The latest Jobs Report is out, and there appears to be a contradiction as to the state of the job market. On the one hand, U.S. employers added 173,000 jobs in August, which is well below the projected 220,000 increase that economists had predicted. On the flipside, the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, which is its lowest level since 2008. And, job openings hit a record high of 5.75 million this past July, as reported by the Labor Department.
In other words, even though fewer employers added new staff to their workforce in August, they have more positions to fill, and there are fewer people out of work. From a recruiting perspective, here’s what these statistics might mean to you:
- Just because there were fewer people hired in August than expected doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It could simply mean that hiring managers are being more selective, or are overwhelmed because they have multiple positions to fill.
- With unemployment at its lowest levels in a long time, this is when recruiters should step up their game to target passive job seekers. By honing in on those who are working but willing to make a move, you can gain a competitive advantage over firms that sit back and wait for applicants to approach them. Keeping the talent pipeline fueled and meeting with potential hires without the pressure of a hiring deadline can result in finding better matches.
- Although it’s always important for job seekers to make a good impression and do whatever they can to stand out, keep in mind that closing the deal with them might become more challenging. Candidates right now – especially passive ones — are in a good position to negotiate and be more choosy about jobs offers since there are fewer unemployed people vying for jobs.
Keeping an eye on national hiring trends is wise when it comes to understanding the mindset of your potential candidates. However, industry-specific news and your company’s unique goals are most important when planning recruitment strategies. Working with a recruitment solution provider that can customize and adapt campaigns based on your ever-changing needs (like CareerCo) is a good way to ensure that you have just the right amount of candidates in front of you when you need them most.