If you are involved in recruiting and hiring, you are probably in the thick of one of the most competitive and challenging job markets we have experienced to date. Low unemployment, candidates in not just multiple but three offer or more scenarios, as well as competition for perks are considerations that business leaders as well as HR professionals not just thinking about but are experiencing. In June of 2009 there were 6.2 unemployed persons per job posting. Today there are only 1.7. The market for candidates whether unemployed, passive or active employed job seekers is radically different in just a short time.
State of the Job Market & Economy 2015
Our economy is strengthening and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Over the past year, the U.S. economy has averaged new job creation of greater than 250,000 jobs per month, resulting in an unemployment rate of at 5.5 percent. The economy has not experienced unemployment numbers this low since May 2008, and only now are the numbers at what experts from the Federal Reserve Board consider to be healthy (between 5 and 6 percent). The growing economy and low unemployment is creating a need for qualified workers that is increasing slowly but surely.
Talent management professionals and business leaders are once again faced with challenges we have not seen since before the great recession: not only increased competition in recruiting the best talent, but also retaining the current workforce. The latter is especially important when you consider that the average time to fill an open position in February 2015 according to Dice’s Hiring Report was 28.6 working days which has increased in line with the declining unemployment rate. This number has dramatically increased when you consider the average working days to fill an open position in July of 2009 was just above 15 days. Additionally, according to data from a Saba study conducted by Harris Poll, nearly one-third (32%) of employed adults are currently looking to leave their jobs, and of the other 68%, three in 10 would consider doing so if they got the right offer.
What Does This Mean for YOUR Recruiting and Hiring?
Experts expect unemployment rates to continue to drop to possibly 2.5% into 2017. This hot job market is not going away for all types of positions (technical, non-technical, white collar, blue collar, etc.), and recruiters need to be adjusting and modifying their efforts in anticipation of the even tighter job market of tomorrow today.
- We need to be active in our efforts to engage hires long before they become candidates. Spray and pray methods while they can continue to be effective are not the best way to research and locate prospective candidates.
- Whether it is employment branding, recruitment marketing or candidate engagement, it’s all about relationships. The relationship game is a long tailed one. It takes time, effort and a little bit of blind faith. Relationships take time and the value can’t be calculated with a number of tweets, email blasts, job alerts of daily calls by your recruiting team.
- Hiring specifically onboarding is key. We have to anticipate, plan for and be prepared for multiple offer scenarios for our top candidates. The relationship continues growing long after that job offer is in hand and into their first 12 months of employment. Companies need to research compensation and perks and evaluate local markets to make the strongest offer possible in order to meet your profitability and productivity goals with your company.
*H/T to Rob Dromgoole (@Rheadhunter) for the great conversation that ignited this blog post.