The most recent unemployment rate data shows a continued drop to 3.9%, this is tough news for employers. The actual number of applicants to hire for "career level" positions is even lower, since the highest level of unemployment (13.8%) is in the category of teenagers. The pool of candidates available for immediate hire is dropping and the future outlook is for more of the same.
Top companies have started to adjust their hiring practices to meet the new employment climate. Both Apple and Google recently announced that they will no longer require college degrees for candidates to be considered. Other large companies, that used to have the pick of the litter, are finding hiring staff to be challenging and are moving to consider candidates they previously rejected.
Candidates are now able to reach for positions that were unattainable just a few years ago. This means skipping over smaller companies that traditionally appealed to candidates that might not have had a higher degree. Businesses that could count on a steady flow of prospective employees are finding the cupboards bare.
The majority of business owners, like me, run smaller companies and need to find ways to fill positions in a hard market. We cannot operate like it is a few years ago and every time we place an ad streams of qualified candidates apply. A higher and higher percentage of applicants are applying upwards from their skill set, understanding that any applicant is in demand.
There are two strategies to put in place to start filling the positions you need. The first is being willing to interview more candidates, even if the resume doesn't meet your standards. Invest time and energy into building a complete picture of your applicants. Anticipate spending time to see if a job seeker has more to offer than the resume might indicate.
The second consideration is training. Every business owner wants to hire a person that can perform the job from day one with minimal assistance. The reality is that large companies are snapping up these employees, and we need to open our options to people that will take more training than we have previously invested. Go into your recruiting process with the intention of needing to have a training program in place, and giving your new hire a longer time period to learn and excel in their new job.
Best of luck hiring your new employees, Greg Gershman.