Tag Archive for: recruiting tips

5 Emerging Trends to Attract Candidates in 2023

Finding the right talent has always been important, but it is even more crucial in a tightening labor market affecting the Twin Cities. While we have seen some slack return to the U.S labor market, Minnesota is among 39 states experiencing increased labor market tightness compared to pre pandemic levels according to recent LinkedIn data.

Due to this uncertain economic outlook, local businesses are finding increased competition to attract a select pool of candidates to fill positions quickly. It is imperative that hiring managers revamp their recruiting strategy to attract the right candidates and set them themselves apart from the competition. Doing so will prepare them for the future and ensure success.

Here are 5 trends that candidates are looking for in their job search.

1. Remote/Hybrid Opportunities

The Minnesota job market is facing a tight labor supply, making it increasingly difficult for hiring managers and HR professionals to attract job seekers. To effectively compete in this changing landscape, employers must be willing to adapt their recruiting strategies to meet the demands of job seekers. One such demand that has become more prominent over the past year is increased interest in remote and hybrid opportunities. With many people having already experienced working from home during the pandemic, there’s now an expectation of flexible work arrangements as part of any new position they consider.

Gen Z in particular tends to gravitate towards hybrid over remote positions. During the pandemic they were forced into remote opportunities and are perhaps not eager to return to that solace. Hybrid work offers them both in-person connection and remote flexibility. By taking these needs into account when crafting recruitment plans, organizations can ensure they’re best positioned to draw top talent even during times of low labor availability.

2. Candidate Engagement

Attracting job seekers in a tight labor market can be challenging, but there are strategies that when implemented correctly can help employers stand out from the competition. One of these strategies is incorporating candidate engagement into your recruiting process. Candidate engagement involves actively engaging with potential candidates throughout the recruitment process by providing timely feedback and updates on their applications or inquiries. This strategy not only helps to keep top talent interested but also ensures that the application process is short and sweet for everyone involved. With unemployment rates at historic lows across Minnesota, it’s essential for hiring managers and HR professionals to make sure they have an effective candidate engagement strategy in place if they want to attract quality job seekers.

3. Comprehensive Benefits Package

In today’s competitive job market, businesses need to be creative to attract the best candidates. With the cost of goods and services rising, many potential job seekers are looking for higher pay to offset these costs. However, not all businesses can afford this, which is why leveraging a comprehensive benefits package is key for attracting job seekers. By offering things like PTO, mental health and wellness services, as well as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), employers can create an attractive package that will draw in quality candidates while also helping them feel secure in their new position. Such an approach not only helps you draw in top talent but also shows job seekers that you value their well-being. Additionally, offering generous benefits can help with retention rates as people will be more likely to stay if they know their employer cares for them beyond salary alone.

4. Future Career Path Development

Candidates want to know that there is room for growth and advancement in the companies they work for. When advertising job openings, emphasize the career development and professional growth opportunities that come with the job. Encourage current employees to give testimonials about their experiences with professional growth and how working for your company has helped them. This helps to establish your company as a place where people can grow and develop their careers.

5. Focus on Company Culture

More and more job seekers are looking for work that aligns with their values and goals. Local businesses can fulfill this need by advertising their company culture in their job openings. This shows candidates what is it like to work there which promotes a sense of transparency. By showcasing the core values and mission of your organization, you’re better able to attract job seekers who align with those values and have a greater chance of becoming successful long-term.


At Award Staffing we strive to provide our clients with the most up to date market data to inform your business decisions. Contact us or view our services to see how we can help you succeed!

How to Attract and Retain Top Talent in Rural Communities

Although rural communities often have a reputation for being isolated and behind the times, this is not always the case. In fact, many rural areas are home to businesses that are at the forefront of innovation. However, these businesses often struggle to attract and retain talent. This is partly due to the perception that there are limited job opportunities in rural areas.

With the right approach, rural businesses can successfully recruit and hire top talent. There are several factors to consider when developing a strategy for recruiting and retaining talent in a rural community.

Know your ideal candidate

When recruiting job seekers to a rural community, it’s essential to know your ideal candidate’s demographics and psychographics. Demographics are the characteristics of a population, such as age, gender, income, education level, etc. Psychographics are the psychological factors that influence someone’s behavior, such as values, attitudes, personality, interests, and lifestyle. By understanding both sets of information, you can more effectively target your recruitment efforts.

For example, if you’re looking for young professionals with a strong work ethic and family values, you might target job seekers who are recently married or have young children. On the other hand, if you’re looking for creative types interested in outdoor recreation and arts & culture, you might target job seekers who live in urban areas but are interested in moving to a more rural setting. By understanding your ideal candidate demographics and psychographics, you can tailor your recruitment efforts to attract the right candidates to your rural community.

