect a massive recruitment push from all sides – including from your competitors.
Here’s what your company must do before Labor Day weekend if it wishes to hit the ground running once your team returns to the office on Tuesday, September 5:
1. Circle the wagons
Recruitment is cross-functional and should involve stakeholders from multiple departments, namely HR, finance and leaders from teams with employment gaps in need of filling.
Do not let the last weeks of summer poke holes in your attendance at these stakeholder meetings. Block off a chunk of time and stick with it. If your ideal representative cannot make it, find another who can. Of course, always discuss substitutions with upper management, but procrastinate and defer at your own peril.
2. Revisit your pitch
When you focus too tightly on what you want to take away from upcoming applicant interviews, you risk forgetting to give out anything of value. Remember that hiring goes two ways. You have to find the right candidates, but candidates have to find the right employer, too.
Pull a few current employees aside, especially those who work in positions similar or identical to the ones you’re trying to staff, and grill them (nicely) about why they love working for your business. Steer the conversation toward perks that aren’t part of the standard job interview repertoire.
3. Turbo-charge your follow-up
Let’s say you interview your ideal candidate the day after Labor Day. She possesses all the skills you need (and a few you didn’t know you needed). She’s smart as a whip and quick with a joke. And to top it all off, she’s career-oriented and looking for a long-term position. You must act now and fast.
Unfortunately, fast is not part of the typical hiring manager’s lexicon, according to a 2015 study from Glassdoor. From initial interview to job offer, the hiring process takes an average of 23 days. By the time you make your move, it’ll be October and your candidate will likely have been snatched up by a crosstown rival with a speedier decision-making process. As much planning as you put into your strategies leading up to your interviews, commit the same to after-interview execution.
Looking for more guidance on Labor Day recruitment? Contact the recruitment experts at EBC Associates to learn more about how we match candidates to top talent every day.
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