The National Unemployment Rate dropped to a minuscule 3.7 Percent in September 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If that sounds like a low number to you, it is, and it’s a pretty big deal because the United States hasn’t seen an unemployment rate that low in almost half a century. It’s also a number that gets us pretty darn close to that mythical “full employment” status, a term that signifies, not that every single person is working, but that, as Bloomberg puts it, “unemployment has fallen to the lowest possible level that won’t cause inflation.”
In order to be officially counted as among the nation’s unemployed, one has to meet three criteria: 1.) be jobless (duh, right?) 2.) be available for work, and 3.) have actively looked for work within the past four weeks. So, while the official unemployment rate is indeed a low one, it doesn’t factor in elements like underemployment and the hundreds of thousands of “discouraged” workers who have given up looking for work in their field.
Still, most economists agree that we’re headed in the right direction. It’s a good thing for America, but not necessarily for your business – if you’re looking for qualified workers, that is (and we know you are). So when it comes to recruiting, what are some ways your business can compete with, you know, pretty much every other hiring entity in the country? It’s a tough row to hoe, but here are a few tips that will help:
1.) Make your job postings pop – These days, everyone knows you’ve got to be on the big job boards to compete in any meaningful way – Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Snagajob, Monster, etc. But when it comes to making an interesting job posting that people will click on and want to read, most companies fall way short of the mark. Don’t bore them with long job descriptions, but don’t just put a few words in there either. Instead, each post should include an upbeat introductory paragraph, at least one set of bullet points that includes the essential job details and qualifications needed, and a call to action that includes at least one great thing about your job.
2.) Make it easy to apply – For better or for worse, job seekers these days have the upper hand, and unless you’re Google or paying WAY over the market rate, they aren’t about to bend over backwards to fill out your application. These days, if people have to fill out a paper application to apply for your job, you’re toast. Similarly, if your online process is cumbersome, they’ll click the X button before they spend more than a few minutes trying to figure out a login and password. The lesson? Make it easy on the front end, and get the rest of the information once your recruiter has made contact.
3.) Be all over Social – Your current and potential employees are all on social media, so it only stands to reasons that your company should be as well. If you don’t AT MINIMUM have an active, vibrant, Facebook page that’s updated frequently and reflects your company news, culture, and especially your hiring opportunities, you’re missing the boat in a huge way.
4.) Don’t abandon traditional media – If you can afford them, TV, radio, billboards and even the occasional newspaper ad can really make your company stand out to potential employees. It’s expensive, but if you’re hiring in large numbers it may be necessary.
5.) Maximize current employee referrals – Your current employees already are “good enough” to work at your facility, and you presumably like them (right?), so why wouldn’t you like their friends and family as well? Offer a decent referral bonus and watch the prospects roll in.
6.) Don’t forget the “guerilla marketing” basics – signs, flyers, brochures, well-placed business cards, a “Now Hiring” banner on your front lawn, and other low-to-no cost ways of getting the word out. Sometimes these can get the job done as well as or better than the other, more expensive, methods.
There you have it, six ways to maximize your recruiting efforts and get an edge on your competition. (Of course, all this is based on the presumption that you’re paying close to, at or above market rate for the positions you are hiring for. If you’re underpaying, all the recruiting in the world isn’t going to help!)
But, you say, the title says “seven.” That’s right – there IS a seventh way to maximize recruiting that encompasses all the above tactics into one easy, low-cost solution – utilize a great staffing agency (like Luttrell Staffing Group) that employs those methods and more!