May 16, 2018 | 4
Minute Read

5 ways to recruit top talent during historically low unemployment rates

serious girl on computer

If I had a nickel for every time we were asked “do using personality tests make hiring more difficult,” I’d have a small fortune. Since this question is commonly asked by users of our products, we’ve decided to answer the question.

This question warrants clarification. We prefer the phrase “multivariate assessments” in place of personality tests. Our assessments measure multiple dimensions of an individual and are very specific in terms of the aspects of “personality” that are measured.

It is also critical to consider the environment in which multivariate assessments are used. We’re living and working in a fascinating time period where US national unemployment rates are at historical lows. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates hit all time lows of 3.9% in April of 2018. These lows make it challenging for employers to find an abundance of great talent because everyone who wants to be working is working.

Many business decision makers may feel compelled to hire someone - anyone - to fill a need. Using multivariate assessments will verify that your next hire is the best fit for the role and your company. So rather than make it harder, we believe that using assessments make the process much more predictable and effective for the hiring manager.

There are steps that businesses can take to make the hiring smoother - primarily by creating a pipeline bursting with top talent in the industry. We recommend these five ways to recruit top talent during any challenging economic time.

Promote your company’s core values

Just because someone may be currently employed, it doesn’t mean they can’t be more happily employed. Today, most employees are seeking a work/life balance, a place that allows them to best utilize their talents and a place that relates to what is most important to them.

A company’s core values are one of those triggers that can get a potential candidate’s attention because it speaks to a person’s heart and soul. If a person’s core values align with those of a particular company, then that person may be open to working for the new company, even if they weren’t actively participating in a job search. Money is money, but happiness can’t be bought. A company’s core values tie into how well a candidate may fit, long-term, with your company.

Design a job posting for the individual, not the role

Any forward-looking company needs to look at the big picture. When you are filling a position, you are not just filling a role; you are adding a person to your organization. What talent today wants to see is a job posting that speaks to them and considers their attributes beyond competencies.

Instead of writing a job posting singing the praises and goals of the position, sing the praises of the individual in your job posting. You can do so with three simple techniques:

  1. List out the key questions that a candidate will need to fulfill while working for you. For example, “Are you a self starter who loves to build processes and organizational systems?”
  2. State the skills that an individual will gain when working for your business. Businesses are experts at transferring those skills and talent today is actively seeking the growth that a role provides.
  3. Introduce the candidate to members of the team by linking to your team page or team members’ LinkedIn profiles. Doing so enables the candidates to get to know their teammates and potentially even reach out to them to ask questions about the role.

Use your current employees to attract new ones

The best resource for discovering a potential new team member is through current, productive team members. Productive people want to surround themselves with like-minded people who will also be productive. A person is not going to recommend a friend who they know is inherently lazy because that will reflect badly upon the current employee. If they are going to recruit anyone, it will be someone who can be an asset to the team.

Using your current staff to recruit new employees comes at little to no cost to the organization and, as far as guarantees are concerned, has a fairly high rate of success. Not only can one good employee lead to another, the original employee may be even more inspired to work effectively everyday knowing they have an ally working in the office nearby.

Don’t be afraid to use a professional recruiter

In today’s day and age of connectivity and relationships, there’s no reason to go it alone. Recruiters exist for the sole purpose of connecting employers with employees. These are the professionals - let them help you!

If you’re like me, you prefer not to do your own plumbing or electrical work. Instead, you outsource it to those who are skilled and certified in those fields. Why not take the same approach with hiring? You have a business to run, and chances are, that business is not in the recruiting field. Let the professionals bring you the best candidates so you can focus your time and energy on growing your business.

Benchmark the job and use assessments

So many times, companies act reactively when it comes to hiring. Someone quits or is relieved of their duties and a frantic search ensues. In this scenario, the necessary time is not taken to really analyze what the company should be looking for in the first place.

The best way to ensure hiring success is to create a job benchmark that sets parameters for minimum qualifications for a specific position. Take a look at what has worked in similar positions in the past and create a list of “must haves” and “like to haves” in order to set a profile for what qualifications candidates need to have.

Once the benchmark is set, the only way to accurately gauge candidate’s qualifications is through the use of assessments. These assessments measure a candidate’s own responses and produce reports that give a very accurate representation of this candidate. Assessments can measure any of the following: behaviors, drivers, emotional intelligence, competencies and acumen, to name some of the most common. By combining these various elements, a very clear picture can be painted about an individual that can indicate whether or not they will be a good fit for a specific job, based on the benchmark created.

An important note to remember about using assessments is to be sure you are using an assessment company that is EEOC compliant for the purpose of hiring. Without that compliance, your company could be subject to scrutiny from candidates that do not get hired if the assessments used can be considered biased in any way.


These times result in creative and innovative ways to find your top talent. Remember, the talent is out there. Being proactive, rather than reactive, is the first step in ensuring you hire the right candidates.

If you have the patience, discipline and a proactive plan of attack, you will not only find the perfect fit for your company this time, but you will create a method for consistently and regularly being able to attract the best talent to your organization.

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Candice Frazer