August Jobs Report — It’s Time for a Foundational Focus

The August Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation presented an unexpected slow month of job growth. Employers added 235,000 jobs — a pretty stark contrast to the roughly 1 million jobs added in July. As we’ve seen the delta variant spike across the country, it’s clear that the pandemic still has a tight grasp on our economic future.

Another factor contributing to the low August gains is that organizations have struggled to fill roles over the past few months due in part to health concerns, lack of childcare, shifting job seeker expectations, and more. For many employers, creating new roles might simply be less of a priority than filling existing open positions.

Leisure and hospitality roles had been the primary driver of job growth over the last few months, however growth in this sector stalled in August and actually saw an uptick in unemployment to 9.1%. Retail also lost 29,000 jobs — mostly coming from food and beverage stores. Conversely, professional and business services added 74,000 jobs, transportation and warehousing, private education, and manufacturing also saw gains.

On the bright side, the unemployment rate continues to drop month over month in the last year — now down to 5.2% from 5.4% in July. While this is still higher than the pre-pandemic rate of 3.5%, we are slowly but surely getting people back to work.

Overall, the August numbers are telling us that hiring and managing talent during the pandemic isn’t just temporary — we’re going to continue to see COVID-related ups and downs throughout the foreseeable future. So if you haven’t made any changes to your hiring process yet, now’s the time.

Hireology customers once again saw an increase in job gains this month. Our customers overall opened more jobs than they have at any point this year. The number of applicants jumped month over month and the number of hires shot up from the last month as well — up to over 12,000 hires. And finally, our time-to-hire metric remained just around 22 days. This is a sign that businesses that do make recruiting, hiring, and talent management a priority are able to keep hiring and fill their open roles fast.

In summary, the hiring challenges you’re facing now are here to stay. This means you have to make big, foundational changes to your talent management efforts rather than just placing band aids on your problem areas. Here’s what that looks like.

If you’d like to hear more of my take on this month’s BLS Report, check out the video below.

Overhaul your employer brand

Look at your employer brand through a job seeker’s lens. Are there other competing companies that offer better pay? Do you have benefits that make your business a best-in-class workplace? What about other incentives that keep your current employees content that might be attractive to new employees? Do you promote from within and have an inclusive culture? These are all things that job seekers look for, so re-evaluate what you offer your employees and give your career site and overall employer brand a complete refresh if necessary. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on attracting top talent, especially in times of uber-competitive hiring. 

Look at your sourcing metrics

Chances are you’re spending a lot of money on paid job boards and across all kinds of different sites to reach job seekers, but have you ever sat down to run the numbers on the ROI of each of these channels? Take a look at what’s working and what’s not, and reallocate your resources toward the channels that do drive hires.

Hireology’s insights and analytics can tell you all you need to know about your sourcing channels, including which avenues are providing the most quality applicants and where your largest number of hires stem from, making it much easier to pivot quickly.  

Audit your processes

Similarly, take a look at the steps you’re taking once applicants for your open roles start coming in. Are you following the same steps every time? Are your team members reviewing applicants quickly enough? Does everyone on your team understand what to do next at any given point in the process? Take time to outline predictable and repeatable steps so that your process can remain as streamlined as possible. While it may take a little time to create a process, it will help your team move faster and be more efficient long-term.

Your process adherence can then be tracked in the Hireology platform. You’ll be able to see where your hiring process is lagging behind, how quickly candidates are being moved through the hiring process, and general process trends that can help you make improvements. 

Consider new tools 

At a time when finding the right people for your organization is more important than ever, it’s important to make HR and hiring tools a priority at your organization. Look for platforms that can help you complete every HR related task — from pre-hire to post-hire — so that you can drive productivity and efficiency and reduce errors along the way.

Investing in a great hiring platform can be the difference between hiring great people and struggling to find talent. Hireology not only offers a recruitment solution, but covers all things hiring and employee management — with customizable interview guides, digital onboarding, payroll processing, and shift scheduling — in one platform, making it easier for you to manage your people processes.

While August job gains were lower than expected, unemployment is still steadily decreasing, signaling that people are ready to get back to work if the opportunities they find meet their needs. As an employer, now is the time to reset and focus on laying the foundation for your hiring efforts. Need assistance pressing the reset button on your hiring efforts? Schedule a demo today. 



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