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Competing For Talent: How Lexington businesses can benefit from tackling SC's unemployment rate

Lexington, SC 05/03,2022 - Over the past few months, South Carolina's unemployment rate has remained virtually unchanged at 3.5%. Though more people are now working, the increase isn't enough to offset the large segment of the population that's still looking for work.

Despite this, employer demand is still high. It's clear that the candidate-led market driven by last year's Great Resignation is impacting how talent is hired across SC. If your own Lexington-based business is looking to nab the best candidates, you have to step up your game.

By doing so, you won't just help lower SC's unemployment rate — you'll also be giving your organization the best chance at sustainable long-term growth. Here's how you can get started.

Research the market

Researching the job market is key to finding out what candidates want. The pandemic created a shift in many people’s priorities. In particular, a better work-life balance is now top of mind. 90% of employees prefer flexible arrangements that allow them to better accomplish their responsibilities both at home and at work. Many wish to be part of welcoming and diverse workplaces. Yet others want to work for companies like the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Community Hero awardee My Pharmacy, which have a strong sense of social responsibility and where they can do meaningful work. By having what candidates want, you'll better appeal to them over your competitors.

Beef up your compensation and benefits packages Your research may indicate a need to update compensation and benefits. Look for allowances for mental health leaves, paternal leaves, and flexible work arrangements. We've noted in our feature on Nephron Pharmaceuticals that local businesses are also adjusting compensation to account for current conditions like rising inflation and the pandemic. More importantly, companies differentiating themselves in the competition for talent are promoting employee career development by increasing upskilling opportunities in the workplace. Finally, talk openly about compensation and benefits with candidates. Otherwise, they may be tempted to take up offers from companies that are more transparent with this information.

Enhance your brand reputation Just as you appraise a candidate, discerning talent analyzes company reputation to determine if your business is a great place to work. That being said, consider treating the hiring process like you would marketing. Infuse your website with inclusive messaging that promotes company values. Release content on social media to generate interest. You can also try press releases, as local boat manufacturer Bentley Pontoons did local news media. Most importantly, monitor what others say about your brand online. Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed host candidate reviews on your hiring process, so use them to glean points of improvement moving forward.

Streamline your recruitment process If phases in the recruitment process like post-interview deliberations are prolonged, candidates will accept offers from competitors that are quicker in handing them out. The same applies if you're not as responsive to their inquiries. Try sending out initial job offers within 24 hours of a candidate's final interview. You can also automate certain parts of the recruitment process with a variety of digital tools. LinkedIn can narrow down searches on online job boards. Comeet can pre-screen candidates. JazzHR is great for applicant tracking, while Yello can efficiently schedule interviews. You can then focus almost solely on final deliberations — and grab the best talent out of the job market as soon as possible. By effectively competing for talent, you can do more than just uplift Lexington's local economy. You'll also benefit from hiring high-quality talent and ensure that your business will thrive in the years to come.


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