The Labor Department recently shared the news that unemployment has reached an 18-year low of 3.8%. The unemployment rate among people with at least a bachelor’s degree in computer and math science occupations was only 2% for the first quarter of 2018, according to estimates. While this is positive news for working Americans, it creates challenges for businesses trying to hire skilled workers.
The tight labor market means that companies must be more thoughtful to attract top talent as well as retain current employees. But what is important to today’s workforce? eHire, a technology recruiting and management consulting firm, recently sponsored the 2018 Workforce Pulse Survey to explore exactly that.
While it may seem hard to find quality candidates right now given low unemployment, the study indicated that most employees are not committed to their current employer, with three out of four stating they were open to considering new positions. That means there is a workforce willing to make a move. You just need to understand what today’s workforce values and position that during your hiring process to attract top talent.
Saying that you have a keg, free snacks and a ping-pong table in the break room sounded hip and cool five years ago. But that just isn’t enough to set you apart these days. Instead, you need to think outside the box and understand what the people you are hiring are really interested in. While 401(k) matching might sound like a good perk, first find out if employees are even taking advantage of that program. If you are hiring a lot of recent grads, paying off college loans is more pressing than saving for retirement. You might be able to entice top talent even more by offering to match their college loan payments in place of a 401(k).
And, just like we can no longer be won over with a fully stocked break room, our desire for work-life balance has also evolved. Gone are the days of people simply wanting to reduce their workload from 80 hours to a more manageable 60 hours per week. Long commute times and over-scheduled personal lives are contributing to the growing desire to have a flexible work environment. This could include remote work, alternate daily scheduled or a condensed work week. While there are some concerns over the loss of collaboration or productivity with these types of arrangements, smart companies are developing programs to support these initiatives while ensuring no loss in performance.
Clearly define the role’s importance.
People want to know that what they do matters and need to understand how they can make an impact in the position. While this may seem like a stretch for some roles, it’s all about how you spin it. Take a data entry analyst as an example. Would you rather take a job described as: “The data entry analyst is an essential job at our company and responsible for making sure that our business leaders have accurate information to drive our growth objectives,” or “The data entry analyst ensures that systems are up to date with accurate information”?
What the workforce wants continues to evolve and companies must keep evaluating these needs and adjust their offerings in innovative ways to win the game of recruiting.
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