January 2020 Jobs Report Recap: Key Takeaways and Hiring Tips

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its January 2020 jobs report. According to the latest numbers, the U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January. This marked the 112th consecutive month the U.S. economy has added jobs, continuing a record-breaking streak. 

The unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low but increased slightly in January, from 3.5 percent to 3.6 percent, but this change can largely be attributed to more individuals choosing to enter the workforce. In today’s applicant-driven economy, more job seekers are coming off the sidelines and actively seeking out open roles given the abundance of job opportunities available.

As the U.S. economy continues to add jobs and the competition for top talent remains tight, what can your team do to secure quality candidates who will drive productivity and profitability for your organization? I’ve highlighted some key tips you can consider below. 

Consider candidates who don’t meet all your requirements

As reported in The New York Times, given the tight labor market, many employers are thinking outside the box when it comes to expanding their prospective talent pool. For example, some employers are hiring candidates with disabilities, criminal records and other criteria that might have otherwise been barriers to employment. 

A similar option your team can consider is hiring driven candidates who don’t necessarily meet every single requirement in your job descriptions. The right candidate will be more than eager to continuously learn on the job and positively contribute to your team. 

In many cases, hiring employees who are a great fit for your company culture can be more important than hiring exclusively based on previous experience and qualifications. If you hire an employee who meets every single requirement, but he or she isn’t a culture fit or has a bad attitude, this can have a negative impact on your team.

Employees who are the right culture fit for your organization are likely excited to hit the ground running as soon as they get started – even if they don’t have the exact right skills and experience. And it’s much easier to teach skills to the right employee rather than try to mold a poor culture fit to be bought into your organization’s mission and core values. 

When you come across candidates in the hiring process who seem like a great fit but could use some additional skills training, let the candidates know how you will help set them up for success if they join your team.

By making sure to consider candidates who don’t have the exact required experience listed in your job descriptions, you can expand your potential labor pool in today’s competitive hiring market. And you just might end up with some of your best employees whom you otherwise would have overlooked.

Excite job seekers about joining your team 

In today’s competitive hiring market, job seekers can be more selective than ever before when it comes to considering open roles and making career moves. Because of this, your organization needs to sell job seekers about the opportunity joining your team presents. 

Top job seekers look for far more than simply an exchange of time for money from their employers. To engage qualified talent, it’s important to focus on the overall value proposition you have to offer employees, answering the “What’s in it for me?” question for job seekers. As part of the employee value proposition, your team needs to outline defined career paths, a comprehensive list of benefits, opportunities for continuous training, and employee testimonials and success stories in both your job descriptions and on your career site. 

Another way to reach a broader talent pool with your open roles is by offering flexible work arrangements. As highlighted in The New York Times, to capture the attention of job seekers given the historically low unemployment rate, employers are becoming more flexible with the work arrangements they offer employees. For example, employees have options to work from home, set their own schedules and have a hand in designing their career paths. 

Not only can this help you secure prospective job seekers who were already considering your open roles, but it can also help you reach stay-at-home parents, rural job seekers and job seekers completely outside your market who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to join your team. 

The new decade started off strong, with 225,000 jobs added in the U.S. economy and another month of near-record low unemployment. This strong economy presents challenges to employers looking to secure top job talent, but by having a proactive recruitment marketing and hiring strategy in place, you can secure qualified employees who will drive positive results for your team. 

For additional tips on exciting quality job seekers for your open roles, read our resource, “The Hireology Employment Brand Playbook.” 



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