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August 2022 BLS Jobs Report — The Cooldown We’ve Been Waiting For

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics  released the August 2022 jobs report, revealing that employers added 315,000 jobs to the market last month. The unemployment rate rose by 0.2% to 3.7%, a sign to many economists that the economy is cooling off amidst concerns of a looming recession.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of eligible workers who are working or actively seeking work, rose to 62.4%, which is still 1% lower than it was during February 2020. Despite the apparent economic cooldown, Hireology customers continued to successfully find the talent they need to build their best teams. In August, our customers created 25,562 new jobs, received 486,632 applications, and took only 19.92 days to hire from receival of application to offer letter acceptance. August was the best month for Hireology customers to hire yet, with a record-breaking 14,662 added to their teams.

In August, professional and business services led job creation with 68,000 roles added, while healthcare rose from third to second place with 48,000 jobs created. In third place came retail trade with 44,000 created roles.

While these numbers are significantly less than what we’ve seen in previous months, these are still solid gains for these industries — and should be received as news that while hiring is cooling down, it is only at a more sustainable pace for the market. This could be seen as the labor market remaining resilient after it recovers from the blows of the pandemic, despite companies hiring less.

All in all, August’s numbers were great news for business owners and hiring managers alike. There’s a large amount of speculation out there as to why employees are returning to the workforce, ranging from gig workers frightened from the headlines featuring an upcoming recession to a shift in priorities for job seekers from flexibility to security. 

To put it in perspective: while there are more workers returning to the labor market, your business still needs to position itself as a secure place to be during these uncertain times. The good news? There are workers out there to fill your open positions. The bad news is that you’re still facing some pretty fierce competitors on the hiring front. 

While it may seem that everyone is using the same methods to solve their hiring woes, these are often simple tactics that every company could find useful. When it comes to hiring, there’s no clear cut right or wrong way to do it; what drives droves of applicants for one industry may actually repel them from another. While there is the opportunity to learn from others who have creatively sourced the talent they need to fill their roles, their methods need to be taken with a grain of salt. At the basis of every great hiring story is the foundation built on common sense for hiring. All that is to say is that to hire effectively, your company needs to be ready for some trial and error — along with some tried and true methods. 

Despite the apparent cool down, adding the right talent to your team is still a realistic goal. Read on for our suggestions on how to attract qualified candidates to your business and how to keep them once you add them to your roster.

Word-of-mouth speaks louder than a job post

At this point in the post-pandemic world we live in, you’ve likely already created a robust strategy to attract the talent you want to add to your team. What if we told you that there’s one missing piece to the hiring puzzle that you haven’t quite found where it belongs yet?

Actions speak louder than words — and when it comes to attracting talent, they’re going to look at if your current staff are happy staying with your business. You can harness these powerful testimonials by creating and implementing an employee referral program that encourages your staff to become your most effective (and valuable!) recruiters. To get started, here are a few basic steps:

  • Set realistic bonus amounts for referred positions
  • Create a strategy to communicate payout amounts and open roles to existing employees
  • Determine how you’ll track referred candidates, employee referrals, and payouts
  • Rinse and repeat

In this world, word-of-mouth can speak louder than any job post you release onto the internet. In fact, our latest data has revealed that nearly 20% of new hires found their new roles by a referral. These networks already exist — you just need a system in place to access them to find the talent you need. 

Reach applicants where they are

Back in the day, when someone was looking for a job, they were encouraged to go in-person to different brick and mortar stores to express their interest and nab an application. When’s the last time you had to fill out one with an actual pen? While you’re (hopefully) not relying on this old-school method of thinking to find talent, it brings to mind an important point: you have to meet applicants where they’re at.

In Hireology’s latest study where over 6,000 modern job seekers volunteered insight into what they’re looking for in their next role, 47% of respondents said they go to a general job board first when on the market for a new position. Typically, entry-level employees will utilize one of the many popular job boards out there where they can find companies hiring for everything from a front desk clerk to a higher-level position. These job boards shouldn’t be discarded from your hiring strategy just because they’re saturated with competing businesses looking for talent because they’re busy for a reason — but there are more effective ways to reach the talent you’re looking for.

