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September BLS Report: How a People-First Approach Can Transform Your Business

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their September version of The Employment Situation, which showed a decline in the unemployment rate by 0.5 percentage points to 7.9%. This marks the second month in a row that we’re below the unemployment rate of the 2008 recession. 

Permanent layoffs are still occurring, and travel and entertainment companies are among the hardest hit. However, September did see 661,000 new jobs, primarily in the following industries:  leisure and hospitality, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and professional and business services.

While we’re seeing slow to moderate job growth, the survival of many businesses is dependent on further government aid. Though the government had originally said that talks around a new stimulus plan would be halted until after the election, they are now discussing potential stand-alone bills for aid to airlines, small businesses and individuals, but the release date is unknown. 

We are still living with a lot of uncertainty, and as we move into the colder months, focusing on your people operations can help your company prosper. Here are some ways to keep your company thriving with a people-first mentality. 

View Your Human Capital as Assets

Your team members are not only assets to your company — they are the most essential part of your business. Without them, your objectives could not be achieved. Having the mindset that your human capital is your biggest asset means you are taking the right measures to invest in your employees in the short and long term. 

“Those who invest now in the time and resources to get this right are going to come out ahead,” said Adam Robinson, Hireology’s CEO. Focusing on what your employees need during this time is vital to the success of your business.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure that your team is being treated like a true asset to your company:

  • Do I have enough people to meet the demand? 
  • Do I have the right people to drive the performance and profits I want? 
  • Am I setting employees up to be successful? 
  • What is my management team delivering? 
  • How am I ensuring my company is a desirable place to work?

These considerations should help guide your hiring decisions as well as your continuous onboarding initiatives. Investment in your people should persist throughout the entire employee lifecycle.

Don’t Rely on Applicant Volume to Fill Your Roles

There are some positions that are notoriously hard to fill. Whether they require specific technical abilities or skills, or more labor intensive capabilities, you’ll likely have a lower volume of applicants applying to these open roles. Though we’ve seen a continuous decline in the rate of unemployment and unemployment benefits have returned to pre-pandemic offerings, there are still safety concerns and government requirements as a result of COVID-19. 

Rather than hoping for an increase in applicant volume, look at your hiring process with a critical eye. Make sure you are managing your applicant sourcing channels and processes to identify the highest quality candidates. Use the tools at your disposal, like in-system background and skills tests, to make sure you’re not wasting time or resources on someone that ultimately isn’t the right fit. Work on differentiating your company from your competitors with a detailed career page that advertises all that your company has to offer — from benefits to career growth — to grab candidate attention.

Success Requires Leadership Support

Businesses who thrived in the last economic downturn focused on supporting and  communicating with their team. As many companies have had to downsize their staff, the ability to make up for skill variance has also dissipated. What must take the place of a higher headcount is strong management that supports and empowers your staff to be the best team. 

This requires strong communication, thinking critically about hiring and onboarding processes,  and truly focusing on developing each and every individual. With your team as your driving force for positive performance and profit production, you have to consider their immediate and long term needs throughout the pandemic and after. 

This Won’t Last Forever…

…but we’re still surrounded by a lot of unpredictability. Focus on what is within your control and provide your people with the support, training, and environment necessary to make it through this. Be flexible and critical of what is and isn’t working for your company, adapt as needed, and continue to put your team at the forefront of your business strategy. If you’re interested in seeing how Hireology can help you transform your people operations, you can schedule a demo here

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