Hiring in a Competitive Environment: 3 Expert Tips for Employers

March 23, 2022

Written by Stacy Johnston, EFund Expert Network provider & Founder of Audacity HR

Recent labor market reporting shows a low unemployment rate of 3.8% and near-record levels of job openings across the U.S.[efn_note]Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, February 2022 data[/efn_note] Employers are scrambling to recruit and hire talented, hard-working employees. This article covers three tips for hiring in this competitive market.


My first tip focuses on building relationships. As an employer, it is critical to follow up with job seekers and candidates at every step of the hiring process. It not only builds relationships, it also creates a positive vibe and positive reputation for your organization. As an applicant, there is nothing more frustrating than having your application disappear into the hiring black hole. As an employer, providing a reply is not only common courtesy… it’s a smart business move. 

Employers are feeling the frustration of “being ghosted” (a phenomenon that describes when a candidate fails to show up for a scheduled interview, a new hire that doesn’t show up on the first day of work, employees that quit without notice, etc.). While you may not be able to eliminate it entirely, tips to reduce this frustration include frequent communication with applicants and timely follow-up. 

Solutions for staying on top of applications, following up with candidates, and building relationships will depend on the size of your organization. Larger employers may be tapping into the power of an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Smaller employers may utilize simple solutions, such as automated email. 

We all know that bad news travels fast and it is important to foster professional relationships and build a positive reputation for your organization.  Regardless of size, take time to analyze any gaps in your process and take steps to close those gaps.

Your HR Takeaway: Savvy employers build positive relationships with applicants. The applicant that was not selected today may be your ideal hire for a critical job search next month or even next year!


My second tip focuses on your organization. Take a step back and examine what makes you stand out as an employer. Regardless of the industry you are in and the size of your workforce… what makes you unique? This is critical to understand so that you recruit employees who align with your mission, vision, and core values. If you don’t know what these are, how do you expect to find employees who will share the values that guide your organization?

Your mission, vision and values shouldn’t merely be fancy slogans you hang on the wall in a decorative frame. They should be woven into every aspect of your organization, including your hiring. Your core values should guide and shape the way you post your job openings and the very words you use. The more accurate you are, the more success you will have in attracting applicants that share these values.

What defines and guides your organization? Maybe it is customer service? Integrity? Hard work? A commitment to innovation? The ability to adapt? If you don’t have your mission, vision and values clearly identified… carpe diem! Seize the day! It will be well worth your time to identify these organizational pillars and use them in your recruiting and hiring efforts.

When you create a job posting, be creative. Yet be authentic to your mission, vision, values, brand and your culture. Recruiting and hiring in alignment with these values means your entire team will be on the same journey, moving toward the same goals.

HR Takeaway: Understand what makes you stand out as an employer. Align with your mission, vision and values. Be creative and yet authentic to your brand and culture.


Aligning with your mission, vision and values does not mean you have a cookie cutter approach to finding new employees. Absolutely not! In fact, it means the exact opposite. Diversity within your applicants and employees is incredibly important. Having a diverse base will increase the creativity, problem solving, and skill set of your teams. According to McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting firm, companies that exhibit gender and ethnic diversity are respectively 15% and 35% more likely to outperform their peers.[efn_note] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters[/efn_note] Diverse and inclusive teams have the potential to increase sales revenues, increase customer base, and ultimately increase profits.

Recruiting diverse applicants increases the ability to tap into a rich pool of talents, perspectives, experiences, and skills. Aligning this with organizational values means the employees you hire from this diverse pool may be very different as individuals, yet are on the same path following a shared vision.

Your HR Takeaway: Recruiting diverse applicants is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.


According to a report by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), organizations across the nation are experiencing a more challenging market for talent than in years past.[efn_note]https://www.shrm.org[/efn_note] It is clear this trend is not expected to change in the short term.

Northland employers that build relationships, align recruiting efforts with their values, and attract a diverse pool of talent and will enhance their ability to hire in this competitive environment.


Human Resources thought leader, Stacy Johnston at Audacity HR, provides innovative solutions with a mission to support organizations in understanding and engaging their biggest competitive advantage… their employees. Johnston is a licensed attorney and holds the SHRM-CP and PHR credentials.

Interested in HR support? Check out the online resources at www.audacityhr.com.

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