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How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

The unemployment rate is currently sitting at a pandemic low of 6% and the U.S. economy added nearly 1 million jobs in March. The result is the candidate-saturated market is quickly transforming into a competitive one. So how can your hiring team attract qualified candidates that fit your company dynamic? Here are a few suggestions to source the best candidates in a competitive job market.

Refresh your employee benefits

One of the best ways to attract applicants in a competitive job market is to refresh your employee benefits. Is your company currently offering a traditional vacation and sick time policy? If so, it’s time to review and revise it to fit our current climate better. If you are still offering sick time and vacation time, you should start thinking about offering a paid time off (PTO) pool. Updating to a PTO policy will give your employees more flexibility and control of the time they earned, and it will let them utilize it as they need.

Flexibility is key

Last year, employers were forced to quickly shift their gears to remain operational. Companies that wouldn’t have even batted an eye at supporting remote work suddenly found themselves knee-deep in Zoom meetings. Thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. However, if your team wants to attract applicants in this competitive market, you must remain flexible. What if you find the perfect candidate, but they need the flexibility to work from home twice a week because their kids have virtual learning. Are you going to turn away this top-tier candidate because you want them working from the office 9-5 every day? When possible, offer flexibility that the best candidates have grown to love over the last year, and you will instantly see a boost in your applicant pool (and retention rates!).

Offer employee referrals

To encourage your current employees to get involved in the recruitment process, offer a referral program. Whether that’s a cash bonus, gift card, or some company swag, your employers are more likely to submit an employee referral if they have an incentive. Creating an employee referral program is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to receive qualified candidates that will fit your company’s culture. Typically, your employees won’t stick their necks out for just anyone. Plus, you can establish your referral program, so a bonus is only available for a successful hire. You can even place a time restriction on it. For example, employees only get a bonus if the referral is hired and stays on the team for at least 30 days.

If you think that offering a referral reward for an employee recommendation is expensive, keep in mind the average cost of a vacancy. Having a vacancy open for weeks or even months can be much more costly than a $200 Amazon gift card.

Partner with a recruiting firm

If you are serious about attracting applicants in a competitive job market, working with a professional is a wise decision. Recruiters that specialize in your industry are great resources to have on hand. We have pipelines of talented candidates that are ready to make a career transition. If you are ready to tackle this competitive market head-on, reach out to us today. At JSG, we have offices across North America that are ready to source the best candidates on the market.

3 Ways To Effectively Narrow Down Your Job Applicants

3 Ways To Effectively Narrow Down Your Job Applicants

In a candidate-saturated job market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of applicants you receive for a job opening. However, there are a few things you can do to narrow down your job applicants effectively. Doing so will create a better application experience for candidates and a smoother hiring process for your team.

At The Application Stage

One of the most powerful ways to narrow your candidate pool is during the application stage. This helps save you, your recruiters, and your applicants time. There are a few effective strategies to weed out candidates who may not be qualified. First, make sure your job description is specific. Include any and all must-haves, including qualifications, location, and experience. Next, don’t be afraid to ask for additional materials. Whether that’s a cover letter, portfolio, or writing sample, supplemental materials can significantly deter unqualified candidates from applying. We recommend asking for something that will add value to your decision-making process and take the time to factor those documents into your consideration process.

During The Interview Stage

Another great time to narrow down your job applicants is during the interview process. You can do this by asking well-crafted and intentional questions. Skip the usual “what are your weaknesses” and dig deeper to actually imagine candidates in your position. (To get you started, here are some of our favorite questions.) Additionally, aim to give interviewees a realistic view of what it’s like to work at your company and on your team. Yes, this includes the good, the bad, and the ugly! Cover challenges, expectations, and celebrations. This will help to weed any candidates out that won’t be a culture fit or are looking for something different.

