The unemployment rate is 3.8 percent, an 18-year low, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Job growth accelerated in May, with 15,000 more jobs created than reported in March and April. There are currently 6.7 million open jobs in the nation.
What does this mean for recruiting?
With such a shrinking labor market, finding fantastic candidates becomes more difficult. Employers are struggling to fill open roles, and recruiters will need to change tacks to meet such challenges.
Here are four tips for recruiters to succeed in times of low unemployment:
1. Don’t disqualify candidates due to a resume gap
Once upon a time, if a candidate had a gap on their resume, recruiters were safe to ball up that resume and throw it in the symbolic trash. No more.
With quality candidates in such high demand, it’s time to rethink this strategy. There are all sorts of good reasons someone could have a gap on their resume — taking care of a sick family member, having or raising a child, going to school, traveling, an unexpected layoff — and quite frankly, we’re in no position to not ask them about it.
Whereas before a gap might disqualify a candidate, now, it behooves us to ask about it. There could be a very good reason behind that gap.
2. Focus on communication & service throughout the hiring process
If you’re not already providing frequent updates to candidates and making yourself available for questions throughout the hiring process, now is the time to start.
According to this McKinsey report, 70 percent of people reduce their commitment to a sale after a bad customer service experience. That data might be in relation to the banking industry, but it applies to recruiting as well — especially during times of low unemployment.
As we say at TrackerRMS, relationships matter in the recruiting business. Providing a more personal service and investing in building relationships is one of the the biggest (if not the biggest) things that will differentiate you from other recruiters who are also wooing candidates in a tight labor market.
3. Step up your passive recruiting efforts
Passive recruiting becomes an even more important strategy during times of low unemployment. That’s because the best candidates for a particular position aren’t likely to be actively searching for a new job — but they may be open to hearing about new opportunities.
This brings authentic engagement and genuine relationship-building tactics center stage, especially on LinkedIn, which is the most important networking channel for recruiters. To that end, LinkedIn offers this guide to recruiting passive candidates, and we have 13 tips for finding qualified candidates on LinkedIn.
4. Optimize your technology to remove friction
It’s a mobile-first, technology-enabled world, and your candidates expect you to use technology that allows them to interact with your firm the way they want to. If you don’t, your competition will.
Just like any other ‘shopping’ experience, candidates will move to the process that has the least amount of friction and makes their life as easy as possible - you want to be that firm!
There are two specific tips related to technology that we see as having a particular impact in today’s market:
- Candidates need to be able to search and apply for openings via mobile. Eighty-nine percent of job seekers told Glassdoor they’re likely to use a mobile device during their job search. With so many job openings and so few qualified candidates, if your site doesn’t display quickly and properly, if you don’t permit users to upload a resume, or if you’ve any other mobile barrier, they’ll bounce and go to an agency that plays nicer on mobile.
- Agency owners must empower their recruiters with mobile tools. This is a pillar of productivity-boosters for recruiters — you need to provide your employees with mobile access to the tools and information they need to do their jobs. Make it easy for your team to be successful at providing responsive, high-touch service by giving them the ability to work effectively from mobile devices, regardless of location or time of day
The fundamentals matter
The recruitment industry is a competitive arena, and the current dynamics of the employment market necessitates that you stay sharp to thrive! That means a renewed focus on the fundamentals. Look for opportunities to make daily, incremental improvements in how you are operating in each of the four areas above to ensure you stay on top.
TrackerRMS: Another pillar of successful recruiting
Give your sales and recruiting teams the software and tools they need to succeed in a tight labor market. TrackerRMS is the world’s leading cloud-based recruitment, applicant tracking and CRM software provider, and our complete suite of digital tools is accessible on mobile. Request a demo today.