In Austin, the STEM fields are on an upward swing, and the growth doesn’t show signs of slowing. The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Austin’s STEM occupations account for 11.1% of the labor market, making the metro area the 6th most concentrated in STEM jobs in the nation.

Top 10 Metros for Concentration of STEM Occupations
Source: Austin Chamber

If you’re recruiting candidates in the STEM industries in Austin, you may be finding that the landscape isn’t always employer-friendly. In fact, with record low unemployment, the recruiting field is truly an “employee’s market,” making it more difficult than ever to find qualified applicants who your competitors haven’t already snatched up.

For mid-sized businesses, this reality can prove challenging. You may not feel you can offer the highest salaries or the biggest benefit packages, but that doesn’t mean you can’t compete for the best talent in Austin. Too many small and medium-sized Austin businesses are making mistakes in their recruiting techniques, leading to wasted time and sub-par hires.

Avoid these mistakes next time you’re recruiting to fill an open position in your business.

1. Sourcing Candidates From Only One Place

You’re busy, so it’s tempting to put your job posting up on one site and call it a day. The problem with this approach is that it limits the scope of candidates you can interview and you could miss out on those who are passively searching for jobs. In a competitive job market like this one, many candidates would be willing to leave their current position for the right job, but they’re not actively scrolling job boards on popular websites.

Diversifying your candidate sourcing can bring the right candidate to your doorstep. At Premier HR Solutions, we call this right-sourcing. It’s worth the extra effort, especially when it comes to welcoming high performers into your company.

2. Recruiting Too Late

Need to fill a position by next month? You’re already behind.

When a small or medium-sized business is growing, it’s natural for that to come with some growing pains, including realizing a little too late that you’re in need of new staff members. But this is one mistake that could cost you big time. When you’re making a hiring decision, the last thing you need is to rush. Ensuring someone is the right cultural fit for your company, has the necessary expertise, and brings along the ideal attitude takes time. If you’re in a rush because you need this new staff member yesterday, you’re more likely to make a decision based on your pool of candidates rather than the ideal candidate.

When you’re recruiting, start with a workforce plan that maps out your company’s predicted staffing needs over the entire year. Review it often and start searching for the right candidates long before you’re in dire need of them.

3. Neglecting Your Company Pitch

In a job market like this one, every job hunter is looking to hear an answer to the question, “Why should I work for you?”

Some recruiters think the answer is obvious: if someone applied, after all, they must want the job you’re offering. But when unemployment is low and wages are climbing steadily, you can’t afford to neglect to pitch your company. In all likelihood, your candidates are interviewing all around Austin, and other companies are probably offering a polished pitch that answers their questions satisfactorily.

Never forget that an interview goes two ways: you’ll need to convince the candidate that you’re the right company.

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