Focus on soft skills

When it comes to hiring, it’s essential to know your ideal candidate. And while there are a lot of factors to consider, it’s often the soft skills that make the most significant difference. Soft skills are the personal attributes and qualities that allow someone to interact effectively with others. They include things like communication, empathy, and problem-solving. While hard skills are important, they can usually be taught. On the other hand, soft skills are more challenging to teach and are often more predictive of success. Therefore, when you’re hiring, be sure to focus on finding candidates with the most critical soft skills for your company.

When evaluating candidates, take the time to assess their soft skills.

  • Are they able to clearly communicate their thoughts and ideas?
  • Do they seem open and receptive to feedback?
  • Do they have a positive attitude?

These are just a few soft skills that can make a difference in whether or not a candidate is successful. Paying attention to these crucial qualities will help you find the right person for the job. In addition, by doing so, you’ll increase your chances of finding someone who will be a successful long-term employee.

Create an attractive environment

Many businesses today are finding it challenging to attract and retain top talent. In a highly competitive marketplace, it is essential for companies to create an environment that is attractive to potential employees. Several key factors can make a business more attractive to workers.

1. Offering competitive wages

In today’s economy, businesses need to offer competitive wages and benefits to attract and retain top talent. This is especially true in rural communities, where the pool of potential employees is often smaller. By offering competitive wages and benefits, businesses can ensure that they can attract and retain the best employees.

This may seem counterintuitive, but businesses in rural areas actually need to offer higher wages and benefits than their urban counterparts to attract and retain employees. The cost of living in rural areas is often higher than in urban areas, so workers need to be paid more to maintain their standard of living. Additionally, rural areas often have fewer job opportunities, so workers may be more likely to leave a company if they don’t feel they are being compensated fairly. To compete for talent, businesses in rural areas need to offer wages and benefits that are at least on par with those in urban areas. Otherwise, they will find it difficult to attract and retain the best employees.

2. Focusing on work-life balance

While the quality of life that these communities offer is often appealing to workers, the lack of professional opportunities can be a deterrent. To overcome this challenge, businesses need to create a work-life balance that helps employees feel professionally and personally fulfilled. This can be achieved by offering flexible work arrangements, access to professional development opportunities, and a supportive community. By creating an environment that helps employees thrive both professionally and personally, businesses in rural communities can attract and retain the best talent.

3. Creating a positive work environment

Finally, businesses in rural communities need to focus on creating a positive work environment. This can be done by ensuring that the physical work environment is clean and comfortable and that the company culture is one that values teamwork, respect, and communication. By creating a positive work environment, businesses in rural communities can ensure that they can attract and retain the best employees.

Rural communities offer a unique set of challenges and opportunities for businesses. By creating an environment that meets the needs of employees, businesses can improve their chances of attracting and retaining top talent.

Develop opportunities for Career Growth

In today’s economy, it is more important than ever for businesses to provide career growth and development opportunities. By doing so, rural businesses can develop a competitive advantage in the war for talent.

Studies have shown that employees who feel stuck in a dead-end job are much more likely to leave their current position. Furthermore, employees who do not feel like they are learning and growing are more likely to become disengaged and unproductive. On the other hand, employees who feel like they have opportunities for career growth and development are more likely to be loyal and productive. Therefore, businesses need to provide opportunities for career growth and development. By doing so, companies will be able to retain their best employees and attract new talent.

Focus on what your community can offer

When it comes to economic development, rural communities often face unique challenges. They may have difficulty attracting investment or talent, and they may lack the infrastructure or resources of larger cities. However, there are also many advantages that rural communities have to offer. For example;

  • Rural communities may also have lower crime rates, and they may offer a more affordable cost of living.
  • They often have a strong sense of community and a deep commitment to their residents.
  • They may also have a wealth of natural resources or rich history and culture.
  • Rural businesses often offer a more relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere than their urban counterparts.
  • Many rural communities are located near natural beauty or outdoor recreation areas, which can be a significant selling point for candidates who value work-life balance.

These factors can be attractive to potential employees looking for a different lifestyle. When recruiting and hiring, be sure to highlight the unique advantages your rural community offers.

Bringing it together with a positive mindset

Even with the challenges that rural communities face, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. Rural businesses are becoming more creative in their approach to recruiting and hiring. By focusing on the unique advantages, businesses can attract people looking for an alternative to the traditional urban lifestyle. With the right attitude and approach, businesses in rural communities can thrive and provide good jobs for those who want to live and work in these areas.

