How Employers can Succeed in a Tight Job Market

The Challenge

According to the Labor Department, job openings have reached a record high since 2000. However, while job opportunities continue to emerge, the unemployment rate is steadily declining. San Diego’s unemployment rate was recorded at a very low 3.4% in February.


It only makes sense that as more jobs open up, the unemployed, or pool of active job seekers, is shrinking. The most recent data released by the Labor Department shows in 2015 there were 2.3 million more job seekers than open jobs and by January 2018, the gap had narrowed to 372,000. These numbers signify a challenging future for employers looking to fill skilled-job positions.


The Solution

For every job opening in America, there is now barely more than one unemployed person available to take it. If employers intend to keep hiring they will need to consider making a few changes. It is truly an employee’s market and so many employers have not yet accommodated for this factor.


Offer Extra Incentives

If you desire a skilled employee, you better believe they will be demanding more pay. A tight job market means potential hires now have the leverage to negotiate. The candidate pool is shrinking on a daily basis and quality candidates are either currently employed OR they are requiring higher salaries and benefits. If a job candidate is not offered the pay they are looking for they know they will be able to find it somewhere else.


Don’t Waste Time

The day of expecting to interview 5 or 6 candidates for each position is over.  When interviewing someone that is qualified (even if it is the first person to be interviewed) a decision needs to be made quickly in order to lock down that potential employee.


This is where the benefits of a staffing agency come into play. Recruiting, screening resumes and setting up interviews can be time consuming and easily fall to the bottom of a company’s to do list. Unfortunately, dragging out the hiring process will cause you to lose many valuable candidates. By passing off hiring processes to a specialized staffing firm, you can ensure your best chance at capturing those few valuable candidates still left.


Be Realistic

Employers need to be more realistic about what they expect as far as skills and experience. For many employers, the pay they are offering will not attract an employee with the skill set they are hoping for. In order to compensate for lower pay, employers need to be prepared to take on a less skilled candidate and perhaps offer more training programs. Employers also need to start looking to a wider population of candidates than they have in the past.


Not to mention, job location plays a large role in compensation. Realistically, searching for a new candidate to hire at a low wage in a wealthy area will not generate many applicants. Those who live in that area will not be interested in those positions; those who are interested will need to be paid enough to cover commuting costs.


Build Company Morale

Finally, we must consider company morale. An atmosphere of genuinely happy employees will always promote itself. While this is obviously done by fair compensation, it is also about work environment. It is important to keep your company work setting uplifting, a place people truly desire to work. When positive word of mouth spreads, a potential new hire will consider this factor before moving on to the next interview.