The unemployment rate is at a whopping 3.9%, the lowest it’s been since the year 2000. Though that may sound like an amazing statistic, the figures are a bit misleading.
The unemployment rate considers more than just who has a job and who doesn’t, it accounts for the number of job seekers as a whole. The unemployment rate dropping so low is indicating not that seekers have found jobs, but that most have either retired or gave up looking altogether. Basically, this means that the total amount of people looking for employment is at an all-time low.
In addition to this, another statistic has been reported that the “soft skills” most companies require for employees are in a mass shortage. “Soft skills” refer to the ability communicate well through written and verbal mediums. Unfortunately, there are several factors undermining these highly valued skills. While many education systems put a focus on the importance of math and computer skills, most degrees don’t require any sort of communication competency assessment beyond fulfilling a couple of gen ed requirements. This means classes that teach important interpersonal skills, like public speaking or writing and editing for publication, are often only required for those who are studying these fields, which puts others at a great disadvantage. Another factor complicating this includes the introduction of online culture to the younger generations, where most communication is done from screen to screen and not face to face.
Why does this impact you?
There are more jobs than there are qualified applicants to fill them. For those who have these rare “soft skills”, this means that they have many job options to choose from. Because of this, candidate poaching is at an all-time high. Companies are fiercely competing with each other over employees.
How we can help:
We’ve created a comprehensive list of how you can put your company out in front when trying to attract new qualified candidates.
- Up-sell benefits
- Everyone wants to know “what’s in it for me?” In fact, studies have shown the better the benefits, the more loyal employees tend to be. Up-sell what you’re offering, it may help convince a candidate to choose you over a competitor.
- Do your research
- Know what your general impression is with the public. If you don’t know how others perceive you, it could hurt all of your recruitment efforts even before you begin. Create a focus group, run performance surveys, and Google your company. You could even hire an analytics specialist to help you gauge how you should better market yourself towards your desired audience. This actually leads us to the next point:
- Consumers trust people, not businesses.
- An overwhelming amount of research done in the past three years has concluded that Millennials and Gen Z do not trust companies due to negative impressions of “big business”. How do you combat this? Humanize your company. Partner with a local nonprofit, or work on making your social media accounts more “authentic” *
*Authenticity is a buzzword that indicates the overall feeling of a social media account. It relates to “realness”, in other words, something that doesn’t feel commercialized.
- Don’t wait
- This is the biggest, and maybe most important, item on this list. We cannot stress enough how important this is. With such a small pool to choose from, when you meet a candidate you like, act fast. Today’s culture is all about immediacy. By making your leap now, you are securing an employee from other company predators, and fulfilling the candidate’s expectation to hear back as soon as possible. This can increase the candidate’s positive associations towards the company, and therefore impact their future work-ethic by appealing to their need to feel valued.