At Award Staffing, we are dedicated to helping businesses in rural communities find the best talent possible. We understand the unique challenges these businesses face, and we are committed to assisting them in overcoming these challenges. So, if you are a business in a rural community, don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the best employees for your business.

8 Tactics for Attracting Talented Candidates

In the current economy, it’s difficult to find quality employees for a variety of reasons. Not only do workforce trends, therefore employee expectations evolve on a regular basis; after the pandemic, many people’s lifestyles have changed drastically. This has influenced the way jobholders believe employment should work. While it can feel like it’s hit or miss when it comes to bringing in new talent, there are many tactics you can use to appeal to job seekers in your industry. Here are some of the factors that commonly get overlooked when companies are trying to draw in new talent:

1. Have a Detailed Job Post

When you’re trying to fill vacancies, you want to be as informational as possible without making the post too long (300-700 words is a good criteria). Remember, there are a ton of others trying to attract candidates as well, so the key is to stand out. Job seekers always want to know, “what’s in it for me?”, so believe it or not; a lot of companies are steering away from having a requirements and duties/responsibilities section in their job posts. Start by discussing why your company is a cut above the rest and what a day in the life of one of your employees looks like. Talk about desired perks like paid vacation, health & retirement benefits, and wellness programs. Then, towards the bottom, describe the job and what’s to be expected if hired. This will ensure the post is engaging and that applicants read it from top to bottom before moving on in their search.


2. Advertise Team Building and Company Ethos 

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Not only will your company be more efficient and productive if you implement team building into your strategy, but employee retention will increase and people will be more apt to apply. Gone are the days that people want to work somewhere solely for a certain wage or as a status symbol. Now it’s about feeling like they are a part of something. Knowing that they will be entering an organization with positive employee morale and one where everyone works together will make job seekers feel more comfortable and will attract candidates who truly want to be there and are not just inquiring for the sake of a pay check.


3. Promote from Within

Employees want to know that they will have long-term careers with the companies they are currently working for, but only half of employees actually feel like they do. From an employee perspective, there is nothing more discouraging than seeing somebody from outside the company get the job that they are just as qualified for. In fact, in their mind they are more qualified because they have already paid their dues and contributed to the company. Promoting strictly from within will give your employees a bigger sense of security and shows that you appreciate them by being willing to advance them in their careers.

4. Have a Join Our Team page on the Company Website

If you want to bring in top candidates, simply having an “Apply here” button is not enough. An entire page dedicated to marketing the company as a great place to work will attract many more qualified applicants. Make the page as visually appealing and engaging as possible. This is the place to talk about the company culture, post photos of the office, post employee profiles & testimonials, and showcase awards that the company has won. A “join our team” page should essentially give prospective employees a taste of what it would actually feel and be like to work there.


5. Craft an Appealing Job Title

Since the title is the first thing that people see when perusing through job boards, making it eye-catching title will make all the difference in the amount of applicants you get. This is your first opportunity to make an impression on someone who could be the next MVP of your company. Don’t give them the chance to reject you by underestimating the importance of the job title. Call the job what it is and avoid using terms like “guru” or “rock star”, as this doesn’t give any insight on what the job entails. A quality title will use general vocabulary (not jargon that is only understood within your company). It can also be advantageous to add the location and mention some of the job perks or benefits you offer.

6. Treat a Job Posting as Marketing for Your Company

In order to bring in top talent, your company must be reputable as a place that current employees enjoy working. This means that your office practices should be highlighted in the job post. If your company has won awards for its culture or being a top place to work, be sure to include that. All too often, hiring managers only post “job requirements”; but applicants need to know what the environment and work-life balance looks like to decide if they can envision themselves being part of it. This is your chance to activate candidates by getting them excited about the possibility of working there. Use it to your advantage by having a section dedicated to discussing the collectively enjoyable aspects of the job/company. Nowadays people aren’t just looking for a prestigious job title and a paycheck. They want to know they have something to look forward to every day when they walk into work.

7. Consider Remote Employees

On account of team building and camaraderie, many company leaders prefer to only hire local talent so that they are able to come into the office every day. But with the new implementation of communication tools like Zoom and Slack over the past year, it has proven to be easy to connect and keep in touch no matter where someone is working from. In the current market, it is difficult to bring in new talent. However, work still needs to get done if you want your business to thrive. Being open up to remote employees for administrative and marketing tasks gives you the whole world as your candidate pool. Also, people are more likely to apply for and accept a position that gives them location freedom.

