In March 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that unemployment remained at 4.1 percent for the fifth consecutive month. This percentage equates to a total of 6.7 million Americans over age 16 involuntarily out of work. The 4.1 percent unemployment rate is less than half of the 10 percent rate of October 2009. Fortunately for American workers, the number has steadily declined to its current rate over the past nine years.
Why A Low Unemployment Rate Can Be Challenging For Employers
While the current landscape is great news for workers, it presents challenges to employers that they do not face during leaner times. The supply of potential employees with the desired skills is lower, which means key positions go unfilled for longer. On the flip side, people are more willing to leave their current jobs and take a chance on applying for a position they've always wanted.
The key for human resource professionals is to zero in on prospective candidates faster and offer an attractive compensation package. This is especially true if the ideal candidate already works for someone else. The employees your company needs may not even be looking for new positions. If they are actively searching, several of your competitors are actively trying to court them at the same time. Implementing an applicant-tracking system is one way to narrow your focus and move prospective employees along faster through the screening and interview process.
Find Out What Your Competition Is Paying
Your company may never attract high-skilled workers if it pays significantly lower and does not offer benefits that are as good as other businesses in the same field. Before the human resources department starts recruiting, make sure that someone has taken the time to research what your company’s closest competitors pay for the same or a similar position. One simple way to get this information is to pursue the employment ads for specific companies on job-posting websites. When you have an estimate of what the competition pays, increase your starting offer by at least five percent.
Get Creative About Recruitment
While studying the job boards to learn more about the open positions of your competition is a good idea, your human resources department can't stop there when it comes to finding new employees. Recruiting the top talent often involves thinking outside the box and showing up where they are most likely to be. For example, people trying to move forward in management might be enrolled in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at a local college. Contacting the college to hold a meet-and-greet event will likely net more qualified candidates than simply placing an ad.
Consider The Working Environment
Today’s employees, especially those under 35, often expect flexibility in scheduling or even working remotely from home. If most of the work must be completed in the office, seek to make it as collaborative, fun and friendly as possible. It's also a good idea to emphasize how people in the department work together to meet team goals and that managers are open to giving and receiving feedback at any time.
Need more ideas on how your business can thrive in the current financial culture? Just schedule an appointment with Employer Flexible today.