By: Sam Hoey | CRP, GMS

March 15, 2022

Recruiting In a Hot Job Market? Sweeten the Deal

From trucking to healthcare, many industries are having a hard time landing top talent for open jobs. Companies have difficulty filling positions regardless of the talent level in some industries, such as hospitality and foodservice. What is holding back companies from being able to hire the right candidate in a reasonable time? 

While pandemic and economic factors certainly play a factor in these difficulties, GMS recommends that you keep it simple and review what your HR department does from a recruiting and benefits standpoint. What can your company offer that other companies can’t? How do you prove to candidates that working at your company will improve their life professionally and personally? 

Sometimes, companies will offer high salaries for positions but end up with a candidate who is not qualified. Or worse, a candidate who works for the company for six months then moves on to another job that offers more. Obtaining and retaining good employees can be difficult for HR managers and recruiters. That’s why some companies provide enhanced incentives to new employees. 

Here are some ideas on how your company can hire and obtain talented candidates for positions at all levels:

1. Roll Out an Employee Referral Program

A simple idea, but giving your employees incentives to recruit for the company can go a long way. Your employees know better than anyone what type of person needs to fill the open seat. Rewarding your staff by giving bonuses or other financial incentives for bringing in a front-runner job candidate will pay dividends.

In many cases, these referral programs offer existing employees a pre-defined bonus if the employee refers an applicant who meets all criteria, is hired, and then stays with the company for a specified length of time. Ninety days of employment is the typical timeframe applied to these programs. However, with the current competitive hiring market, some companies are paying their employee referral bonuses after only 30 days of the new hire’s start date.

2. Temporarily Reduce Repayment Agreement Terms to One Year

Offering relocation policies to candidates is a great way to open up the talent pool for the open position. When you are able to field any applications from candidates located throughout the country, it gives your company much more opportunity to find the right employee as opposed to just interviewing local candidates. Keeping the job posting local shrinks the number of potential candidates. 

Oftentimes, when offering relocation packages to new hires, employers offer to cover the costs of the relocation if the employee stays with the company for a protracted period of time (generally 2-3 years). This arrangement is called a Repayment Agreement, whereby the employee is contractually obligated to repay a defined amount of the relocation costs that were covered on their behalf in the event they leave the company within the specified time period.

In a tight hiring market, many companies are temporarily reducing the terms of this agreement to as little as one year. This can be perceived as an added incentive for the employee, reducing their risk of paying back their relocation costs in the event they need to move on. However, this represents added risk and exposure to the employer.

3. Increase Allowances to Encourage Candidates to Consider Relocation

Miscellaneous Expense Allowances (MEAs) are a pool of money a company will offer an employee above and beyond the benefits, the employer has committed to directly covering (such as household goods transportation costs.) The MEA can be used by the employee to cover relocation costs that might not be covered under the policy, but qualify for use. For example, the employee’s relocation policy might not specifically call out pet transportation as a covered benefit. Employees can utilize their MEA to help cover the cost of transportation for their dog or cat, reducing their personal financial burden.

The specific MEA benefit level and its allowable use can be different from company to company and policy to policy. However, increasing the amount offered in the MEA can be a powerful incentive for job candidates who might be on the fence about relocating for the position.

4. Review and Approve Relocation Policy Exceptions Upfront

In the negotiation stage of hiring, it is always important to be upfront and crystal clear about what benefits are contained within your relocation policies. Make sure the employee knows what is covered, how they can utilize relocation policies, and why they should take advantage of each benefit. The last thing you want is to send an offer letter out only to have it rejected. 

Occasionally, the benefits provided by your relocation package may not meet the needs of a candidate and their family, potentially derailing the hiring process. In these cases, policy exceptions can be used to provide additional and targeted relocation support to the candidate. For example, consider increasing the number of days of temporary housing coverage to accommodate an employee without a place to live due to the current hot real estate market. As homes are selling quickly, intense competition in purchasing a new home can drag out how long an employee needs accommodations.

5. Formalize A Sign-On Bonus Structure

Sign-on bonuses are an easy way to hire in a hurry. Offering a set amount of money to be paid to the new employee after a certain amount of days on the job can be a powerful hiring incentive. In industries that are desperate for talent, these sign-on bonuses can be as high as $5,000 to $10,000. The amount of the bonus should depend on the employee’s experience and the urgency for filling the open position. 

6. Offer Retention Bonuses To Obtain and Keep Top Talent

Having retention or goal-based bonus structures for new hires can be a great way to keep good talent around. After an employee is hired, give them a list of obtainable goals for them to meet in their first 30-120 days. If all goals are met, the employee should be eligible for the bonus. Programs like this do two things: first off, they keep the employee motivated and focused on meeting marks. Second, it is a great recruiting weapon. Advertising to potential employees that they can get bonuses for aspects of their job can entice some great candidates to be willing to leave their current job to work for you.

GMS Knows Hiring Can Be Hard. Let Us Help!

Global Mobility Solutions (GMS) has been a workforce mobility leader since 1987. We help companies create and update relocation policies for employees, offer outstanding recruiter services, and develop innovative resources for HR managers. We want to help your company get the right people in the right seats quickly and easily. Contact us today to set up a consultation call with one of our talent mobility experts. We will listen to all of your wants and needs, then help you put together the best global mobility plan possible.

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Senior Vice President, Global Account Management Sam joined Global Mobility Solutions in 1996 and has a unique perspective with her 25 years of industry experience. Samantha offers her clients relocation expertise and a commitment to excellence in her. Her proficiency in orchestrating the BVO and GPO Programs, as well as relocation policy design and implementation, are invaluable assets to the accounts she manages. Her experience in administering Pre-Decision Relocation services to enhance the recruiting process further demonstrates her unique abilities to service her clients. Samantha’s diverse experience, leadership, and outstanding communication skills enable her to manage the relocation process for her clients with finesse and polished professionalism.

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