For starters, have your hiring managers looked at industry-specific job boards to satiate your hiring needs? If not, that’s the first place to start. Again, you want to meet your ideal candidate where they’re looking for a new job — unless, of course, you’re willing to train and educate an entry-level employee. There are a plethora of job boards designed specifically for users and hiring managers within clearly defined industries or locations to choose from. The benefit to niche job boards is that they deliver quality candidates who either meet or exceed the requirements you need your next hire to have to be successful at your business.

The other way to reach more talent on job boards is to sponsor a job post. You can optimize the SEO on a job posting all you want, but it will realistically only do so much to boost the amount of eyes on your advert. The companies you’re competing with for the same talent pool on those job boards are likely using the same tactics as you, making your efforts less effective than you’d like. By sponsoring a job post, however, you’re paying for the algorithm to push that content into more eyes than simple SEO tweaking could sensibly achieve.

Time waits for no hiring manager

The ideal length for a hiring timeline is no longer than two weeks. That’s not between the first interview and the last — no, that is from when you initially receive the candidate’s application to when your company extends an offer letter. If your hiring managers take longer than that period, you are losing out on the majority of top talent.

In that same applicant study from earlier, 19% of respondents said it only took them between one to two weeks to find their next role; that’s nearly a fifth of the talent pool taken by competitors who are simply quicker to act. There are a couple of reasons why heavy emphasis has been placed on ushering candidates through a quick hiring process, least of which is making sure that your company makes the hire they need. Other factors to consider include applicants who are ready to accept the first offer that comes their way (whether that’s from your business or your competitor) and providing the candidate with the best experience possible. 

Modern job seekers are scrutinizing your business just as closely, if not more, than your recruiters are looking at them. They’re asking themselves questions like, “Does this company value my time?” or “How many days are passing between interviews?” You don’t want to keep them on the hook for too long or else you run the risk of losing them.

As the August jobs report suggests, the hiring market is slowing down, but that doesn’t mean your team can let off the gas during the hiring process. Time waits for no hiring manager in 2022, especially when it comes to the best job seekers on the market.

Make more than just a welcoming environment

When it comes to your company culture, you need to make it more than just a welcoming environment. While yes, you want every new hire to feel like they belong no matter what they believe in, what their skillset is, or how experienced they are in your field, your business needs to go beyond this if you want to stand out amongst your competitors. Your goal should be to support your employees by encouraging them to pursue what’s important to them.

Like we mentioned earlier, more and more job seekers are simply looking for job security in their next role — but adding things like flexibility certainly wouldn’t hurt your chances of securing that newest hire. However, there are more benefits and perks that you can add or improve to your company culture to truly make it great, including: 

  • Giving your team days off to volunteer for their non-profit of choice
  • One mental health day per month so they can nurture themselves
  • Additional, no-questions-asked PTO written into their contracts
  • Rewards for continuing their education

The goal here is to facilitate an environment that encourages your employees’ growth — and support them along the way. This is easier said than done, but when implemented correctly, the rewards greatly outweigh the costs.

So far, 2022 has been full of ups and downs in the hiring market. Currently, it appears that we are witnessing a much-needed cooldown period, wherein employers will regain some of the hiring power they lost over the past couple of years. It would be tempting to say that hiring will get easier, but that simply isn’t the case. Job seekers have had the upper hand for far too long to tolerate work environments that don’t fulfill their basic needs.

The good news is that there are ways that your business can hire competitively as the market cools down. It all begins with reaching candidates where they are, spreading the word about your openings through your existing employees, creating an environment that supports your employees, and making your hiring process as quick and efficient as possible to make your next hire. 

This may seem like a laundry list of to-dos, but Hireology’s powerful all-in-one platform can do the heavy lifting for you. Reach out to us to find 10 to 15 minutes to chat with a trained Hireologist to answer your most pressing hiring questions.

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