- Unemployment is near historic lows.
- Job openings are down.
- And a generational skills gap threatens our talent.
In a pickle in this current hiring landscape?
I’ve been here several times in my decades in the recruitment industry. Here’s a glance at the current economy and how you can take advantage and emerge a winner on other side – because there always is another side.
The current economy in a nutshell
Let’s start this off by saying I’m by no means an economist. So I’m just going to echo what I’m hearing in the news and you can interpret as you wish.
Unemployment at its lowest
Remember when everyone thought we were entering a recession? Well, technically, it did happen. But our labor market apparently hasn’t gotten the memo.
Unemployment is hovering at 3.5% near historic low rates, the lowest in 54 years.
It seems like good news when you hear that unemployment is at its low, right? But when it comes to finding talent, low unemployment is a double-edged sword.
With a smaller pool of job seekers, you may struggle to fill open positions. This is where a sourcing strategy (beyond sourcing skills and tools) can help.
In a competitive market, you need to be able to engage the most qualified candidates within seconds (I guess we’ll settle for minutes too) of their application.
Job openings at their lowest since 2021
After growing like crazy to start the year, job openings have actually decreased.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of job openings in the U.S. fell to 9.9 million on the last day of February, down from the 10.4 million forecast for the month.
Businesses are adjusting to a new economy.
While others are preparing for a recession that has yet to come.
And some are having trouble finding the right talent to fill positions. Which brings us to our next point…
Generational skills gap
Obviously, the workplace has changed a ton. The rise of tech and the shift to remote work has created a significant gap between the skills that older generations have and the skills that younger generations bring to the table.
This generational skills gap is making it harder for companies to find employees who have the right mix of experience and technical know-how. A delicate needle to thread in any market.
Strategies for overcoming the talent shortage
- Invest in reskilling & upskilling programs — Help your employees adapt to the changing job market by offering training and development programs. By investing in your workforce, you’ll also attract talent that wants to grow personally and professionally. A win-win for everyone!
- Embrace flexible work arrangements — Remote work is here to stay, folks. By offering remote or hybrid options, you leverage a larger talent pool and attract candidates no matter their preferences.
- Leverage mentorship opportunities — Pairing employees from different generations will bridge the skills gap and feed your company culture. This way, everyone can learn from each other and benefit from a more social team.
- Highlight your company culture — It’s not just about the paycheck. In fact, less so every day. “Generation Z values salary less than every other generation,” says Deloitte. Your job candidates want to work for a company that aligns with their values. So make sure your culture shines through in your hiring process.
- Tap into technology — Tech is a game-changer for all organizations. Yes, the landscape changes quickly. So you need someone dedicated to staying on top of all the newest trends (ahem, AI). By using the right tools, you’ll find and hire the best talent possible.
- Get creative with your job postings — A standard, run-of-the-mill job posting won’t cut it anymore. Make sure your job listings are engaging, informative and accurately reflect your open role. Show your candidates, don’t just tell them.
- Prioritize quality over speed — We talk a lot about quality over here at Field of Talent. And we stand by that. Speed will get you your dream candidates before your competitors can even utter their name. However, in a tight labor market, you have to prioritize quality over speed. You don’t get a mulligan. Even if it means waiting a bit longer, make the right hiring decisions.
The talent shortage seems daunting. But no challenge is too difficult if you prepare well enough for it.
Need a partner to ensure your strategy is bulletproof heading into a more precarious hiring market?
Field of Talent has helped organizations like USA Gymnastics, Outside Source and many others across diverse industries speed up their hiring process, hire hundreds of incredibly talented teammates and prepare for the future.
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