Competing for Talent
Competing for Talent
As employers climb out of pandemic and ramp up their recruiting efforts, many are finding it is still very much a candidate-driven market, similar to where we were pre-COVID.
Prior to COVID, the United States experienced the lowest unemployment in decades. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate in February 2020 was 3.5%. By April 2020, it jumped to 14.7%, equating to 20.5 million people losing their jobs. A year later, as of March 2021, the unemployment rate is down to 6%, a significant improvement.
Overall, candidate activity is still down across certain industries and that can be attributed to a number of factors:
- Hesitancy and reluctancy for some to leave their current employer and start somewhere new, as we continue to navigate through the pandemic;
- Some employees being unable or choosing not to reenter the workforce due to health concerns, and/or other family related reasons; or
- Extended unemployment benefits, stimulus payments, and COBRA subsidies, which although necessary for many, are deterring some people who would have otherwise already returned to the workforce.
Regardless of the reason, employers are now left to compete for the available pool of candidates and, for some positions, the pool is not very large.
Additionally, the pandemic has changed the way we work and how we want to work in the future. More and more job seekers are responding to remote-based positions with a focus on work/life balance. According to a recent article by Indeed, remote job postings have doubled since the pandemic began. Gone are the days where a new hire needed to work for six months before applying for a flexible work arrangement. For some positions, remote work will be the norm from the start and will affect the candidate pool, as well as how employers recruit. For example, if a job will be primarily remote, employers may want to better understand a candidate’s ability to prioritize and work with little direction. Given that, the interviewer should weave questions into the interview that will give them these answers.
Employers who are willing to be more flexible in offering full or hybrid remote options will expand the pool of candidates and be able to compete for talent more effectively.