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October 2019 Job Market Recap: Key Takeaways and Hiring Tips

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its jobs report for the month of October. According to the latest numbers, the U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October, far exceeding initial expectations for 85,000 new jobs. 
Unemployment has been historically low year to date and while it did tick up slightly – from 3.5 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October – this uptick can be attributed to more people choosing to enter the workforce.

In October, the labor force increased by 325,000, with the participation rate reaching 63.3 percent – the highest rate since 2013. In today’s applicant-driven economy, more job seekers are coming off the sidelines and proactively looking for work given the abundance of job opportunities available. 
With the economy expected to remain strong in the coming months, this poses challenges for employers looking to fill open roles in the tight labor market. This means your team needs to have an effective hiring strategy in place to stand out from your competition to attract top talent. I’ve highlighted some key steps you can take below. 

Sell Job Seekers on Your Open Roles 

Today’s top job seekers are already employed, meaning they have the flexibility to be more selective when considering open roles – and your team needs to sell these applicants on the career opportunity joining your team presents.

In today’s applicant-driven economy, job seekers are looking for far more than simply an exchange of time for money from their employers. To engage top talent, it’s important to focus on the overall value proposition you have to offer employees. 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. 
Once you have a defined employee value proposition, the next step is making sure this message is reaching job seekers where they’re searching for open roles. Just as it’s important for your broader website to be compelling to customers and prospects, you need to take the same approach to your career site and ensure open roles can easily be found by job seekers. The most engaged job seekers apply to job opportunities on career sites, as they’re invested in learning more about their fit potential roles, rather than simply clicking “apply” on a job board. 
Your career site should include all the key elements of your employee value proposition and strong, search-optimized job descriptions for each of your open roles. Up to 70 percent of job searches start on Google, so having search-optimized career site content and job descriptions will help your open roles reach job seekers.

Manage Your Hiring Process to Avoid Losing Applicants 

Once you secure qualified job applicants, your team needs to move the hiring process along quickly and keep top talent engaged – or you’ll risk losing your best applicants to competing job offers. 
Across our customer base, Hireology data found that retail automotive dealerships lost about one in five applicants and healthcare organizations lost just over 10 percent of applicants in the first half of 2019 simply because they were never reviewed or were reviewed too late. In today’s competitive hiring market, you can’t afford to miss out on qualified talent simply because you aren’t managing your hiring process and losing applicants as a result. 
Effectively managing your hiring process and driving accountability across managers and locations will enable you to speed up hiring without sacrificing candidate quality – ultimately helping your team staff for success while avoiding lost applicants.
One way to drive manager accountability is by tapping into hiring data. The right hiring data can help you better understand the health of your hiring efforts by highlighting such metrics as: percentage of applicants reviewed, overall time to review, time spent in each hiring step and total time to hire. 
If this data flags applicants are getting held up in certain hiring steps or a specific location or manager isn’t reviewing applicants in a timely manner, you can outline next steps to streamline your hiring. For example, you can ask each manager to commit to reviewing all applicants within 24 hours and tap into tools such as prescreen surveys to weed out unqualified applicants – saving your team time. 
By selling top job seekers on your open roles and better managing your hiring process, you can stand out in today’s competitive hiring market and create a human capital advantage through your people. For additional tips on making your hiring process as efficient as possible, read our resource, “The Seamless Hiring Process Playbook.”

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