Posted by Dawn Fay on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 00:00
I get a lot of questions from job seekers and hiring managers about the state of today’s job market. And when the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its monthly jobs report, those questions reach fever pitch. What do the numbers mean? How should we interpret them? What’s ahead?
The latest jobs report was a good one. July marked the sixth consecutive month of job gains in excess of 200,000. And the economy is adding more higher-wage jobs, a trend nicely explained by Paul Davidson in USA Today. He notes, for example, that accounting firms have added roughly 45,000 jobs already this year. That compares to just 10,000 in all of 2013.
In my conversations with hiring managers and job seekers, I’m seeing this trend play out every day. Business is up for many companies, and that’s prompting them to hire additional workers. This is starting to happen all over. Demand is increasing across the board, in multiple industries, for multiple skill sets. Employers are speeding up the hiring process to avoid losing out on the most desirable candidates — namely, the highly skilled and specialized professionals who can help their businesses grow.
If you’re trying to hire new talent, here are three lessons you should take from the latest jobs report:
1. You must tout your strengths. If the jobs report shows one thing, it shows this: To attract top talent today, you’re going to have to work for it. You’ll need to show job seekers why yours is a great company to work for. Your job postings should showcase the tangible and intangible factors that make you an attractive destination for the professionals you’re targeting. Emphasize, for example, your company’s competitive salaries, benefits, stability and work-life balance options.
2. You must expect the counteroffer. If you’re trying to recruit a candidate who’s currently employed, know that he or she will likely get a counteroffer from his current firm. It’s practically inevitable for the best candidates. The last thing growing companies want is to lose good employees. Do you know what you’ll say or do to convince the candidate to take your offer if his or her current boss sweetens the pot? Be ready for this and know what your limits are ahead of time.
3. You must focus within. A surprising lesson from July’s jobs report, perhaps, is that you need to give thought to your employee retention efforts. Why? Because great employees attract other great employees. One of the best ways to attract new talent to your firm is to have a team of workers who are happy in their jobs. Offer employees training and development opportunities, the chance to take on more challenging assignments, and thanks any time a job is well-done. And don’t just focus on one department or function. Great people are everywhere, from junior roles to the most senior levels. So cast a wide net across the firm as you build morale and retention.
What are your thoughts about the latest jobs report — and how are your hiring efforts changing as a result? Share your thoughts in the comments below.