Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most shocking jobs report we’ve seen in decades.
In January, employers added 517,000 new jobs — nearly tripling the number economists predicted. At the same time, the employment rate dropped to 3.4%, which is the lowest it’s been since 1969. What this tells us is that the job market is still hotter than ever and a recession might not be as much of a threat as experts predicted.
Additional highlights include:
- Most of January’s jobs came from the leisure and hospitality sector with 128,000 jobs created
- Wage growth slowed in January, with average hourly earnings falling 0.4 percentage points to a 4.4% annual increase
- The labor force participation rate increased to 62.4% from 62.3%
- The information sector lost only 5,000 jobs despite massive layoffs in major tech companies like Microsoft and Google.
What this means for employers in skilled labor sectors — including hospitality, healthcare, and retail automotive — is that after years of hiring difficulty, talent is now even harder to come by than it’s ever been. On average across all verticals there are still two open jobs for every one job seeker. But in skilled labor industries that continue to pour jobs into the economy, that ratio is even more dire.
Getting ahead in an extremely tight labor market means you need to become best-in-class in recruiting, hiring, and people management. That means you cannot keep doing the same tactics you’ve done and hope you attract applicants. You need to revamp how you connect with job seekers, how you engage them throughout the hiring process, and how you keep them happy as an employee.
Here’s a closer look:
Market your jobs in a way that resonates with job seekers
When you’re competing with dozens of other employers for the same job seeker, you have to stand out. That means you need to start by redefining what you offer job seekers. Remember, you need to sell your open roles as opportunities that benefit the job seeker — rather than simply work that benefits you. And the good news is that with wage growth slowing down due to inflation, there are opportunities to gain an edge without raising pay but rather offering benefits like flexibility, career growth, and more.
Of course, redefining what you offer is just the start. Without a strategy for getting the word out about what you offer, it’s almost impossible to stand out in the crowd of employers all looking to hire the same people you are. You need a great career site that shows up in search results as well as job descriptions that perform well in organic job feeds and effectively tell the story of why your organization is a great place to work.
Reach job seekers on a multiple channels
Given the small size of the available talent pool, you need to do everything you can to connect with anyone who might be interested in your roles. That means you need to market your jobs and your organization on as many channels as possible — from job boards to employee referral programs to your own existing database of talent relationships.
This is where technology can make all the difference. With a people-first ATS like Hireology, every new job you create can easily be shared across all channels — allowing you to reach as many job seekers as possible in the least amount of time. You can even use Hireology to communicate with your existing database of talent (from past candidates to former employees) to reach folks you know already have an interest in working for your organization.
Move faster in the hiring process
Because job seekers have dozens of opportunities available to them, you can’t afford to move slow in the hiring process. Even just a few extra hours can be the difference between hiring a great candidate and losing them to the competitor down the street. In fact, Hireology’s recent applicant survey found that 30% of job seekers today get hired in less than two weeks. If you take longer than that, you’re missing out on the top third of available talent.
For most organizations, slow hiring processes are the result of outdated and disparate recruiting and hiring technology. You shouldn’t have to spend hours jumping across systems that don’t talk to each other just to get a candidate through an interview or background check. Everything you need to quickly complete each step in your hiring process — whether that’s interview scheduling, background checks, or skills tests — should live in one system.
Provide a better candidate experience
And finally, when candidates are interviewing with dozens of employers they simply do not have to force themselves to navigate your lengthy and complex hiring processes. Why would they spend days going back and forth with you via email to schedule three different in-person interviews when they have multiple opportunities on the table? Making candidates jump through hoops to prove their interest in working for you will no longer cut it. You have to show that you value their time and their needs when it comes to the job search by providing them with a great experience.
In fact, the applicant survey mentioned above found that of the job seekers who admitted to ghosting an employer most (42%) said they did so because the process was taking too long while another 40% said because the company seemed disorganized.
So what can you do? Always put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Think about how easy it is for them to do pretty much anything they want online — from ordering delivery, to booking a hotel, to getting a ride. Getting a job should be no different. They should be able to complete everything from their phones from anywhere. And the entire process — including onboarding — should never take more than a few weeks.
The hiring market is tighter than it’s ever been. So if your jobs still aren’t resonating with the talent pool today or you still haven’t improved your hiring process to make it easier and faster, then you’re never going to stand out and make the hires you need to make to keep your business running smoothly. Now is the time to invest in tools that can help you get there. Don’t wait — schedule a free consultation today to learn how Hireology can help you.