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Ante Up: Tips for landing the best workers in Middle Tennessee’s competitive employment market



Unemployment levels well below 6% are both a blessing and a curse for Middle TN employers. More people are finding jobs (which is great for the economy), but that makes finding great employees more challenging than ever.

As talent pools in certain occupations dry up, it’s time for your business to “ante up.” Here are four things you can do to land the best workers in Middle Tennessee’s competitive employment market:

Pay a fair wage.

Determining the right salary or pay rate for a position can be tougher than it appears at first glance. On the one hand, you want to recruit the best people for the job and pay them adequately. On the other hand, your business can’t afford to pay somebody more than their job is actually worth to your organization. To estimate a position’s value, consider:

  • how much money the person could save your company;
  • how much it costs your company for the position to remain unfilled (i.e., the vacancy costs for the position);
  • how much the work done frees other employees to accomplish high-priority tasks.

In addition to this analysis, do your homework. Consult relevant (and recent) salary surveys for your available position and geographic area. Find out what competitors are paying for similar jobs, and be sure to factor in the availability of local talent. The tighter the market, the higher you’ll need to pay to attract the best candidates.

Shorten time-to-hire.

Research indicates that the job cycle has shortened from 25 weeks to 18. This means that the most highly qualified workers are on the job market for a substantially shorter period – and that your window for recruiting them is smaller than ever.

If your screening, interviewing and evaluation processes take too long, you could easily lose exceptional candidates to competitors. Minimize candidate drop-off by accelerating interviewing timetables. Consider combining first and second round interviews into a single event, or streamlining your post-interview decision-making. In short, do whatever you can to shorten your time-to-hire, without sacrificing quality.

Move beyond “humdrum” job descriptions.

The best candidates aren’t just looking for a job; they’re looking for an amazing job. In addition to covering the basics in your job postings, promote the upsides of the opportunity:

  • detail the culture benefits your organization offers;
  • explain the “WIIFM” – the reasons a candidate should leave his current position in favor of your opportunity;
  • outline the growth potential for the position, as well as other reasons the opportunity is exceptional.

Work with a qualified Hendersonville staffing firm.

As Middle Tennessee’s local employment experts, we have the resources and connections to deliver the area’s best workers – even in locations or positions experiencing talent shortages. Our staffing and placement services provide rapid, cost-effective access to the talented people you need. Facing a tough recruiting or staffing challenge? Give Wood a call.