According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in the United States added a disappointing 142,000 jobs this past September, while combined job gains for July and August were 59,000 less than analysts had previously reported. It’s not all bad news, despite the low numbers.
While monthly job gains have exceeded 300,000 just three times since January 2014, the gains haven’t dipped below 100,000 since June 2012. The overall unemployment rate sits at 5.1%, the lowest since 2008. For college-degreed workers 25 and older, the unemployment rate is 2.5%. The BLS’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary reported that openings in July rose to 5.8 million, the highest it’s been since 2000.
There is no doubt America is slowly but surely pulling itself out of the Great Recession, and the market has gotten tougher on employers as a result. There was an abundance of job seekers a few years ago, but now the amount of jobs available outnumber those looking for one. The recession has caused many employers to fall into bad hiring habits, whether it’s taking too long to make a decision or just being too selective. The best candidates are off the market in a matter of days and employers can’t afford to drag their feet anymore. The market has changed and hiring strategies must follow. Today’s employer’s need a well thought out approach to recruiting that includes the following six elements:
- Competitive Compensation — paying well is perhaps the most important part of any hiring strategy. Research shows salaries are expected to increase 4.1% next year. Nobody wants to be lowballed, so you need to make sure the compensation you’re offering falls in line with the rest of the market.
- Compelling Benefits — in addition to salary, job seekers are concerned about perks and bonus opportunities. Ask employees which perks they value most, in order to offer a more attractive, personalized benefits package. Healthcare and retirement plans are always big favorites.
- Hiring Internally — sometimes the best candidate is already part of the team. Create an incentive for existing employees to step up their game and prove they’re ready for more responsibility. This could take less time than launching an external search and make for an easier transitional period since the candidate is already familiar with company culture and policies.
- A “Why Are We Different?” Story — treat your job postings the way you would want candidates to treat their resumes. Make them stand out and show what makes your business culture so special. Ask existing employees why they like working at your company so much. Use their feedback to advertise an open position.
- Employee Referral Program — incentivize your employees to help recruit by offering bonuses for bringing in qualified candidates. Everybody knows someone who needs a job.
- A Comeback Culture — keep the door open to former employees who left on good terms. They will always consider coming back if they know they are welcome.
When in doubt, consult the experts! Instead of drying up your own resources, enlist a reputable staffing agency such as McCallion Staffing Specialists. Agency recruiters can cover more ground in a shorter period of time and help you find the perfect candidate for your organization.