For many companies, hiring trends have continued in a positive direction, which means there's more competition for quality candidates. It's important to keep standards high, and talent benchmarking can help to ensure that your future employee pool stays productive. Still, there are a few hurdles to overcome when seeking top-tier employees. Here are some early signs of talent shortages, and what you can do about it:

Increased Cost of Hiring

It's costly to source a new employee, but those expenses go up even further in a hiring boom. Recruiting a full-time hire can cost up to three times their annual wage, and wages are on the upswing as well, so employers are starting to feel the crunch. If they don't stay competitive, longstanding employees may also get fed-up and look for a new position. Still it's definitely worth it to seek out high performers in this tough market.

More Selective Candidates

Since there's less urgency to take any job offer that comes by, candidates will be more discerning about the recruitment process. During the interview, they'll be weighing the benefits of employment against other potential roles, which means the hiring manager needs to wow them right away. It's the reality of today's job market - talented free agents have all the power.

Scarcity of Talent

Employers need to get more creative at sourcing talent, and they certainly can't expect the best candidates to just knock on the door. Good talent benchmarking requires foresight, and one way to gain an edge is by contacting talented people before they start seeking employment. What can you do? Start a dialogue with current and future industry players, so that they remember you when they're back on the job hunt. This works especially well with future university graduates who will sincerely appreciate the gesture when beginning their careers.

Higher Turnover

Finally, a hiring boom can cause more employees to search for better opportunities, which makes it difficult to retain quality teams. You can avoid this "churn" effect by cultivating a great company culture, taking care of your people, and offering incentives to stay onboard. Although thousands of baby boomers are retiring every day, you shouldn't be losing millennials to a month-old startup or a sneaky competitor.