Employers are feeling pressure under the “new norm” in today’s candidate pools – are you scrambling to keep up?

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If you find yourself with more open positions and fewer quality candidates to fill them, you’re not alone. Whether you call the recent labor shortage the Great Reshuffle, the Great Realization, or the Great Resignation, you probably call it a challenge. Companies across the county are rethinking their recruiting strategies as workers rethink what they are looking for in their professional lives. But what does that mean for hiring managers, and how can companies attract and retain the talent they need? Stillwater has been addressing these challenges for the last decade, and thought this would be an ideal time to share why we’re seeing this unprecedented shift in the labor market.  


Where are all my candidates?

The world lost over 114 million jobs in 2020, and global unemployment increased by 33 million people1 . While the recent pandemic brought layoffs and economic uncertainty, now that the world is in recovery mode why are we still coming up short when we look to recruit talented employees? After all, the U.S. monthly active job posting level saw a year-over-year increase of 32.8% in August 2021, reaching nearly 30% above the pre-pandemic job posting levels in early 20202. These trends provide a clear indication that organizations are ramping up hiring in the first part of 2022.


According to an Indeed survey of about 1,000 people who"voluntarily resigned from at least two jobs since March 2020," most of them (92%) said "the pandemic made them feel life is too short to stay in a job they weren't passionate about3." Many people also saw the pandemic as a reason to retire early or pursue the education and training needed to change careers, and others are having trouble returning to the job market because they cannot find adequate care for their children or other dependents. Still others saw layoffs and shortages as a reason to re-evaluate both the value they bring to the job market and the value they gain from their employer4. Because the pandemic has spurred unique career decisions, employers must also take unique approaches to sourcing and attracting candidates to their organizations.


Up your visibility in a jobseeker’s market

The unemployment rate recently dropped sharply to just 3.9% (from4.2% in November and 15% in Spring of 2020), while the labor force participation rate held at 61.9%, a pandemic-era high5. So while the labor force is beginning to return to work, they are doing so under conditions they find favorable. Of course offering higher wages will always be a draw, but there are additional benefits that candidates find appealing as well. The workforce has become accustomed to flexible schedules and work-from-home options during the health crisis, so advertising autonomy and flexibility in your organization will help you to stand out. Now that 85% of workers expect their companies to provide the right equipment for remote working1, showing your ability to flex will appeal to most jobseekers. And instead of just advertising basic benefits like health, dental, and 401(k), also highlight your out-of-the-box benefits: Do you offer tuition assistance? Career training?Do you put an emphasis on community involvement or welcome entrepreneurial ideas? Does your company have season tickets to local sports games or music events? If employees can enjoy those, make sure you’re getting the word out!Talk about the foosball table in your office, your industry memberships, or even the gaming club employees put together – the more you show the personality of your organization, the more likely you are to attract qualified candidates who will love working for you.


Understand changing demographics

As baby boomers retire in record numbers and younger generations step in to fill open roles, expect to see different priorities begin to reshape the workplace. Younger generations tend to feel more connected to and by technology, so make sure you don’t ignore digital marketing and virtual recruiting when you are looking to fill open positions. Also, highlight the positive impact that tech skillsets can have on business and community. Millennials are expected to account for 75% of the global labor force by 2051, which means that there must be a focus on reskilling and filling labor gaps. 87%of executives say their organizations are already experiencing skill gaps, and only 20% of employees have the skills needed for their current and future career1, so showing support for ongoing career training helps ensure that you are seen as a company that cares about their employees – both in the present and as they grow.


Identify pain points – for you and your candidates

In a recent survey of senior hiring managers, 22% said that finding candidates with the right skills was their biggest challenge. 17% said that they had trouble hiring quickly enough to land the talent they need, and16% said they couldn’t find potential employees who were a good fit for the company culture6. These three pain points don’t just hurt hiring managers, they are felt by applicants as well.


About 48% of jobseekers surveyed by FlexJob indicated frustration with their job search, because they weren't finding the right positions – so how do we make sure we’re targeting the right audience and getting out the right information about our company and open positions?


HR departments and hiring managers often find themselves overworked and overwhelmed. Partnering with a proven, experienced, talent solutions specialist like Stillwater can help your organization grow constructively by opening up new talent pools, creatively sourcing using high-tech solutions, using industry knowledge to avoid pitfalls in candidate sourcing, and more.


If your organization is struggling to identify and attract the right candidates, let us know. We have a proven track record of success across high-tech, government, and labor job markets. See how we can help you through your hiring challenges too!



1 PontoonSolutions

2 Gartner

3 BusinessInsider

4 Forbes

5 RobertHalf

6 Adecco


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