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What the Unemployment Rate Says About the Employment Marketplace

by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS

The VET Recruiter®

Just when you think the job market can’t get any hotter . . . it gets hotter.

According to the United States Labor Department, employers added 263,000 new hires during the month of April. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%. The last time unemployment was this low was in 1969, when the rate dipped to 3.5%.

Not only that, but by most accounts, there are seven million job openings in the country right now. Specifically, there are seven million job openings that employers are having a difficult time filling. This is known as the skills gap. It’s not that there aren’t enough people in the country to fill those jobs, it’s that there aren’t enough people who are able to fill those jobs. In other words, they don’t have the skills and/or the experience necessary to do so.

With all of this in mind, the unemployment rate in the United States says the following 10 things about the current state of the employment marketplace:

#1—All job seekers and candidates have more options.

When I say all candidates, I mean ALL candidates, from the best to the worst. The current market has produced something like a “trickle-down effect.” Everyone is able to take advantage of the market to some extent, although some are able to do so more than others. Speaking of which . . .

#2—The best candidates have the most options and the best options.

Although all job seekers and candidates have more options, the best candidates still have the best options. Why is that? Because employers want to hire the best candidates, of course. Given the choice between a good candidate and a great candidate, an employer will want to hire the great candidate. As you might imagine, this makes it more difficult to successfully acquire top talent.

#3—Employers must have a proactive mindset.

Animal Health and Veterinary employers can NOT have the mindset that they can just sit back and wait for the best candidates to come to them. That’s not going to happen, especially with top candidates. Employers have to be proactive and not reactive to hire successfully in this market.

#4—Online job ads are not going to find the best candidates.

To that end, simply posting online job advertisements will not result in a deep talent pool. Sure, you’ll get responses, but will you get responses from the top 5% to 10% of the candidates in the market? No, you will not. Because, as we’ve mentioned previously, top candidates do not typically browse through online job ads.

#5—The best candidates must be identified AND recruited.

Identifying the best candidates is just the first step. Convincing them to consider your employment opportunity is the second step. And simply letting them know that the opportunity exists will not get the job done. These candidates must be convinced to enter the hiring process. They have to be recruited.

#6—Employers must keep candidates engaged during the hiring process.

Once top candidates are in the hiring process, an employer should continue to give them reasons to stay in it. An employer can not assume that just because a candidate has entered the hiring process, that candidate will stay in the process until the search is complete. That is often a mistaken assumption.

#7—Employers must “sell” the opportunity.

Once again, keeping top candidates engaged is still not enough. Employers have to “sell” the candidates at every stage of the process. This includes “selling” them on both the opportunity and the employer. A candidate may like the job, but if they’re not sold on the organization that’s offering the position, then they’ll pass on it.

#8—Employers must make a compelling offer of employment.

Another assumption an employer can not make is the assumption that just because it makes an offer of employment to a candidate, the candidate will accept its offer. Nothing could be further from the truth in this current market. If you attempt to low-ball a top candidate during the offer stage, then the candidate is likely going to walk.

#9—Onboarding is critical.

“Ghosting” is a problem these days, and that includes candidates” ghosting” on their first day of work. This is where an effective onboarding process enters the picture. It helps to keep the candidate engaged during the period between when they accept the offer of employment and they show up for their first official day of work.

#10—Retention is even more critical.

This is a question that I’ve posed before: what good is hiring the best candidates if you’re not able to retain the best candidates for a considerable length of time? The answer: not much good, if any. That’s why an organization must invest time, energy, and effort into its employees and provide them with the opportunities and recognition they want.

There’s a good chance that the unemployment rate will remain low and the job market will be this hot for the remainder of the year. And if that’s the case, how does your Animal Health organization or Veterinary practice stack up in terms of the 10 areas outlined above? What steps do you need to take during the second half of 2019?

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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