When It Comes Time To Offer

Once you’ve made it through the entire hiring process, you may face a tough decision in this candidate-saturated market. To narrow down your choices, picture your top candidate in the position. How would they get along with the rest of your team? What does their long-term growth trajectory look like? Would they go above and beyond to push your team to the next level?

Additionally, don’t forget to factor in diversity initiatives, budgets, and future goals. When it comes time to offer, make a decision quickly and put your best offer on the table. While many people are currently looking, the job market is rapidly changing, and the best candidates are getting swept up swiftly.

These are just a few of the options you have when it comes to effectively narrowing down your job applicants. Doing so as you move through the hiring process will result in a better application experience and a more productive employee in the end. Looking for more hiring advice? Explore our client resources here.

How to Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

How to Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of hype about the hidden job market. No, this is not an underground job market where employers list their jobs in secrecy. This market is all of the jobs that employers are not publicly promoting on their websites. These are jobs that can be executive-level roles, jobs for internal candidates, openings to replace a current employee or jobs that are private for other reasons. It’s hard to pin down the total number of jobs in this “hidden” market; however, a survey from Jobvites reveals that 35% found job postings on social media, 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, and 37% say they also learn about jobs from professional networks.

In other word’s there are tens of thousands of jobs on this market, and we are going to help you tap into it to find your next career opportunity.

How can you tap into the hidden job market?

There are a few different ways job seekers can access these hidden jobs.

Reach out to your professional network

The first thing you should do to access the hidden job market is leverage your professional network. Head to LinkedIn and let recruiters know that you are open to new job opportunities. You can turn on a setting that signals to recruiters looking for candidates that you are interested in new positions. Once that game-changing setting is active, start reaching out to your network. Have conversations with your current connections, reach out to new people at your dream companies, and engage with others on LinkedIn. Actively post on LinkedIn as well as comment on other’s posts. Join professional groups on LinkedIn and other social media sites to meet professionals in your industry.

Once you start connecting with new people and re-engage with your connections, you will quickly discover some of these “hidden” jobs that you can only find through networking and social media.

Do your due diligence

Besides networking, you can uncover jobs on the hidden job market by doing a little research. Start following companies you are interested in working at on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, and introduce yourself to people at these companies. Employers often share they are hiring on their social media sites and newsletters to help get the word out about new openings. If you are following companies that fit your career goals, you can quickly identify brand new jobs. These aren’t advertised on traditional job boards because they are costly and take time to publish.

Also, once you find a job that sparks your interest, do some research on the hiring manager or others on that team and reach out to them. Send them a personalized LinkedIn request or email and briefly introduce yourself. If you go straight to the horse’s mouth, you can bypass an ATS and get your resume in the hands of those that matter most.

Work with a recruiting firm

Probably the most effective way to tap into the hidden job market is working with a recruiting firm. Recruiters often have exclusive job opportunities – jobs that are not available anywhere else. Employers work with a select group of recruiters that they trust to fill their positions with excellent candidates. Partnering with a recruiter is a sure-fire way to learn about opportunities that are hidden to the public.

At JSG, our recruiters have cultivated strong relationships with our clients. We pride ourselves on our industry expertise and our emphasis on customer service. So, if you are ready to take the plunge, reach out to us today or take a peek at our job board. We want to partner with job seekers like you and help you find the next step in your career.

Areas Prospering in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

Areas Prospering in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

It’s been just over a year since the pandemic flipped the job market (and our lives) upside down. Some industries navigated these challenging times better than others, and some are still on the road to recovery. However, as of March 2021, a dozen different industries are hiring above pre-COVID levels, according to LinkedIn. Here are the areas prospering during the post-pandemic job market and locations where job creation is blossoming.

Industries with the largest year-over-year hiring growth

Hiring in the U.S. was up 15.2% last month from March 2020, a strong indication that we are well on the path to recovery. In the March 2021 Jobs Report, the BLS reported that the U.S. economy added an impressive 916,000 jobs last month as the unemployment rate fell to 6%. This growth is excellent news as we are only a million jobs below pre-pandemic hiring levels.

