According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the non-seasonally adjusted Houston unemployment rate for December was 4.6 percent, down 0.3 percent from the previous month, but up 0.6 percent from a year prior. Also, 6,800 Houston jobs were added in December on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Across the state of Texas, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.7 percent in December. In addition, the state saw a month-over-month increase of 24,900 jobs, also on a seasonally adjusted basis.
What does the current Houston unemployment rate mean for hiring managers?
Robert Half Senior Regional President Mark Malone notes there is still an ongoing war for talent, particularly within certain industries. “The oil and gas sector continues to be volatile, and some candidates are hesitant to leave secure positions,” he says. “As a result, some employers are struggling to fill their vacant positions.”
In order to make the hiring process more effective, Malone suggests that managers consider a flexible staffing strategy that allows them to thrive in the current Houston jobs market. “Adopting a blended approach to staffing, by mixing interim and full-time employees, can help employers address immediate needs and avoid unnecessary dips in productivity,” he says.
Malone also encourages employers to remember that their offer might not be the only one on the table. “Candidates with in-demand skills are routinely considering multiple offers, making it more important than ever that managers ensure salaries and benefits are competitive,” he notes. With the increased demand for talent within specific industries, employers should also be prepared to handle salary negotiations with skilled candidates and be aware of the pitfalls that can result from them. “Don’t let money alone drive your hiring decisions,” Malone notes, “or you might find yourself paying the high cost of a bad hire.”
How does the Houston jobs report affect your recruitment plans? For help with your hiring efforts, contact your local Robert Half recruiter at (855) 407-4735.