Four Ways the State of Unemployment is Affecting Talent Acquisition

July 18, 2018
Four Ways the State of Unemployment is Affecting Talent Acquisition | SML

The national unemployment rate decreased in May to 3.8 percent, a half percent lower than a year ago. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May unemployment rates decreased in 14 states and stayed level in the other 36. Eleven states reported a decrease in jobless rates over the previous year and 39 states had little or no change. Overall, the unemployment rate is at the lowest level in eighteen years.

With unemployment levels so low, job seekers have a lot of choices, and those wishing to switch careers have an unprecedented advantage. The only people having a tough time with the healthy economy are recruiters trying to fill open positions. The low unemployment rate has a negative impact on recruiters, especially for jobs requiring specialized skills. Job seekers don’t have to settle for the first available job or for lower wages that require part-time work on the side to make ends meet.

Let’s get into some of the changes in the recruitment field and how recruiters can appeal to the new priorities of job seekers. Here are four ways that talent acquisition has gotten tougher. Concentrating on improving your company’s reputation in these areas will improve your ability to attract the best candidates for open positions.

What is the Company Culture?

New job seekers and current employees looking for a change want to work for employers that share their values. Compensation remains a top priority, including insurance and 401k matches. However, soft factors come into play when the job market opens up. For example, flextime and time off for volunteer events show that a company is working hard to achieve work/life balance for employees.

Management and leadership set the tone for corporate culture initiatives. Providing timely feedback that employees can take advantage of real-time prevents uncertainty and improves performance. Establish weekly one-on-one meetings with direct supervisors and occasional meetings with their boss’s boss to keep both employees and supervisors on the same page regarding corporate values and policies.

Another best practice is to assign new employees a mentor. Mentors and newcomers tend to learn from each other on the job. If the mentor is promoted, there’s a more natural transition to the employee being mentored. All the knowledge the mentor holds doesn’t walk out the door with them.

Making Internal Promotions Attractive to Current Employees

Sadly, the most obvious candidates for new positions are often the most overlooked. Companies should look within for employees seeking to evolve with the company and take on a more challenging position. By offering an increase in compensation to recruit existing employees, the company can develop a transition plan to backfill an employee’s current position, which prevents further loss of knowledge and experience.

Talent acquisition doesn’t have to mean hiring outside the company. Empower employees to move to other departments and your company will quickly gain a reputation that appeals to all generations. When employees are learning a new role or have that option, they’re less likely to burn out. It’s also a smart way to build competencies and recruit leaders who have engaged in various departments and have a wider breadth of operational knowledge.

Individuals want education and tools that let them thrive and expand their skill sets. Combined with opportunities for mobility, this provides a roadmap to integrate employees into the organization and increase productivity.

HR Resources and Flextime

Human Resources plays a major role in talent acquisition and retention. Incorporating the right technology is crucial to successful recruitment. Applicant tracking software (ATS) lets you streamline the stages of recruitment by giving you richer insights into the prospective candidates. Millennials, in particular, expect the latest technology and may abandon the application process if they become frustrated with a slow or convoluted application system. Paper-based applications and onboarding would probably send them packing fast.

HR should encourage managers to consider flextime or remote work for new positions. Employees who can set their own hours and work from home one or two days a week can better balance the pressure of work and home life. For the most part, employees have proven as productive, if not more so, when given the opportunity to manage their work deliverables with the needs of their families. This also prevents early burn out on demanding jobs and avoids situations where valuable employees, especially women, feel like they have to choose between work and family.

Willingness to Relocate Employees

Moving across the state or country is far more appealing when your new employer is willing to contribute to the expenses of your move. Of course, in order to offer this benefit, your company needs a reliable partner to execute the move in a professional manner that doesn’t create liability or logistic headaches down the road. A trusted corporate relocation partner provides these services and guarantees the safe and efficient transfer of new or existing employees and their families.

Keeping these priorities in mind helps talent acquisition manager do their jobs more effectively and creates a healthier, more robust corporate culture that job seekers will flock to. This isn’t just good for recruitment but provides bench strength for management recruiting. A happier, more fulfilled workforce will be more productive overall, and that’s always good for the company’s bottom line.


Download the 2018 State of Relocation report to uncover how corporate relocation policies are being used as a strategic organizational tool.

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