America's Job Market: Is it Great Yet?

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Mar 9, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends

The results are in for February! ADP has released their data for the monthly National Employment Report and the numbers have exceeded the estimates for growth by 108k! An inspiring figure of 298,000 estimated jobs was reported for February. The bulk of that growth comes from service industry jobs accounting for almost two-thirds of the entire surge. Overall this growth is astounding and is a jump that's unheard of and hasn't been seen in years. But what does this really mean? 

Employers and hiring managers in service-providing sector will be happy to hear that out of this increase, 65% related to their industry. This brings in a whopping 193k jobs to the market for them with 49% of those jobs falling into Information, Financial Activities, and Professional & Business sectors. Great news for those looking for jobs, but maybe not entirely for employers.  

ADP National Employment Data Visual

Here's the catch 22: 

Fewer quality candidates 

Have you ever arrived at a bar later at night and realized that it was slim pickings?  Well, get ready to complain about the lack of qualified candidates. This influx in jobs can create the problem of scraping the bottom of the barrel for talent. The same number of applicants you've been used to won't be there for you when so many people have been claimed by other competitors.  

Longer hiring cycles 

As a hiring manager, you may not remember what it's like to be on the applicant's side of things. It's not considered best practices to accept a job blindly without first looking at the other offers on the table. If you've ever watched Shark Tank, you'll know that by accepting the first offer you get, you're missing out on even better opportunities. Talent, especially the top talent, will have a lot of applications in play and you can bet that there will be offers on the table. Are you going to let them slip away or are you going to do something about it?  Longer hiring cycles can be a result of an indecisive candidate pool;, but there is a way to be proactive about them. Prepare by having multiple candidates ready. This allows you to have options at your fingertips and also the power to bend the timeline to your own agenda. This will give hiring managers the power back and pressure candidates to make a decision in a timely manner, causing hiring cycles to return back to standard timelines.  

More counter offers 

You're going to need to provide a better company offering. It's not so much just about the benefits or wage, but the WHOLE package. Candidates may be making decisions between multiple offers and it's important that your business is putting its best foot forward. Are you educating your applicant on the company's culture, offerings, and community as a whole? Focusing in this area will stop you from "selling the job" and keep you focused on presenting the value the opportunity brings. It's no longer just a number game. Increased demand for talent means that you may have to expand the company offerings as a whole in order to stay competitive. One up those counter offers with something that can't be duplicated and you'll have your top talent. 

Need for backup candidates 

While companies can win the war, they won't always win every battle. In the case where you lost your dream candidate to a competitor, you're going to have to consider looking at backup candidates. With this super competitive atmosphere, you're going to need to have that extra safety net if you want to fill your open positions in a reasonable amount of time. Are you prepared for rejection from your applicant?  Build up a pool of options so that when the first candidate says no, you have a plan. Starting the whole hiring process from scratch would be tedious and tiresome, so don't make that mistake from the get go. 

Has This Caught You Unaware? 

As interesting as the latest CIA Wikileaks, employers need to take note and adjust to the current spike in employment. New jobs have been trending upwards since December 2016, which have created 563k service-providing jobs despite record-low layoffs. Since President Trump has taken office, businesses are expecting tax cuts, less regulations, and new legislation that make growth possible. The atmosphere right now is confidently optimistic and companies are going to hire accordingly to this new environment. 

With expansion, there's staffing, and with staffing, there is the investment of time. If changes in the environment are not addressed, this can overwhelm your company's existing hiring process. It's not an easy task and it requires some assistance from the right people. We are those right people and we know the right people to fill those gaps that you'll encounter. ICS can help you put out the fire that is the hiring frenzy, thereby helping you to obtain the top talent for the positions you have open. Contact us when the well runs dry and we'll be there with a hose.