8. Offer/Promote Learning Programs

Despite what degrees or certifications one may have, many people are resistant to apply for positions because they don’t feel qualified enough for them. Job postings and descriptions only tell you so much; therefore, if someone feels that they don’t have the right experience, they will be too intimidated to apply. If you make it a point to let applicants know that you have programs and will train them, (not just in the beginning, but on a constant basis) you will see more applications coming in.

If your business is currently in need of more talent, we at Award Staffing are here to help you. Contact us here.








9 Scalable Recruiting Tips and Tricks

Recruiting success depends on keeping up with the latest trends and continually evolving strategies, which are driven by well-planned, targeted goals. In today’s market, building an extensive pipeline, while focusing on relationship requires identifying and mastering the appropriate technological tools. Talent acquisition leaders must develop best practices regarding data collection and analyzation, the agility of information, ability to track mobile date, incorporating web analytics, and receiving and utilizing key metrics provided by ATS. Finally, they must funnel all these practices and tools into a scalable recruiting system – a system that smoothly handles fluctuations in hiring demands.

Scalable recruiting – that ability to fluctuate with hiring demands is a complicated issue. It involves many building blocks, including:

1. Establish targeted goals –

Everything begins with goals. Successful strategies only work with well-defined, measurable, and achievable goals, and you need to keep adjusting the goalposts if you want to keep an edge. Review them regularly, think strategically, and always try to hit your targets.

2. Build an attractive employer brand –

Yes, that’s what we said – building an attractive employer brand – your reputation and popularity as an employer. Attracting and engaging talent in a fluctuating market starts with being a company that speaks to the heart of potential talent; that fosters a high employee value proposition. In fact, research by LinkedIn has proven that a whopping 75% of job seekers research a company’s reputation before applying. And if you want to tweak the interest of passive candidates (a constant in a talent-driven market), you need to be a company who will stand out in their minds. Furthermore, 30-40% of talent say reputation or brand of the company is “very important” to them when considering a job move.

3. Build a pipeline of talent –

An ongoing, active search for talent – even when the demand is low – to build up an extensive pool of talent. Develop and nurture your talent pipeline, and identifying current employees who have the potential to step up into roles. Create a compelling recruitment brand, engage with prospective candidates through targeted social media content, and institute an active referral program. These steps will ensure you have an extensive pool of talent when the need arises.

4. Generate accurate job descriptions –

Ensuring that your job descriptions accurately and portray a comprehensive overview of the prospective job and responsibilities are one of the best ways to reduce the number of unqualified or wrongly-qualified candidates. Eliminating unnecessary overload reduces the time and cost spent in building your short list.

5. Streamline your recruitment process via software –

Keeping track of applications, sending emails, scheduling interviews, etc. via on centralized software system will reduce both time and cost in the recruitment process. This allows you to transfer administration hours to time spent on more proactive hiring strategies.

6. Connect with talent where the talent is –

Going mobile – and doing it in an attractive, easy to use system – is an absolute for connecting with talent and building a pipeline that enables you to handle a sudden increase in hiring demands. Make sure that applicants and potential prospects can engage via their mobile devices, including texting and tweeting.

7. Create a memorable candidate experience –

A positive candidate experience not only increases the odds that they will accept a position but also leaves a note of optimism even when they turn it down. They will be much more likely to reapply in the future, and best of all will refer other talent to your company. Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70%.

8. Improve your strategy for hiring diversity –

Place diversity (be it gender, cultural background, age, disability, etc.), and cultural intelligence high on your agenda to integrate diverse workers and maintain productivity. Reinforce your diversity mission and remove any barriers that may be preventing you from achieving it. Examine your hiring process for unconscious bias and consider how your job postings and application forms could be preventing people from diverse backgrounds from applying.

9. Utilize Technology –

Making use of automated and machine-learning algorithms is essential in a scalable recruiting model.

• AI allows processes to be completed at a rate and scale beyond human ability. It transforms text into structured data and vice versa.
• There is also software available the integrates into existing ATS systems, scans the job descriptions of open roles, and then sources your existing resume database to discover candidates who fit the qualifications (This is one places where an extensive bank of passive candidates pays off).
• Virtual Reality (VR) allows companies to provide their shortlist with VR tours that reveal the company’s workplace and culture.
• Augmented Reality (AR) allows candidates to walk through the workplace, participate in a mock client meeting or another relevant activity, and sit with an employee who talks about their typical day.

Scalable recruiting is attainable, but it requires commitment. The ROI, however, is significant and ensures the destination is well worth the journey. Through Award’s own Cross-functional Recruiting model we will be able to scale our efforts to find the right employees that fit your unique business needs. If you’re searching for more tips and trick on how to improve your company’s workforce, check out our hiring solutions blog.



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