Here are the industries with the most significant year-over-year hiring growth:

  • Healthcare +20.1%
  • Wellness & Fitness +29.5%
  • Transportation & Logistics +28.4%
  • Consumer Goods +19.9%
  • Education +18.4%
  • Software & IT Services +16.4%
  • Recreational & Travel +26.2%

Locations on a hiring spree

Last month, there were only two metro areas at or above pre-COVID hiring levels. The month before that, there were zero metro areas. However, as of this month, seven different metro areas are at or above their pre-pandemic hiring levels, according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Report. These cities include Atlanta (3.3%), Austin (6.0%), Boston (0.5%), Denver (1.5%), Miami (1.7%), Nashville (1.3%), Phoenix (1.4%).

Those are just some of the significant metro areas that LinkedIn regularly tracks for hiring figures. But which states have a strong job market? Several notable states have more confidence in job availability than the number of active job seekers. These states are South Carolina, Idaho, New Hampshire, Alabama, and Iowa. The five states above all have more jobs available than people actively searching for new roles.

States with more competitive job markets

As some states have a surplus of job opportunities instead of active job seekers, other states are much more competitive. The states with the most challenging job markets (based on the same metrics above) are Maryland, Washington, New York, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.

As a result of these more competitive job markets, people are starting to flock to states and metro markets with more opportunities (and fewer restrictions). Austin, Nashville, Tampa-St Petersburg, Charlotte, and Denver have the highest population gain, according to LinkedIn. So, even as we near the light at the end of the tunnel, workers are still migrating to chase better opportunities, more favorable work-life balances, and fewer COVID restrictions.

Need help navigating the post-pandemic job market?

We are so close to overcoming this virus that flipped our world upside down. Whether you are ready to get back to work or looking to make a career transition, we are here to help. JSG has hundreds of opportunities across North America with clients looking to hire great candidates like you. If you need help tackling the post-pandemic job market, reach out today. Or, if you are more passively searching for a new role, take a look at our job board!

How to Vet Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

How to Vet Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

The unemployment rate has slowly been ticking downward as employers continue to rebound from the pandemic. Some industries are thriving, while others are preparing to ramp up their hiring efforts for the spring. But with a job market flooded with job seekers and workers looking to enter into pandemic-proof career paths, hiring managers have a ton of resumes to sift through. Ideally, these new additions to your team will stick around for the long haul and make a significant impact on your team. Thus, assessing a candidate’s fit is essential. If you are struggling to pin down the best talent this year, here is how to vet candidates in the post-pandemic job market.

Use a skills test

With an influx of job applications, utilizing skill assessments will help you identify candidates that will excel in the position. Although hard skills aren’t everything, your hiring team needs to know if a candidate can perform the basic functions of the job. These tests are not new, but they are an excellent method of highlighting each of your open positions’ best applicants. Skill assessments will help you weed out the least suitable candidates and streamline your hiring process. These tests are also helpful at discouraging the applicants that are spamming their resume in the post-pandemic job market.

Culture compatibility is crucial

Identifying candidates with the right skill sets is imperative, but culture compatibility is crucial for long-term success. You can teach almost any employee hard skills, new processes, and other details important for a particular role. However, you cannot train a new employee to fit your team dynamic. Behavioral interview questions can help your hiring team identify the candidates with the energy, passion, and work ethic that will make them successful. These questions will penetrate the surface-level assumptions you can make when initially interviewing candidates; they will also help you look beyond a candidate’s skills. These exercises are even more critical if you have a hybrid workforce with employees working both on-site and remotely.

