October’s Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report showed once again that we are slowly but surely on the rebound from the first wave of COVID-19. With a national unemployment rate of 6.9%, we continue to inch closer to pre-pandemic levels of employment, and have made it back to the level of unemployment that we saw two to three years after the 2008 recession
638,000 jobs were added in October, many of which were in the restaurant and retail industries in preparation for the holiday season. Additionally, the amount of people unemployed for 15 to 26 weeks decreased by 2.3 million to 2.6 million individuals.
There is reason to be wary, with the looming threat of a second wave and subsequent lockdown as the U.S. continues to surpass previous case records. However, news of a vaccine developed by Pfizer showing 90% effectiveness against the virus could mean that there is an end to the pandemic in sight. 
We’ll continue to take this day-by-day, but Hireology wants to help your business prepare for what’s ahead and get people back to work. Below are some suggestions on where to angle your focus to ensure your team is set up for success. 

Attract Non-Traditional Talent

Unemployment for recent high school graduates sits at 8.7% while college graduates is at 4.5%. Because recent graduates lack the experience and skills needed to fill certain industry positions, they often flock to the hospitality industry. But due to the catastrophic impact of the pandemic, the hospitality industry isn’t as viable of an option as it once was. 
There’s plenty of opportunity in other sectors to attract recent graduates, along with those that previously worked in hospitality, especially as unemployment benefits begin to wane. These job seekers have a lot to offer you — namely, digital proficiency and customer service experience — but attracting this demographic may look a little different than what you’re used to. For instance, you may need to change up your job descriptions to omit industry-specific skills, or advertise your openings on different job boards, but the adjustments will be worth it when you’re able to attract top talent that you previously weren’t privy to. 

Move Quickly to Secure Talent

This month, the number of people jobless five to 14 weeks decreased by 457,000 to 2.3 million individuals, indicating that many of those who had lost their job due to the pandemic were able to find work rather quickly. Even during times of remarkably high unemployment, top talent moves quickly, so in order to secure the best and brightest, your hiring team must move quicker. 
To make sure that you’re not losing out on quality candidates to your competition, everything about your process should be as streamlined as possible — from the application to screening candidates to communicating. While you don’t want to make hasty hiring decisions, you should make sure that all of the moving parts of the process work cohesively to promote efficiency. That way, you can still give qualified applicants their due diligence while ensuring that no one’s time is wasted.

Quality Comes First

Tools that help you capture quality applicants will always be helpful to your business, even if your company has recently reduced hiring initiatives. Cutting corners when it comes to attracting and hiring applicants only results in lower caliber candidates, so it’s important to use good systems to truly capture the best talent. 
Avoid systems that aren’t proven or commonly used in your industry and those that don’t focus on qualifying talent — this can make the difference between investing in a bad hire and an employee that stays with you for years to come. Also, look for systems that speed up the process and result in a positive ROI, considerations that are easy to ignore when you’re pressed to make a hire, but make a huge difference to your company’s bottom line and team performance. 
Hireology helped businesses make over 10,000 hires in October, including 20% of the automotive industry’s new hires and 5% of the healthcare workforce’s new hires. Our customers trust us to not only deliver quality applicants, but to speed up the overall hiring process by as much as eight days with in-app candidate screening and employee verification tools. 

Don’t Shrug Off High Turnover

Businesses all over the country are operating with fewer team members, which means that each current employee and potential new hire means exponentially more to the business’s success. It also means, however, that more work is being distributed among fewer employees, resulting in quicker burnout and inevitable employee turnover.
Even during times of record high unemployment, companies experience retention challenges, and business impacts can be severe. So it’s more important than ever to do all that you can to ensure you’re an employer of choice in the industry. Some things to consider when attempting to decrease employer turnover include creating a standout employer brand, showcasing your diverse workforce, and offering competitive benefits and compensation.
While these efforts may help you decrease your turnover rate, it’s an unavoidable part of every business. Can you afford to wait to start your hiring process when faced with one or multiple employee departures? By having a system in place that lets you source applicants from a constantly flowing pipeline, you can be prepared and not waste time and money scrambling to fill roles.

Hireology is Remaining Cautiously Optimistic 

We’re still actively trying to make sense of what each day brings, but there’s a silver lining on the horizon and promise that things will eventually return to normal. Remaining aware of what the talent pool wants is a necessity no matter the unemployment rate, and we’re pretty good at it. If you’d like more information on how Hireology works to make your people operations run as smoothly as possible, you can schedule a demo here.