Staffing Kansas City

Navigating the Current State of Hiring

Navigating the Current State of Hiring

Today’s job market favors the skilled worker, and a candidate’s market comes with new hiring rules to consider. This is a market reliant on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers, an elusive candidate group that’s increasingly challenging to fill. Specialized needs coupled with slow hiring practices and a disconnect in salary expectations are making hiring a strange new world.

Deep Grooves
Several of these lacking elements remained underground before rearing a collective head. One of the biggest issues being the gap in skilled workers in the top five industries of manufacturing, information technology (IT), healthcare, engineering and accounting and finance. Curious what binds these industries together? It’s science and math.

The skills gap in the STEM-related industries goes back decades. Now all five concentrations are facing the reality of years and years of students who avoided the study of science and math. While schools and libraries are working in tandem to re-introduce STEM skills in fun ways, there are few immediate fixes to mend the gap between available jobs and hiring the right candidates now.

Ready, Set, Hire
Considering the difficulty in finding job candidates with STEM skills, one might assume hiring qualified workers would be timely, at best. Even though it remains a candidate’s market, hiring now takes longer. A study from found the hiring process at 22.9 days in 2015, which is almost double the 12.6 rate in 2010.

Wondering where or who to point the finger at? In many cases, the longer process is the result of more comprehensive interview processes. For the candidate, this translates into additional presentations and multiple interviews. The swing toward more skilled jobs also means higher risk, making those hiring warier when vetting candidates.

More Money, More Money
With caution on both sides, it’s easy to see why the Jerry Maguire line, “Show me the money” still rings true. First uttered in 1996, the phrase is shorthand for anyone not feeling financial appreciation. The disconnect between what’s deserved and what’s offered finds recruiters blaming candidates for unrealistic expectations and candidates refusing offers with salaries thought too low. With sites such as and Glassdoor, it’s easier than ever for candidates to do their own salary research online, but the right salary can often secure a candidate who is on the fence.

Remaining Flexible
Conditions creating the most recent candidate’s market didn’t happen overnight and they are not likely to be solved overnight either. One way hiring managers are finding success in the meantime is remaining flexible to candidate needs and working to find a solution suiting both parties. If salary can’t be budged, consider offering flex time or another intangible representative of a personal work-life balance. Understanding what motivates each candidate can go a long way in finding the right solution one hire at a time.

This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and contract employment placement services.