Partner with a recruiting firm

Hiring suitable candidates for your team is no simple feat, and vetting candidates in the post-pandemic job market is even more challenging. Analyzing a candidate’s hard skills and culture compatibility will be essential moving forward. Although, performing these exercises can be time-consuming and difficult. If you need these job openings filled immediately, consider partnering with an external recruiting firm. The best recruiters will thoroughly vet candidates for their aptitude and fit before their resume even reaches your desk. At JSG, we meticulously vet each of our candidates to ensure they will mesh well with your team and make an immediate impact on your organization. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to navigate the post-pandemic job market.

Jobs with the Most Demand in December

Jobs With the Most Demand in December

It’s the last month of the year, and many of the hottest jobs from the previous month carried on into December. LinkedIn recently released its monthly report of the most in-demand jobs this month. Both tech and customer service jobs are a hot commodity right now, but there is a new trend that we are seeing among employers in today’s challenging market.

Tech talent is still in high demand

Technology-related jobs have taken over the list of jobs with the fastest-growing demand. Tech jobs make up five of the top ten jobs with the largest month-over-month growth, according to LinkedIn job postings in November. Oracle Specialist (+131%), Python Developer (+111%), User Interface Designer (+74%), Java Specialist (+63%), and Application Developer (+49%) are all in great need as we near the end of the year. Cloud Engineer job postings also jumped twelve spots to become the seventh-most populous job posting last month.

With tech companies and IT roles smoothly transitioning into working remotely, the demand for these positions likely will continue to grow into the new year.

Customer service jobs keep climbing during the holiday season

Customer service and retail positions surged over the month. Food Specialists saw the single greatest jump in demand, growing by 575%. Plus, several other in-person customer service roles saw huge bumps last month. Customer Assistant (+84%) and Receptionist (+92%) hit the list of jobs with the most demand for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. This growth is no surprise as companies prepare for holiday shopping sprees that commenced in late November.

However, these spikes may vanish as soon as they appeared, with the holidays approaching and coronavirus cases surging across the country. A new round of state-wide restrictions is in place in many states, affecting the growth of these roles. As a result, roles like Food Delivery Driver will continue to grow. Last month, food drivers were the fifth-most popular job posting on LinkedIn; this role will likely grow into the new year as more consumers utilize food delivery services.

Companies are investing in their employees

An exciting trend that we have seen over the last few months is companies investing in their employees’ learning and development. For some companies, it makes more fiscal sense to invest in their staff instead of pouring money into hiring efforts. This movement is creating a new hiring demand for Training Supervisors. Last month, demand for this role grew by 183%, pushing Training Supervisors as the job with the third fastest-growing demand.

Get the help you need this holiday season

So, these are the jobs with the fastest growing demand in December. If your hiring team exhausted all of its resources, reach out to us today. We are working with thousands of candidates that are ready to make an impact on your organization. Or, if you are a job seeker looking to start the new year with a new career opportunity, check out our job board! We have hundreds of exciting roles across North America that need talented candidates like you.

November 2020 Jobs Report

November 2020 Jobs Report: 245,000 Jobs Added

Job growth in November slowed in the U.S., according to the Labor Department’s monthly Jobs Report. Last month, employers added 245,000 jobs, a stark difference from October’s 610,000 jobs. On a more positive note, the unemployment rate continued to edge down to 6.7% from 6.9% in the month prior. Here is a brief overview of the November 2020 Jobs Report.

November Jobs Report Overview

November was the seventh month in a row of job gains after the coronavirus wreaked havoc in March. As of last month, the labor market has regained 12 million of the 22 million jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic. Although encouraging to some, job growth has slowed over the past few months, and with new virus cases surging, the rebirth of the labor market may continue to decline.

“With COVID cases surging again and policies being put in place to try and slow the spread, hiring has slowed down. Also, worker availability is a significant limiting factor as well, with many unable to go to work due to COVID concerns or family care obligations.” — Thomas Simons and Aneta Markowska, economists at Jefferies.”

However, with several vaccines awaiting FDA emergency approval, there is light at the end of the tunnel as we head into the new year.

