Amidst a tight job market, companies struggle to easily identify good candidates and strategically build successful teams.

Insights & Resources

Where Are All the Good Candidates? How to Build a Team in a Tight Market

Amidst a tight job market, companies struggle to easily identify good candidates and strategically build successful teams.

Editor’s Note: It is difficult to believe that this blog on the tight job market was posted March 18, 2020. Please read this blog as a historical marker, demonstrating just how quickly the U.S. job market has unraveled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Amidst one of the tightest job markets in decades, companies struggle to easily identify good candidates and strategically build successful teams.

Do not be discouraged. Quality talent is in the market, hiding in plain sight. But they’re not necessarily visible because they’re happily employed and not looking to make a move—not yet, at least. Good candidates need to be intentionally identified, persistently pursued and effectively persuaded to make a change.

How to Secure Good Candidates

Here are a few pointers on how to build your ideal team in today’s market.

Know + Communicate Your Company’s Direction

First, you must determine internally what is unique about your company’s strategic vision. With so much hiring competition, companies that stand out are the ones who make a compelling argument for why they’re built for success.

Once that’s in place, spread the word. Communicate your firm’s story well via a modern and eye-catching website as well as using social media platforms, like LinkedIn.

Keep in mind, a company’s greatest resource in communicating a corporate vision can often be its employees, who can share examples and other tangible evidence of what differentiates their company from others in the industry.

Establish Plan to Weather Industry Change

Have you considered how your firm will prosper in a changing retail real estate industry? Or how your team adapts to cyclical activity? Answer these questions to identify the professional roles necessary to be well-positioned during change and beyond. Being strategic now enables your firm to be nimble, creative and energetic in the future.

Nurture Positive Workplace Culture

If you promote a positive workplace culture, it shows. Offering attractive benefits, ancillary perks, market (and even slightly above-market) financial compensation, workplace flexibility and professional growth opportunities all rank high with prospective employees.

Other ways to foster positive workplace culture include:

  • seeking the right people, ones with a track record of success and longevity
  • consistently walking your corporate culture talk, i.e. be who you say you are
  • implementing a “give-to-grow” approach allowing top talent to invest in deals
  • empowering your team by inviting their insight, to generate value and buy-in

Consider a Candidate’s Perspective

By putting yourself in a candidate’s shoes, you can be proactive in preparing responses to questions he or she may ask, including how will this firm impact my career growth and trajectory? Will this new position allow me to not only support myself and my family, but also to build long-term wealth? Will my skill set be utilized and sharpened in this new role? Candidates will be attracted to companies who deliver thoughtful answers to questions like these.

Implement Team Building Best Practices

To attract those quality applicants, your team building processes need to be on point. Here’s some suggestions to ensure your firm is positioned for success:

  • draft and distribute specific job descriptions
  • include job boards, LinkedIn, industry recruiter and word-of-mouth in a strategic recruiting plan
  • engage an industry-specific recruiter to attract qualified candidates and filter résumés
  • stay focused on current talent search to avoid reputation-damaging delays (just like the adage “time kills deals,” time also kills in the war for talent)
  • position HR professionals to handle traditional HR functions and manage your existing human capital
  • be considerate by responding to candidates with timely feedback (or at a minimum, a short note explaining any delay) throughout the process
  • set a goal of 90 – 120 days to execute an expeditious search and hire process

Advocacy Matters

To put you a step ahead in the current labor market, realize the value of advocacy. A third-party advocate brings credibility to the recruiting process, delivers nationwide access to top talent and identifies the best candidates. Advocates also seek out passive candidates, those not actively looking, and help them explore alternate, potentially better, career opportunities.

Building an Ideal Team Is Possible

Even with a tight job market, you can attract quality candidates. Follow these guidelines, clarifying for prospects your company’s vision, plan for change and positive culture. Then, implement effective team building practices by considering the candidate’s perspectives, implementing efficient processes and securing an advocate.

Before long, your company will secure desirable new employees who add vision and value and this will, in turn, create a virtuous cycle of being able to attain growth through building a best-in-class team.