Recruiting Report: Hiring Top Talent In An Employee’s Market

Currently, the Austin market is an employee’s market. Unemployment is low, which is great news for the economy, but makes it difficult for companies to find qualified people. Even with a slight increase from 3.3 to 3.5% from September 2015 to September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Austin is still 1.4% lower than the national average. To find superior talent, a job must be competitive and enticing. Once several candidates are identified, a hiring team needs to move quickly and be ready to catch that person they covet to complete a team or lead a project.

Since most of Austin’s technically savvy candidates have no trouble finding great work, discovering people who may be interested in a new position takes a skill set that is developed through years of knowledge and numerous tools that most Corporate HR teams may not have at their disposal. In order to address these issues, Luna Data Solutions (LDS) has adapted to better address the shifting Austin industries. As experts in the field of finding the right personnel fit for companies of various sizes and specialties, LDS suggests approaching these hiring dilemmas in the following ways.

Wish List vs. Must List

The job description is the first introduction a candidate is going to have to the position and your company. If the job is too demanding, you may get your perfect candidate, or you may inadvertently exclude the people for which you are searching.

In one recent case, LDS recruiters started work on a mid-level developer role. As our submitted candidates were repeatedly rejected, we dug in a bit deeper into the role and the project. Our recruiters worked with the client’s team and got down to what skills they were missing on their team. Our findings suggested that what the client required was a much more senior person. Once the job requirements were modified to better reflect what our client needed, we had much greater success at matching the right talent to the role.

Had we not known to look closer at the job requirements, it may have taken weeks to realize the issue was not the applicant pool or our screening process, but the job itself. Having that pinned down first is going to save your hiring team a tremendous amount of detective work.

Know Where to Look

Job posting sites are only a few viable places to find candidates. Social media is an excellent tool for identifying people looking for work, collecting feedback about what they like to see in a place of employment, or looking into groups specializing in the field for which you are hiring.

An employee’s market means that people are often not actively looking for work, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing candidates who might be interested in a change. Knowing where these people post those inquiries will save hiring managers or recruiters a great deal of time. Visit groups for the profession you’re seeking, join networking events where these individuals socialize. Think outside the box.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting—You’re Being Interviewed, Too

Once your dream applicants have been identified, setting up interviews is the next step. The level of commitment and organization you show in this step may have a significant impact on whether or not your offer letter is received with joy or ambivalence.

There have been times when LDS has found great candidates for a niche role, only to have a slow interview and hiring process result in a miss for both candidate and client. When a candidate is actively looking, it’s fair to expect that there are several viable roles available for this person.

In one such case, an ideal candidate was forwarded to a client for interview. The process took over a week for the first round, and by that time, the candidate was already fielding offers from other companies. By the time our client realized this was the perfect person for their role, the candidate politely bowed out of the process, having secured a competitive rate and position with another company.

Canceling an interview multiple times, forgetting about the appointment, or making your candidate wait for a response or feedback may result in a qualified candidate accepting a different role if the interview process suggests that one company will value their time and effort more than another.

Know Your Industry Rates

Recruiters need to know that asking about a candidate’s previous pay rates is no longer allowed in several states, and it is anticipated that this law will be here soon, as well. There are ways around the previous salary question, but the safest approach will be to know what the market dictates for pay rates on any given position. Is your offering competitive? Is the candidate asking for too much based on experience and the needs of the role?

LDS, acting as arbitrator between candidate and client, is often called upon to make salary or pay rate offers based on the client’s project budget and there are times we are forced to explain that for the qualifications and experience for which a client wants to hire, the pay rate needs to be modified to meet Austin market demands. Sometimes this is within the budget of a given project, and sometimes the job requirements need modification. Knowing which dial to move is the key to finding the right people who will enthusiastically join your company and team.

Adapt to Meet New Challenges

Luna Data Solutions (LDS), one of the most well established Austin-based technology recruiting firms, has diversified to offer specialized recruiting and consultative solutions to accommodate the evolving needs of our clients nationwide. We’ve watched as certain technology specializations have developed into vibrant industries of their own, and we’ve tried to meet that new complexity with clarity in approach and purpose.

Our two new practices focus on the exciting Creative and Marketing and Health Sciences domains. As a customer-first organization, we’ve seen the need for diversification and have met this growing demand with our new verticals, enabling us to continue to deliver the ‘Luna’ level of service we’ve provided since our founding in 2000. In addition to our concentration expansion, LDS is also in the process of opening offices in the Houston and Dallas markets in 2017 to advance talent and consultation services in those regions as well.

Visit the Luna Data Solutions website at for additional information on our selection of solutions or call our Austin office at 512-828-7906. As we grow to meet varied market demands, we strive to maintain a nimble, solutions-driven culture of excellent customer service and candidate care.