Job gains by industry

Last month, U.S. employers added 245,000 nonfarm payrolls. Noticeable job gains occurred in transportation and warehousing (+145,000), professional and business services (+60,000), healthcare (+46,000), leisure and hospitality (+31,000), construction (+27,000), manufacturing (+27,000), financial activities (+15,000), and wholesale trade (+10,000). A couple industries saw declines in employment, including government (-99,000) and retail trade (-35,000).

Revisions from the previous jobs report

The Labor Department reported that total nonfarm payroll employment gains have changed in previous months. In September, payrolls were revised up by 39,000, from +672,000 to +711,000, and in October, payrolls were revised down by 28,000, from +638,000 to +610,000. With revisions over the last two months combined, employment was 11,000 more than previously reported.

Need help filling critical roles before the end of the year?

There are only a few weeks left of 2020, and the talent market is getting tighter by the month. If your hiring team needs help sourcing the best talent on the market, reach out to us. At JSG, we can quickly fill those critical roles to help your team focus on all your other year-end activities. Give us a call today, and let’s work together.

jobs with the most demand

Jobs with the Most Demand in November

Another month down, another group of jobs in high demand. Once again, LinkedIn revealed the jobs that are in the fastest-growing demand this month. Although some jobs from the previous month continue to top the list, we see a new job with outrageous demand. Here is a closer look at the jobs with the most demand in November.

COVID-19 impacts tax season

There are two things guaranteed in life, and one of them is taxes. According to LinkedIn’s job posting data, job openings for Tax Specialists skyrocketed 579%. That is no surprise, as this year’s tax filing deadline was pushed back again to October 15th. Previously, the deadline was postponed from April to July, so we saw a similar spike this past summer. Taxes will be challenging for both companies and the American people, so Tax Specialists will be a hot commodity for months to come.

The holidays spur seasonal hiring

Retail positions remain in high demand as brick and mortar and online retailers ramp up their hiring efforts for the holidays. Retail Associates (+426%), Customer Representatives (+406%), and Merchandisers (+191%) were some of the jobs with the fastest-growing demand. This trend will likely continue into next month as holiday shopping picks up. With even more people relying on Ecommerce for their holiday shopping, there is a massive surge in Fulfillment Specialists (+184%) and Drivers (+155%).

Are more people traveling?

A new job cracked the top ten list: Automotive Technicians. In October, the demand for Automotive Techs jumped +177%, the eighth fastest-growing job in the month. This is likely due to more people traveling, a sign that people are feeling a little more optimistic about the pandemic. And while fewer people are commuting for traditional office jobs, food delivery companies experience a massive spike in business. Last month, Food Delivery Drivers were the sixth-most in-demand job. Thus, as more people utilize these services, vehicles will need maintenance. It will be interesting to watch this trend as more states impose stricter lockdown measures with rising coronavirus cases.

Need help sourcing for these roles?

So, these are the jobs with the fastest-growing demand in November. If you are searching for a new career path, consider exploring one of these roles. And if you are an employer that needs some assistance sourcing some talent for one of these positions (or any other role), reach out to us today. We work hard, we work together, and we work for you.

job market turned a new corner

Has the Job Market Turned A New Corner?

Is the job market turning over a new leaf? According to the Labor Department, more Americans voluntarily left their jobs in September than any other month since the pandemic. Despite the number of coronavirus cases skyrocketing, job openings are increasing, and the number of layoffs is declining. So, has the job market turned a new corner? Let’s take a closer look.

3 million voluntary quits

The US Department of Labor reported this week that the number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs increased to 3.0 million in September. That is the most voluntary quits in the last 7+ months. Additionally, the number of available jobs rose to 6.44 million, and layoffs and discharges decreased to 1.3 million (down 0.9%).

So, in what industries are people quitting their jobs? Increases in voluntary quits were noticeable in the accommodation and food services industry, construction, and professional and business services. The confidence with workers in these industries is also reflected in the latest Jobs Report, showing that these industries have the most significant employment rebounds.

