Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the September 2022 jobs report, showing that 263,000 jobs were added to the labor market last month. Additionally, the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5% from 3.7% last month.
The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of eligible workers who are working or actively seeking work, changed slightly from 62.4% in August to 62.3% in September. While the economy saw this slight dip, Hireology customers continued to build the best teams at their businesses with our hiring help. In September alone, our customers opened 19,353 jobs, received 413,745 applications, and had an average time-to-hire of 19.69 days. Additionally, our customers added a cumulative 12,432 to their staff in September.
In September, the leisure and hospitality sector led job creation by adding 83,000 jobs, making it just 6.7% less than the industry’s pre-pandemic levels. Of that amount, 60,0000 were added to the food services and drinking establishments last month, a welcome statistic for restaurateurs whose ability to provide the best dining experience possible has been impacted by the labor shortage.
Healthcare was second in job creation last month; the industry saw 60,000 new positions created and has officially reached its pre-pandemic levels. Professional and business services was third with 46,000 roles created as the industry continued its trend of growth over the last few months. Manufacturing remained fourth in job creation in September with 22,000 jobs created.
What was interesting about the September BLS report is that some of the industries (like healthcare) that have been struggling to get closer to their pre-pandemic levels have either crossed that threshold or have been making significant gains month over month. This is great news as it is a soft marker for the willingness of the average job seeker to reenter the traditional workforce. With the threat of a looming recession, many job seekers have been on the search for job security — and are willing to be more flexible in their requirements for their next roles.
For businesses owners and hiring managers, this means that the talent you’ve been searching for is reentering the market and reconsidering what they’re willing to acquiesce in exchange for the stable income they seek. Simply put — the workers you need are out there and they’re looking for positions like the ones you offer.
That isn’t to say that hiring for your open positions will suddenly become easier. In fact, if anything, hiring top talent will remain a very competitive market, even as we see those who have operated in the gig economy reenter the labor market. Your business will need to do everything in your power to position your open roles as a safe and reliable source of employment for these workers who are uncertain of what the future holds.
With that in mind, it’s time to look at your recruiting and hiring strategies to see where your business can improve in order to add top talent to your team. Just because hiring won’t be as easy as it was three years ago doesn’t mean that sourcing the talent you need is impossible. The number of jobs created this month proves just that by remaining competitive in your hiring strategies, you’ll be able to satisfy your staffing needs. Read on to learn more about what you can do this month to capture your share of workers returning to the labor market.
Customize your career site
No matter where you share your job openings, they should all “live” in one central location: your career site. Consider this page an extension of your brand, especially if you have multiple locations. Your career site is ground zero for your job posts because just like bots crawl every page of your website to determine where it should show up in search results, your job openings will be reviewed for applications like Google Jobs and more. In fact, our hiring study from earlier this year found that 10% of job seekers go directly to a search engine like Google first when looking for their next role.
To keep your career site competitive, your career site should list all of your open positions, every benefit and perk in your employee package, and highlight your company values or culture. While you want to capitalize on SEO tactics to rank higher and have your open roles show up on those search engines, you should optimize your career site to appeal as much as possible to the candidate. Good candidates are going to research your company, either before or after they submit an application.
While the pressure is on to find job security, top talent still wants to know what they’re getting into. Benefits and perks can help sway a candidate to apply to your open roles, especially if you offer an incentive that typically takes a while before new hires can reap the rewards (like health insurance). Emphasizing your company values and/or culture allows talent the rare opportunity to look inside your workplace before they even set a foot through the door; while you can generally tell whether a candidate will be a good fit for your company, they don’t often get the chance to reciprocate. Paint them a picture — and show them a few! — on your website to gain a competitive advantage in this hiring market.
Reach the candidate before the competition
Be honest: how many times have you dismissed a notification that you received an email from your smartphone’s taskbar? Now have you ever done that with a text message?
Instead of relying on top talent constantly monitoring their inboxes — and spam folders — waiting on a reply from one of the many open positions the candidate applied for, it’s time to text them. In our hiring study, 90% of respondents stated they would be willing to text with a recruiter if it meant speeding up the hiring process. On top of that, studies have shown that texts are responded to much faster than an email is; one reported that a text is read within 90 seconds of being received whereas emails typically take 90 minutes to be read, on average.
The talent you want to hire isn’t always at their computer — but they are on their phones, or at least have them nearby. By incorporating texting into your hiring process, you can be the first to respond to their interest. Plus, you can continue to keep the lines of communication open throughout the hiring process by letting the candidate know what the next steps in the process are, remind them of upcoming interviews or deadlines for submitting documents, and even reiterate all of the great benefits and perks that come along with a role at your company.
Earn referrals from your employees
With the recent shift in hiring dynamics that happened last month thanks to the uncertain labor market, stability has become a commodity that job seekers are coveting — and something that your business can provide them. If you’ve put in the work over the last few years to cater to the job seeker and incorporated new people policies surrounding PTO, flexible scheduling, etc. then you’ve created a workplace that your current employees likely enjoy and want to stay at. The stability you’ve offered your current staff can be just as rewarding for their friends and family — if they help them find a role at your company through employee referrals.
Creating an employee referral program doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, earning employee referrals in this hiring market can be as simple as incentivizing employees to recruit from their existing networks with rewards like referral bonuses, additional PTO, or gift cards to a spa or local restaurant. Make the submission process simple for your staff to participate in; only ask them for basic contact information, like first and last name of the candidate they’re referring to you and the best way to contact them.
Make a great first impression
First impressions matter — and for a new hire, this starts during the hiring and onboarding process. Joining your team shouldn’t be a convoluted procedure; all of the programs you use throughout your recruiting, hiring, and employee management operations should connect easily with one another. When your HR software “talks” to each other, your team can transfer data seamlessly and securely between platforms without typos.
For example, the software you use to ensure that new hires complete your digital onboarding procedures and collect necessary documents should connect easily with your employee management platform. This integration allows your HR department to accurately track where the newest member of your team is in their onboarding and add them to the schedule as soon as possible. Your employee management tool should also be capable of integrating with your payroll provider so that as soon as your new recruit starts working, they’ll start earning. The last thing you ever want to do to your employees is make a mistake when it comes to payroll, but especially on their first paycheck.
If you need another reason to use an integrated technology stack, platforms that sync easily to one another save your HR department time they could spend on other tasks that drive ROI at your company.
The hiring market for much of 2022 has been up and down, making it difficult for employers to find and keep the talent you need. September proved to follow this trend, as many workers reentered the labor market searching for financial stability amidst concerns of a looming recession. While there has been an influx in the amount of job seekers looking for work, hiring has not necessarily become easier for employers.
Despite the hiring difficulties we’ve seen all year, there is still hope. Your business can source the talent you need by showcasing the stability your company offers in these uncertain times, proactively responding to applicants so that they hear back from your company first, earning employee referrals, and using an integrated technology stack to drive ROI within your HR department.
Hireology’s all-in-one platform offers many of the solutions businesses like yours will be looking for this month. To see how our many features and integrations can benefit your company, let’s find time to connect for a personalized overview of what we can do for you.