Solving Our Biggest 21st Century Hiring Issues


It would be difficult to argue that the world of hiring and recruiting has shifted dramatically since the turn of the 21st Century, impacted by such factors as a ‘gig/on-demand economy,’ burgeoning technology and the rising percentage of Gen Y employees rising up in the workforce.

Here’s a quick look at some of the most daunting issues faced by today’s companies and hiring managers, and some succinct strategies and suggestions on how to handle them.

Lack of Commitment. In an economy with plenty of start-ups and smaller businesses—and the growing proportion of Millennials in the workforce, many of whom prefer to do their own thing—there is a non-committal approach right now on both sides of the hiring fence. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for hiring managers, as many of the positions they’re looking to fill these days are often interim or contract-to-hire jobs and not full-time/permanent positions.     

But if commitment is what you’re seeking, pinpoint candidates with a history of sticking around at their jobs for more than a year or two, and be open to offering benefits that keep them around. For start-ups and growing businesses, another lure can be some equity in the company—which spurs loyalty as well as motivation to do their very best.

Remote Working Trends. More and more workers are seeking the freedom to work from a home office and it’s simply more difficult to find skilled talent willing to commute for the typical 9 to 5 job. One way to get past this obstacle is creating a workspace that people actually enjoy coming to, which might help a bit; but the reality is that being open to working with remote professionals is your best approach. The pluses of remote employees are too plentiful to cover here, but it clearly expands your pool of potential candidates for a job vacancy and can save money in terms of office/space expenses as well.

Minding Millennials. The rising number of Gen Y individuals—those born roughly between 1980 and 2000—isn’t a problem per se, but they do bring their own fresh set of positives and negatives to the professional workforce. While these are certainly generalities, on the plus side Gen Y’ers are usually techie, well-connected on social networks and confident in their abilities; more of a challenge to some employers can be their independent-mindedness and insistence on a strong work-life balance.

So when hiring Millennials, do your best to not micro-manage them, and try to respect the fact that they have lives outside of the workplace. And by being open to their fresh ideas, you might discover some effective new approaches to some old ways of doing business.

Skyrocketing Salaries. With unemployment on the downswing and potential job candidates in more of a ‘demand’ position, workers are in a better position to ask for higher salaries. While there isn’t always much companies in the need of top talent can do to combat this, there are a few ways to temper these salary demands. Many candidates might be open to a lesser salary, for example, with companies that are flexible about them telecommuting and/or working flex hours. Additionally, offering some company equity—previously mentioned as a way to spur commitment—can be an incentive for some professionals to lake less ‘upfront’ pay.

When all is said and done, companies willing to take a flexible approach with their hiring approaches and work practices—as well as how they compensate employees— are going to be rewarded with greater returns in today’s fluid hiring landscape.

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