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October BLS Jobs Report — Recruiting is Only Half of the Solution

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the October 2022 jobs report, showing that 261,000 jobs were added to the labor market last month. Additionally, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from its previous dip to 3.5% in September.

The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of eligible workers who are working or actively seeking work, dipped slightly from 62.3% in September to 62.2% in October. Despite a pool of talent that’s steadfastly shrinking, Hireology customers continued to source and hire the employees they needed. In October, our customers created 18,144 jobs, received 338,549 applications, and had an average of 25 days-to-hire. On top of that, Hireology customers made 12,777 hires last month alone, the third highest amount in a single month that we’ve seen in the last 12 months. 

In October, the healthcare industry led job creation with a total of 53,000 new roles. Interestingly enough, 11,000 of those positions were in nursing and residential care facilities alone, suggesting that these organizations are finding and hiring the talent they need to provide the best care experience possible. Professional and business services were second in job creation with 43,000 new roles in October, while leisure and hospitality placed third with 35,000 jobs. 

October’s jobs report was interesting for several reasons. Firstly, as noted earlier, the labor force participation rate is shrinking slightly month-over-month. What this means for business owners and hiring managers is that there are less and less job seekers actively searching for new roles. If you remember from last month’s jobs report, we highlighted how the threat of a recession is making many would-be applicants hunker down in their current roles; nothing holds  greater weight to the job seeker in this labor market than security and flexibility. 

Secondly, we’re seeing an uptick in employment in some of the industries that have had the hardest time reclaiming the talent they need at their establishments — most noticeably in the healthcare and manufacturing fields. You might remember that last month we celebrated healthcare officially reaching pre-pandemic staffing levels, which is exciting in and of itself. With manufacturing placing in the top three for job creation in October, however, this could be taken as a soft marker that folks are returning to work in roles that have traditionally remained stable even during turbulent economic times.

Hiring isn’t going to become exponentially easier, however. Competition for top talent isn’t going to fall to the wayside, meaning that your business has to be on your A-game when it comes to recruiting — but that’s only half of the equation. You need to ensure that your onboarding processes are tightly hemmed so you can provide new hires the best experience possible when they first make the commitment to your organization. Retention is the name of the game this quarter, especially if you want to keep the superstars on your team no matter how long they’ve been with the company. 

That’s not to say that adding the talent to your team that you need is going to be impossible. If anything, the amount of new roles created in October should be taken as a good sign as many economists only predicted that 200,000 jobs would be created, proving that hiring is attainable during these uncertain times. Your business, however, needs to closely evaluate your recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes to not only attract new talent but retain your newest hires. Read on to learn more about what you can do this month for hiring success during this busy holiday season.

If it can be measured it can be managed

We’ll be the first to admit: hiring takes a lot of trial and error to find what works best for your business over another in a different industry. That being said, the one sure fire way to make sure your company is spending your hiring dollars wisely is to pay close attention to the effectiveness of each strategy via HR insights and analytics

HR technology has brought a ton of data to your fingertips that otherwise would have required hours to manually extract and analyze the findings. With modern applicant tracking systems, you generally have everything you need to make educated decisions on which candidate sources deliver the best ROI for your company.

The best way to manage your hiring sources (and money) is to monitor these sources as key performance indicators, or at the very least setting aside time every month to dig deep into the data available to you. It’s important to note here that not every ATS offers this information for free like Hireology does, but it is well worth the cost to better hone your hiring efforts in this labor market.

Reach candidates where they’re at

If you’re not reaching candidates where they’re at, you’re essentially throwing your money in the trash. While part of this issue can be addressed by monitoring the effectiveness of each of your candidate sources, if you want your business to gain the competitive edge you need to stand out in this hiring market, you have to connect with applicants in the most convenient way possible for them.

What’s the one place you can always reach a candidate? Their cell phone. While most mobile devices are capable of opening and replying to emails these days, it’s a good idea to incorporate text messages into your hiring process. Text messages are read within 90 seconds, on average, whereas an email can take up to 90 minutes. Like you saw earlier, there are fewer and fewer applicants entering the labor market — making it even more important for you to be one of the first companies to respond to them when they’re interested in working for you.

A secondary tactic you should consider adding to your recruiting repertoire is to physically go to where the candidates are. This means taking stock of any and all job fairs, sports events, or other local community events where you can sponsor a booth at. Consider this the guerilla warfare of hiring and organize pop up interviews at events that your target employee demographic will likely be at.

Create your own talent pool

Sometimes, the best laid plans just don’t pan out. When that happens, it’s time to get creative when it comes to recruiting. 

Consider supplementing your traditional candidate pool with one that you build on your own — we promise it’s easier to set up than it sounds. Instead of trying to squeeze water from a rock, create passive pipelines of candidates who have already expressed interest in your organization. These warm leads can lead to your next hire (and a full staff!) if done correctly.

To create these passive pipelines, it’s imperative that your hiring managers take careful notes during the interview process. Even if you decide to move forward with another candidate, put the effort into communicating with the rejected applicant that you would be interested in working with them in the future if you could honestly see them succeeding in another role on your team — and follow through. When a position that has aspects that they expressed interest in or that they’re a perfect fit for opens up, reach out to them. It’s as simple as that!

You can tap into this self-made reservoir of talent to recruit years into the future. For instance, one of our customers has had success in hiring for much needed roles at their dealership by sending out an email blast to previous applicants over the last two years who were in the local area to attend a hiring event. 

Start new hires on the right foot

You can’t build a structure on a shaky foundation and you can’t expect new hires to succeed if they don’t start out on the right foot. There’s more to onboarding than just having the greenhorn watch mandatory training videos and fill out their paperwork — there’s the manual work that your HR department must complete before the new hire’s first pay day to remain compliant.

Of employees that have left before their first paycheck, the second highest reason for leaving was some aspect being skipped or lost during the onboarding process. This doesn’t have to happen, though. 

With digital onboarding options, you can collect all of the necessary paperwork from your newest employee all before their first day so they can hit the ground running. They may still need to watch a video or two or attend orientation in-person, but the most time-consuming task has already been completed so they are able to be productive faster than ever before. 

Other added bonuses of using digital onboarding include:

  • Reduced risk of misentered data
  • Integrations with your HRIS/payroll provider
  • Increased retention rates

While there were more jobs created in October 2022 than anticipated, the amount of workers searching for these roles has continued the slightly downward trend. For business owners and hiring managers alike, this can seem like daunting news — but it doesn’t have to be as scary it seems at first glance.

With a little refining of your current recruitment and hiring processes, your business can make the hires you need going into this busy holiday season. By proactively monitoring which candidate sources deliver the best ROI and candidates, reaching candidates where they’re at, creating a passive talent pipeline to recruit from as needed, and improving retention rates by starting new hires on the right foot, you can set your business up for success now and in the future.

If you want to power up your people policy and drive up to 34% more applicants, download your copy of Mythbusting Common Flexibility Beliefs. In it, we challenge you to rethink flexibility at your workplace as it is the number one deciding factor job seekers take into consideration for their next role. 

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