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Recruiting Pain? Here’s Why It Hurts – and What to Do About It


This headline, published by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TDLWD), is great news for Middle Tennessee’s economy.

But if you’re trying to recruit great people? Not so much.

The latest data from the TDLWD paints a stark picture of our state’s employment landscape: just 2 of our 95 counties have an unemployment rate above 6 percent (down from 8 counties at the same time last year).

Something’s up in our labor market, and it’s not just Middle Tennessee that’s feeling the recruiting pain. From coast to coast, employers are experiencing the same problem: despite recruiters’ best efforts, lots of jobs are remaining vacant because there’s seemingly nobody available to fill them.

If we’re not at full employment, we’re certainly close to it.

According to this Fortune.com post, “In recent months the U.S. unemployment rate has hovered at lows last seen before the Great Recession. The percentage of jobs waiting to be filled, meanwhile, is close to eight-year highs.”

The result? Work piles up. Voluntary turnover increases. And your business has to spend more time and money to find the talented people it needs.

What’s a savvy Middle TN employer to do?

Here are a few ways to alleviate your recruiting pains:

  • Be flexible about geography. Your business may face a shortage of locally available talent. But for some jobs, the solution is simple: telecommuting. Thanks to high internet speeds and a dizzying array of tech tools, telecommuting isn’t just possible; it’s a smart move for your business. Consider which available roles in your business might be suitable for telecommuting, as well as the cost and logistics involved in switching it from an in-office to a virtual role. If the numbers make sense for your organization, you can recruit from a much larger geographic area and exponentially increase your talent pool.
  • Hire a diamond in the rough. Instead of waiting weeks or months to find someone with all of the skills and experience you require, hiring a promising candidate with strong fundamentals, exceptional soft skills and a willingness to learn. When you hire an under-qualified candidate, you can train them to do the things they way you want them done. What’s more, an employee who is continually learning and growing with your organization is more likely to stay with you long-term.
  • Promote from within. If eminently qualified candidates aren’t available, create your own. Instead of funneling money into your recruiting efforts, invest in training and professional development programs to upskill your own employees.
  • Partner with a leading Middle Tennessee recruiting firm. With decades of experience recruiting the region’s finest talent, our Nashville employment agency can connect you with great people quickly and cost-effectively – even in today’s tight employment market. What can Wood do for you?