With the shift from an employer job market to a candidate job market, recruiters continue to be pushed to their limits in trying to attract and recruit new talent to their organizations. In this increasingly competitive job market, we will either have to rethink the way we recruit and screen candidates or accept the fact that our time-to-fill metrics will continue creeping up. Below we provide six tips for how recruiters, talent acquisition professionals, and employers can take an inclusive approach to identifying hidden talent among the underemployed and the unemployed.
Labor Market Update
Companies continue to add 250,000 new jobs a month, driving our national unemployment rate down to 5%. In Why Its Hard to Find Talent for Entry Level and Hourly Positions, we show how the unemployment rate is projected to fall to 4.5% by August 2016. This is great news for our economy, but New Labor Market Realities: Recruiting Friend or Foe? shows the impact the talent crunch is having on talent acquisition across industries. Our Talent Crunch Top 5 List summarizes the talent shortage that exists in our current job market.
Since June 2015, our national unemployment has been inching downward. Jobs continue to be added, particularly in professional and business services. In addition to the Top 5 Talent Crunch list, engineering services, health care services (especially in ambulatory health care and hospitals), retail trade, and food and beverage services also have some of the fastest growing number of job openings.
Yet the latest BLS statistics1 show very little downward movement in the number of workers employed part time for economic reasons, i.e., because they are unable to find a full time job or their hours have been cut back. This is also true for the marginally attached, that is, individuals who have given up actively looking for work. These two groups combined account for millions of potential job candidates.
Just think of the following ratios: At the peak of the recession, there were almost 7 job seekers per job opening. Today, that number has dropped to just 1.4 job seekers per job opening.
So what are recruiters and talent acquisition professionals supposed to do?
How to Not Miss Out On Potentially Good Talent
Without outsourcing jobs to other countries or importing talent from other countries, recruiters will need to broaden their talent acquisition strategies to address the impending talent shortage.
Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals will need to shift their organizations thinking — at least for some portion of their talent acquisition needs — from the jobs candidates have done to the jobs candidates can do. This shift in thinking means selecting candidates who want and can develop new skill sets. In other words, selecting candidates who lack the work experience but have successfully completed training programs or earned certificates and degrees from Workforce Development Offices and educational partners like Boot Camps, Trade Schools, and Colleges. Employers also may consider establishing their own Boot Camps, Apprenticeships, Return to Work programs, and training programs that help individuals re-enter the workforce or transition from other industries or positions.
When selecting candidates based on can do rather than have done, many things need to shift in terms of how recruiters and hiring managers assess candidates. Many tips and clues to look for on resumes and in social media profiles are included in Identifying Underemployed Workers.
Beyond talent acquisition and resume review, we need to change how we screen and evaluate candidates. The job interview process and the employment interview guide, in particular, needs to be re-examined. For example, job interview questions need to move from behavioral or experience-based questions to knowledge-based or situational questions. In order words, instead of asking what did you do when happened, you would ask what would you do or how would you do something?
When adding can do rather than have done candidates to your talent acquisition strategies, recruiters need to prepare and coach hiring managers to shift their thinking as well. Recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are well advised to educate internal corporate stakeholders on market realities and the talent crunch that now exists across multiple disciplines. Its also a good time to train hiring managers on unconscious hiring biases. After all, recruiters and talent acquisition professionals can find all the talent in the world, but we still need internal hiring managers to interview and make hire / no hire decisions.
For more insights on how to address talent acquisition needs please contact us.
1 The Employment Situation – October 2015. Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 6, 2015 (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf).