Unemployment is at a record low. Here’s what it means for your company and how to be prepared.

Today, there are more job openings than candidates looking for work according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this red-hot candidate-driven market is great news for workers and the economy, there are some drawbacks and challenges for companies on the hiring end of the equation when unemployment is at an all-time low:

The costs associated with talent acquisition, retention, and training are rising. In the current job market, it takes more effort and manpower to hire and retain workers. The increase in cost includes overhead, salaries/benefits paid to HR departments, recruitment tools, ads placed, and time spent interviewing.  Employers are also investing in more training and retention programs to try to hang on to the staff they have.

Employers can’t be as picky as they once were. For the vast majority of openings, it is no longer feasible to search for the perfect candidate who has the exact education, experience, credentials, and skills desired for the job. Hiring candidates with non-traditional educational backgrounds such as self-education, online schooling, certification programs, and work experience have become increasingly common. Hiring managers are less stringent about a candidates’ years of experience and knowledge of specific systems, as long as they can be trained. Even job-screening practices have changed, and screenings that are irrelevant to a particular job opening are often skipped. A credit check may no longer be required for a job that has nothing to do with finance, and non-driving positions probably don’t need motor vehicle record checks.

High employee turnover. With the most qualified candidates already employed somewhere due to the low unemployment rate, poaching has become commonplace. As an employer, you should assume that your best people are being courted aggressively by other companies. The rate of employees leaving their current job for better opportunities keeps the revolving door spinning.

Candidates aren’t showing up. Much to their irritation, hiring managers are finding that a surprising number of candidates aren’t showing up for scheduled interviews, or sometimes even their first day on the job! “Ghosting” in the workplace has become so common that anywhere from 20-50% of applicants are no-shows at some point during the hiring process.

Your company’s salary information may be exposed. Job seekers are checking a wide range of employer review sites like PayScale, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to see what salaries and benefits are paid, and what life is like inside the company. Making an offer that’s lower than industry standards or skimping on benefits will make it difficult to attract and retain workers.

Given these challenges and the low unemployment rate, it is more important than ever to consider the services of a professional staffing firm whose primary expertise is finding, qualifying, and placing individuals. Staffing firms maintain extensive and detailed databases of candidates and have developed relationships with a diverse range of workers. In addition to traditional placements, here are some other strategies that a placement firm can use to help companies fill their talent requirements:

Part-Time Possibilities – In many cases, a position can be filled with a combination of part-time workers. A staffing firm can identify workers that are specifically looking for part-time work, evening hours, or four-hour shifts instead of full-time positions.

National Network – A staffing firm with a national presence will have connections and databases in other regions, increasing the reach of your candidate search.

Remote  Realities – As technology makes it possible to do more from outside of the office, more employees are working from home for at least part of their scheduled hours. In response to this reality, staffing agencies are recruiting an increasing number of skilled remote workers to add to their talent pool.

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