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Hiring Trends in 2017: Our Recruiters’ Predictions

It’s hard to believe we’re staring 2017 in the face. And with the unemployment rate in Texas remaining below 5 percent, it looks like it’s going to once again be a job candidate-driven market. To help you navigate the terrain, we asked our recruiters for help uncovering the recruiting and hiring trends that will likely affect Texas employers in the coming months.

Stiff Competition, Swift Hires

The job market has been in candidates’ favors for so long now, it seems cliché to point out how competitive it is for employers. But competitive it is, and competitive it will stay.

“I have had several candidates cancel interviews before even coming in because they were offered a job already and took it,” says The HT Group Staffing Specialist Kristen Cusick, who works primarily with temp and temp-to-hire candidates. “There is a lot of competition in Austin, and we tend to have to move very quickly on the candidates or otherwise they find other jobs.”

The story is similar for professional and technical jobs as well. Specifically, our recruiters point out hiring trends for positions in junior to mid-level software development, data analytics, marketing analytics, product management and UI/UX design with coding background.

“The need is there, competition is growing, and candidates are getting multiple job offers in these areas,” says The HT Group Technical Recruiter Jenn Gonzalez. “Clients who don’t get the ball rolling soon enough lose grip on these candidates and have to start their search over again.”

Even though hiring fast has risen to the top of employment trends, many employers are still trigger shy, points out The HT Group Executive Recruiter Chrystal Huth. “Every offer I help get, the candidates have accepted,” she says. “But I am having trouble with clients moving forward and making the offer.”

Companies are bringing in recruiters to help expedite hiring and reduce their time-to-hire, notes Huth’s colleague, The HT Group Executive Recruiter Michelle Hill. “I’ve seen companies move more towards hiring corporate recruiters in particular,” she adds.

To Relocate or Not to Relocate

This has been the question for several years now. Cities like Austin have benefited from attracting great employees who come for the lifestyle first and, therefore, don’t need relocation covered. But is that bubble bursting, especially when it comes to attracting technical talent?

Whether or not you cover relocation fees is half the battle when it comes to recruiting from out-of-state. Other trending factors could make relocating talent a battle for you in 2017. According to an Atlas Van Lines study, more than half of the reasons job candidates decline relocating for a job are outside an employer’s control, including:

  • Spouse’s/Partner’s employment: 55 percent
  • No desire to relocate: 41 percent
  • Housing/Mortgage concerns: 32 percent
  • Cost of living in new location: 29 percent
  • Job security concerns: 15 percent

Perhaps it’s for this reason employers will become even more divided on the issue. On the one hand says The HT Group Technical Recruiter Sharon Kelner, “The clients I work with really want us to look for local talent first. They feel the Austin pool is big enough to find someone here,” On the other hand, says The HT Group Technical Recruiter Suzie Jimenez, “My clients are totally open to relocating out-of-state talent and will even hire off a SKYPE interview.”

Culture and Perks Can Seal the Deal

With all else being equal, there are ways to attract top talent who jump through hoops to work with you and will wait for you to decide. Those ways center around company culture and perks.

“Company culture makes a huge difference for candidates, even if the pay is lower and the process takes longer,” says The HT Group Senior Staffing Manager Krystal Matthews. “Candidates will wait for a job with a company with good culture and perks.”

Gonzalez agrees, adding, “Tech professionals rely heavily on the opinions of their peers in the field and if they hear that management or culture is lacking, they’ll second guess their decision to make the move.”

Perks are highly valued and it can be tough to match some of the more competitive employers, says Jimenez. “Competition is fierce in Austin, in particular, and employers—especially the big guys like Amazon, Dell, Homeaway and BazaarVoice—offer sign-on bonuses, office perks, remote work, and 100 percent paid medical benefits for both employees and their families.”

But, if you are able to offer a great company culture and competitive benefits, not only can you increase recruiting success, but retention as well.  “Recently I’ve seen clients add perks like 401K matching, better benefits and more flex time/PTO to keep the talent they do have,” says Hill.

What hiring trends have you noticed lately? Have any caused you to pivot your regular recruiting strategy to stay competitive?


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