May 2023 Jobs Report — Recruit and Retain Staff with Talent-Friendly Processes

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that employers added 339,000 jobs to the economy in May, once again exceeding expert predictions and defying attempted cool downs from the government. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, a 0.3% increase from April’s. This is the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen since October 2022, a sign that more people are entering the workforce. There are a few reasons as to why this may be happening; some are reentering the job market after being laid off at their previous employer, while others are returning after voluntarily being out of the workforce. 

In May, professional and business services led job creation again with 64,000 added jobs, followed by government roles with 56,000 jobs added and healthcare with 52,000. These industries have continued to surpass their pre-pandemic employment levels, with the exception of the government sector which has slowly been making gains.

At face value, it appears that the job market is showing a great deal of resilience — despite the federal government’s attempts to cool rising inflation. These results indicate that employers are still seeking to add workers to their teams, despite ongoing worries about a looming recession and rising interest rates. One promising indicator for employers was that wage growth began slowing in May, rising only 0.3% from April (4.3% over a 12-month period), a signal to many that there is significantly less demand to compete on pay for top talent. 

With uncertain economic times ahead, hiring managers and business owners can expect to see more job seekers return to the market, which will be a great help to ease staffing stress. In the past, moving as quickly as possible was table stakes to capture the best talent on the market; now, however, businesses have the opportunity to be more deliberate in their hiring decisions to put the right people in the right seats to provide the best experience possible for consumers. Simply put: you can afford to be more deliberate in who you hire since there are more available job seekers out there.

Read on to learn more about what you can do to recruit and retain staff with talent-friendly processes.

Reach your best candidates in the right places

Finding top talent shouldn’t feel like you’re trying to get water from a stone — but it can if you’re looking in all of the wrong places for the best applicants for your business. There’s no one “right” way to source candidates that work for every industry, but you can refine your recruiting process with trial and error. You can start determining the channels that drive recruitment ROI by distributing your jobs on a range of sources, like job boards, social media, in-person events, physical signage at your establishment, and more. It is important to use insights and analytics to determine which channels reliably produce the best applicants and hires for your open roles so you can focus your efforts where you get the most impact.

Tip: Candidates love to see a customized career site that answers any questions they may have about the role or your business. Use this website as a place to highlight your company culture, list out the benefits and perks of working for you, or demonstrate a realistic career pathway to entice talent to apply.

Keep your candidates warm in the hiring process

Intentionally moving with urgency does not always equate to hiring haphazardly. In fact, there are tools you can use to help your business retain hiring speed while reducing the amount of applicants who ghost you. The most prevalent example of this would be automation, a function that allows you to automate your hiring process so your team can move faster on top candidates, avoid mistakes, and save time that could otherwise be spent on other ROI driving tasks. There are several areas in the hiring process where automation could come in handy that help keep candidates “warm” and interested in your company, thus increasing the likelihood of converting them to your next hire. You could even use automation to help you identify top candidates to move forward to with the use of screening surveys and knock-out questions.

Make a new hire's first day as easy as possible

First impressions matter, whether that’s when you’re interviewing an interested candidate or it’s your new hire’s first day on the job. In fact, we’d even wager to say that making a great first impression on a first day might be more important than the interview because turnover directly and negatively impacts your bottom line. Instead of sequestering your new teammates, you can get them to productivity faster and let them interact with their coworkers by implementing digital onboarding at your organization. Digital onboarding allows your hiring team to send all of the necessary paperwork to new hires before their first day, allowing the employee to fill out this on their own time so you can start training faster. If your industry requires certifications and other qualifications, you can also collect documents virtually in another time-saving measure.

Rethink your people policies for workers to stay

As mentioned earlier, wages are no longer increasing at the rapid clip that we’ve seen for much of the last 6 months, meaning that there is less pressure for businesses to hire competitively based on pay. Instead, the benefits that come with a role will likely be the deciding factor for top talent when deciding to accept offers. But what about your current team — are you offering current (and potential) employees perks that endear them to you? 

If not, you can do a pulse check of your current staff’s desires with a simple survey. Ask them to rank what they would like to see added to your people policies; it will help if you give them a set list to choose from, but you can also add space for other answers. Keeping your superstars is important, as vacant positions have a cost for every day that they’re unfilled.

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the economy and subsequently, the labor market, in the months ahead. At present time, however, the hiring landscape seems resilient enough thanks to the job seekers reentering the workforce. In order to build the best teams possible, you’ll need to determine the best places to reach top talent, how to keep your candidates organized, ensure that you make a good impression on a new hire’s first day, and rework your people policies so you can retain your best employees. If you’d like to learn more about what the modern applicant is looking for, keep an eye out for Hireology’s 2023 State of Hiring report, set to come out later this month.

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