Challenges of Recruiting When Unemployment Is Low

Recruiting top talent that will not only get the job done, but will also go above and beyond is difficult, and what makes it even more challenging is the current landscape of low unemployment and low supply of essential skills. While finding talent for jobs that require high-demand skills may be a little more difficult, it’s not impossible.

While most people can agree that a lower unemployment rate is good because it means that more people have found a job and can support their families, there are many ways that it can make being an HR professional a lot more challenging.

#1 Filling positions with good, qualified talent will be challenging

If unemployment is low, then that means that a lot of top talent is already employed by other companies — making it harder for you to attract them to your company. The employees you’re searching for may not even be looking, but if they are, then you’re going to be up against plenty of other companies hoping to attract the same candidates.

You may need to get creative and use applicant tracking systems to move faster and lock down some of the top talent that your company needs.

#2 Employees are more likely to leave if they’re unhappy

If your employees don’t feel valued, they feel overworked, or they think they’re underpaid, then they are much more likely to look (and leave) when unemployment is low, and companies are fighting for the best candidates. Even employees who are only slightly unhappy may be keeping their eyes open for better opportunities, and with companies that are willing to do whatever it takes to attract employees with in-demand skills, even passive looking can be detrimental to your recruitment strategy.

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#3 The average cost of an employee will be higher

With more employers competing for fewer candidates, finding the right talent and keeping your valuable employees will require you to increase salaries and other benefits like training, commuter discounts, and PTO. Losing valuable employees costs too much, so it’s worth it to spend a little extra on retention to prevent losing the talent that you have already worked so hard to bring in and train.

We’ve mentioned that it’s even more difficult to find and keep employees armed with in-demand skills, but why? The skills gap.

The Skills Gap Makes It Difficult to Find Qualified Employees

If you’ve been staying up to date on human resources news and trends, then you’ve heard plenty about the skills gap. If you haven’t, or you still aren’t 100% sure what exactly the skills gap is, it’s simply the gap between the skills that employers want and need and the skills that their employees or the potential candidates for a position have.

With the changes in how we do business and the technology we use to do our jobs, the job economy has developed some gaps in supply. Think about a lot of high-demand jobs—developers, digital marketers—a lot of these jobs didn’t exist when some of the older generations of the workforce were growing up. High demand for new skills makes it difficult to find highly-experienced individuals who have both in-demand skills and the ability to manage. In some cases, it can be difficult even to find candidates with all of the skills you need for a more entry-level position.

In my next post, I’ll present tips to develop a recruitment plan in light of those challenges.

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Jordan McElwain
Jordan McElwain is a digital marketer and writer who shares her knowledge of the latest trends in B2B news and software.


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