How to compete for top hires

competing for top hires in cedar rapids, iowa city

What’s really going on with recruiting in Eastern Iowa? It’s hard to say. The Gazette has been following reports of increasing numbers and previously unreported numbers of Iowans seeking jobless benefits. What we do know is that Iowa Workforce Development will stop issuing the additional Federal Pandemic benefits June 12. So after that, things should be gravy, right?

How can companies really compete for top hires?

Hiring in our market has always been complex due to our low population – most working-age adults are working. And since we aren’t growing in population, we have to work with what we can get. However, there are some things you can do to incentivize potential workers.

1. Offer hiring bonuses

Hiring bonuses work best in traditional, defined skillset roles (where there is not a lot of training involved) to differentiate from highly saturated roles where your business faces many competitors in finding quality candidates.

2. Childcare

Childcare is not something every business can offer- they need enough workforce to justify the cost. The ones that do in Eastern Iowa really stand out. But helping employees find the childcare resources can be part of every business’ onboarding process.

  • Maintain connections with some local, quality childcare providers to provide a shortlist to candidates/employees
  • If it makes sense, purchasing/reserving child care slots to be offered to employees can make a huge difference

3. Career Path

During the interview process, outlining the typical career path for the role will help candidates see their future with your company.

  • If your role doesn’t have a career path, you can either brainstorm options with your team, or get outside help

The City of Cedar Rapids and Iowa Workforce Development can help local companies with career pathing roles that typically don’t have one (Welder, Software Engineer, etc.).

4. Location

Lastly, highlight the largest metro location in your posting when asked for a location. If your role is in North Liberty, use Iowa City in your posting location and then detail the work-site in the job description. Little details like this can increase the number of views your job posting gets, potentially maximizing your candidate pool.

While our market is currently a bit challenging for hiring managers, doing the extra work to make your job listing stand out can make a difference. Celebrate your company culture and differentiators when marketing your job. This is not the time to be shy or subtle – make it very clear in the first sentence of your job description what sets you apart. Clear, organized communication is especially important for job seekers browsing for jobs on their phone. You can compete for top hires, just pay attention to the details.

Need some help making this work for your open positions? Let’s talk.