For many recruiting teams, periods of low unemployment can be a bit stressful. While many jobs are posted, the number of candidates actively searching for employment is rather small. Couple that with a record-breaking time of low numbers and some people have a negative view toward hiring.

However, there are a few methods that you can adopt to make a time of low unemployment the perfect time to strike. Adapting your sourcing, your processes, and working with hiring managers on their timelines can allow you to corner your market when others are struggling.

Examine Your Biases

Although there aren’t a lot of unemployed candidates to be found, many recruiters or hiring managers may need to look at their biases toward periods of unemployment. Often, candidates who are currently unemployed are viewed as inexperienced, especially when candidates are in high demand. However, this may not be the case.

Many qualified candidates are thorough, giving themselves a set amount of time to find the best possible offer for their skills. They are making an important career decision, and as such, they want to be exhaustive with their time. Taking the time to not only look at their experience but to ask about their transferrable skills can cut through any bias you have.

Re-Think your Requirements

Have you considered that your candidate requirements may be too strict? We’re not saying you should start looking for sub-par options, but strict requirements may be keeping you from reaching qualified candidates. The reason? Many people undervalue their own experience, and by relaxing some of your demands, you gain access to a new pool of candidates.

Recent research has found that 42% of surveyed recruiters found that after loosening their requirements, they saw an increase of qualified applicants for current roles. The other benefit of these new criteria is that when working with hiring managers, the hiring process moved quicker, which was advantageous for both the clients and candidates.

Speed Up the Hiring Process

Although it seems like an obvious suggestion, increasing the speed of your hiring process is essential. The main thing to consider is how the expectations and response rate of your client’s hiring managers are affecting the timeline. Processes that increase the time required and the effort candidates need to put into a position can push them away. Work with your clients to make it easy for a qualified applicant to get hired.

Many things will drive candidates away in a competitive market, and many of them are tied to traditional hiring cycles. Multiple rounds of interviews, lengthy assessments and delayed offers are all tactics that used to spell out thorough hiring but are now red flags for applicants looking to move. If you’re still sticking to those processes, you could be missing out, especially when it comes to passive candidates.

Dive into the Passive Talent Pool

No matter what the unemployment rate looks like, passive candidates are the holy grail for recruiters. While finding them and courting them can be the biggest challenge, the offers you make to them can be the biggest factor. According to a survey of manufacturing logistics employees, 42% said they are always open to other opportunities, and 16% said they are employed but passively looking.

For you to convince them, the way you connect can be the deciding factor. That same survey said that a small number of them got their current position via a recruiter, many of them trust word of mouth. Tapping these candidates via their networks can be the difference between being ignored and finding the perfect candidate for your client.

Not Working Doesn’t Mean Unemployed

Another figure that may surprise you is that while unemployment is very low, only about 63% of eligible people are in the workforce. That untapped 37% is a gold mine for candidates, but it requires some creative searching.

Look to community charities that help people gain skills to join the workforce, like Hopelink or Chrysalis. Another large group of potential candidates are veterans, the good news is there are resources to connect you with veterans searching for work. The last untapped group is baby boomers looking to re-enter the workforce. While many people are focusing on the boomers retiring, there are many qualified candidates looking to get back to work.

Low unemployment is a challenge, but with minor adjustments to process and approaches, your team can turn a scarce labor market into your advantage. The important thing is to be proactive. For more methods to transform your firm from reactive to proactive, download our latest eBook today.