While the turn of the year did not bring immediate relief to the job market, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Situation for January did show a return to job growth following December’s net negative trend. Employers added 49,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%. Notable gains occurred in professional and business services and in both public and private education, and the number of individuals on temporary layoff decreased to 2.7 million, 18 million below last April. 
This time last year, we were experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. The effects of the pandemic have set us back nearly 10 million jobs, so while it may feel discouraging to not see an immediate decrease in unemployment rate, any positive change is noteworthy.
Promising economic growth is still forecast for this year, and many economists think January will be the last month of slow gain. COVID-19 numbers are decreasing globally for the third week in a row, showing variants of the virus can be controlled. Over 42 million COVID-19 vaccination doses have been administered in the US, and president Biden’s administration has set a goal of 150 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office
This report also gives the Biden administration leverage to pass the $1.9 trillion relief measure that’s currently being reviewed, a stimulus package that includes an increased minimum wage and direct checks to lower-income individuals and families. 
Hireology customers added 18,167 new jobs within our platform — the most in the last twelve months — and made nearly 9,000 hires in January, showing that our customers are still successfully hiring.
You’re likely still holding your breath in nervousness and anticipation as we wait to find what this year has in store. But Hireology is cautiously optimistic that we’re on the right track to modified normalcy, and we want to help you feel at ease, no matter what speed bumps are ahead. 
Here’s a few things to consider this month to keep your organization moving forward. 

Are you recruiting from other industries?

With valuable talent still unemployed, it’s in your company’s best interest to expand your recruitment efforts to include those outside of your industry. Requiring individuals to have a background in your industry isn’t always necessary, so promote your roles and gear your descriptions to those with the proper soft skills. 
Making your roles attractive to other industry professionals has a lot to do with job description wording, the technology your organization uses, and your core values. Focus on fine-tuning these areas, and then make sure to post your open roles on forums that aren’t industry-specific to gain traction from other interested candidates. 

Are you hiring fast enough? 

When you have a role open, does it go unfilled for weeks or months? Open roles cost you on average $1000 in gross profit each day. That doesn’t fair well for your checkbook or your team members who have to then pick up the slack. Your hiring process shouldn’t keep you from making hires, it should help propel you closer to creating your best team. With insights and analytics, Hireology is able to show you where your hiring process could use some improvements, and in-platform candidate communication can help you hire up to eight days faster. And, our mobile app lets you review applicants from anywhere, keeping the process moving even when you’re on the go. 

Is your workplace an inclusive place? 

We spoke last month about the disproportionate effect that the December job loss had on women, but it goes deeper than that. Black and Hispanic workers, and especially Black and Hispanic women, have seen the largest job loss, while white men and women have been significantly less affected. Is your company doing its part to attract, hire and retain a diverse workforce? If not, there are steps you can take to more effectively recruit diverse candidates. 
We’ve created an inclusive recruiting checklist here, and one of the first necessary steps in adjusting your recruitment process is addressing your current company culture. Think about how your employees get along with each other, how management treats their employees, and the strides your organization is taking to make sure everyone matters. Ask for feedback from your employees on how to make your workplace more inclusive, and look to other companies who promote their diversity efforts. 

Is your retention slipping? 

Have you noticed a decrease in retention, even as the pandemic continues to affect the job market? This can be a sign that you’re letting your employer brand slip. Your retention rates can drastically affect your candidate pool, as the average job seeker reads six employee reviews before applying to a role. It’s best practice to have someone managing your employee reviews so that negative and positive feedback is monitored and responded to, and issues can be addressed in a timely manner. Sometimes, a disgruntled employee can leave an angry review that doesn’t speak to your company’s true culture, but if there are several negative reviews that highlight the same concerns, it’s best to tackle the problem immediately. 
Other ways to combat retention include adjusting your benefits package to match or exceed your competitors, advertising clear career growth opportunities for your employees, and ensuring that your onboarding program is thorough and effective. 

Are you giving yourself and your employees a break?

As much as you’ve conquered in the last year, there’s uncertainty still ahead. You and your employees could probably use a break, figuratively and literally. Make sure you’re taking time to reflect on the positives and possibilities, and go easy on yourself and your team. 
Hireology wants to help you navigate through these waters. Schedule a demo now to see how we can transform your recruitment process and support you in your hiring needs.