Acquiring Talent – What do Job Seekers Want?

Oct 8, 2019 | Blog

What Job Seekers Want

One of the most challenging aspects of the current economy is the difficulty in finding key talent for your business. Unless you are a sole proprietorship, you need to be able to find the right talent to fill your jobs in order to grow your business. For the 17th straight month there are more job openings than job seekers in the U.S., and, barring a significant slowdown/recession, it is not likely to change anytime soon.

Over the next few blogs we will be sharing some helpful tips to keep you focused and get a leg up on your competition for talent.

For today, let’s start simple…Make sure you pay competitively

Easy enough, right? Well, it would be in a land where all businesses had unlimited resources (translation…$$$$). Hey, I also run my own business and know that resources are limited. Still, in a low supply/high demand environment money talks. Making sure you offer a competitive pay level is critical.

So, what is competitive pay? I have a great consulting answer here…it depends! Maybe you don’t want to be paying the most in your market, but you certainly don’t want to be paying at the bottom, either. The key is to find the right salary level for the talent your business needs. Remember, your goal shouldn’t be to just speed up the hiring process or increase your spend (if that is ever a goal!). It should be to make sure you are not settling for mediocre talent, as that is what you will get if your pay practice is mediocre. Make sure you have an ongoing process to assess how competitive your pay practices are in your market.

Now, on to Benefits. Short of Obamacare stabilizing or Medicare for All coming to fruition, the health benefits you offer are a critical part of your value proposition to job seekers. As the chart above shows, the #1 consideration outside of pay is better health, dental, and vision insurance. Mind you, this is no small offering, as it was just reported the average cost of Family coverage is now over $20,000 per year! Like salary, resist the budgetary urge to go cheap on benefits or expect employees to shoulder too much of the cost. While you may like the lower direct cost on your bottom line, the indirect cost of open positions and turnover could be more than you bargained for and impact your business results. The simple fact is that employees want and need quality benefits, and your offering is part of your value proposition. So, at a minimum, assess what you offer and make sure you are in the right competitive position.

Who knows? You may even get really radical and offer free or low cost benefits as part of your employment value proposition! (I know…I am getting ahead of myself).

Don’t forget…Your business depends on having the right talent, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Paying attention to salary and benefits is the first step to being sure you are able to attract and keep the talent your business requires.

Next up: Get Flexible – Leverage work from home and flexible scheduling to attract candidates.

Chris Thomas, SHRM-SCP is the Principal Consultant with The CTCS Group in Canton, GA. The CTCS Group is focused on providing HR Leadership, Behavioral Assessments, and Consulting to help small businesses grow and thrive. You can subscribe to this blog or request a free consultation at

Disclaimer: The information and recommendations provided in this document should not be considered legal advice and should not substitute for legal advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. Recommendations are provided based on good faith assessment and interpretation of the available legal and regulatory resources.

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