A pandemic-low unemployment rate

The unemployment rate also hit a pandemic-era low last month of 6.9%, down 1% from September. The number of job gains also well surpassed economists’ predictions with the addition of 638,000 nonfarm payrolls. “The rebound continues to have strong momentum, more than people were thinking,” said John Briggs, head of strategy at NatWest Markets. “Private payrolls blowout, the participation rate went up 0.3… People are coming back into the economy, and [the unemployment rate] still went down a full percentage point.” The combination of more job openings and lower unemployment levels is a prominent indicator that the labor market is rebounding.

An unexpected startup boom

Moreover, in a surprising turn of events is a boom in American startups. Business applications crashed when the virus first hit, but the third quarter of 2020 produced the highest number of applications on record. So, as unemployment levels reached an all-time high, thousands of Americans put on their entrepreneurship hats. The largest area for new business formation is online retail, which is interesting because the coronavirus has crushed traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

However, will this spark in startup formations fill our country’s significant unemployment void? As of now, it looks like the job market is turning a new corner. Time will tell, but this boom of optimism is really refreshing as we quickly approach the end of the year.

October 2020 Jobs Report

October 2020 Jobs Report: 638,000 Jobs Added

According to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added 638,000 jobs last month, much than economists projected. This is the sixth month in a row of job gains as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. The unemployment rate also dropped to 6.9%, a whole percentage point lower than September’s rate. The positive results of this month’s report are primarily thanks to the decline in the number of temporary layoffs and a boost in seasonal hiring. Here is an overview of the October 2020 Jobs Report.

October 2020 Jobs Report Overview

U.S. employers are on a six-month streak of adding nonfarm payrolls. And with a massive decline in government workers due to the conclusion of the 2020 census, the Labor Department would have reported over 900,000 nonfarm payroll gains. “The 638,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls in October is stronger than it looks as it included a 147,000 drop in temporary Census employment and, alongside the big fall in the unemployment rate, it suggests that the labor market recovery still has plenty of momentum,” Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics.

This month’s gains are a shock to many economists as the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to surpass daily records. On November 5th, the U.S. reported almost 117,000 new coronavirus cases. And although we have made significant strides in our country’s recovery, there are still 11.1 million unemployed persons (down 1.5 million from last month).

Workers are returning on-site

A noticeable shift in the October Jobs Report was the number of remote workers returning on-site. 21.2% of employees last month worked remotely because of the virus. That is slightly down from September’s rate of 22.7%. This trend will be interesting to watch going forward as the number of positive cases continues to climb. Regardless of this slight decline, millions of people are still working remotely, and hiring managers will have to continue to change their processes to attract them.

Job gains by industry

Last month, U.S. employers added 638,000 nonfarm payrolls. Noticeable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+271,000), professional and business services (+208,000), retail trade (+104,000), construction (+84,000), healthcare and social assistance (+79,000), transportation and warehousing (+63,000), manufacturing (+38,000), financial activities (+31,000), and other services (+47,000). Employment in government fell by 268,000, mostly due to the loss of 147,000 2020 Census workers.

Revision from the previous jobs report

The Labor Department reported that total nonfarm payroll employment gains have increased in previous months. In August, payrolls were revised up by 4,000, from +1,489,000 to +1,493,000, and in September, payrolls were revised up by 11,000, from +661,000 to +672,000. With revisions over the last two months combined, employment was 15,000 more than previously reported.

Find the talent you need before year’s end

We have less than two months left of 2020 (thankfully); it’s time to start thinking about your hiring needs going into the new year. There are millions of talented workers on the market, and you don’t want to wait to scoop them up, or you will miss out. If your hiring team needs assistance navigating this challenging, ever-changing labor market, reach out to us today. We are here to help you start the new year off on the right foot.