As we hit the midpoint of Q3, it is a good time to reiterate some key recruiting trends to keep an eye on as the labor market and economy continue to flourish. If you partner with an external recruiting firm, it is important to make sure they have a finger on the pulse of what is happening with both job candidates and the overall employment landscape.  Therefore, we have created a snapshot of some of the trends impacting the recruiting and HR fields at this time.  By sharing this information with our client companies, we are better able to express our strategy in locating the best-fit candidates in such a tight market space.

  1. The unemployment rate is still incredibly low hovering around 4%. As this trend continues, we will remain in an extreme candidate driven market.  New jobs are being created at a historically fast pace, continuing the nine-year-old economic expansion. Good news for the economy, but challenging news when trying to fill these jobs, especially highly skilled, technical positions.
  1. Innovating recruiting, interviewing, hiring and on-boarding processes are key to standing out from the competition and attracting desired talent to your organization. Nearly ever aspect of hiring new employees has changed over the few years. Traditional methods are not only outdated and costly, they are also proving to be ineffective in positioning a company’s culture and allowing an organization to “sell themselves” to potential employees.  Presenting your company in a way to attract the “right” candidates leads to greater retention and overall organizational success. Job seekers that have a poor candidate experience are more likely than ever to share on an online employer review site (such as Glassdoor).
  1. Traditional job “rules” and roles are evolving. There will be a continued rise in remote workforce options as well as an increase in the trend of “blended positions” where employees wear multiple hats and therefore the titles and responsibilities of classic roles are no longer representative of the function. More and more top talent will move into contract positions recognizing the benefits, as more and more companies choose to hire contractors.
  1. Paychecks are getting fatter. Economist agree that wage growth will continue to accelerate as the employment rate remains low. Reflected in Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports, “Average hourly earnings in June went up to 2.7 percent from the roughly 2.5 percent pace observed over the past year, while the median base pay for full-time workers rose 1.6 percent from a year ago.” When job seekers have their choice in which company to work for and which position to work in, such as in the current market, employers generally must pay up.
  1. Perks and added benefits continue to increase irrespective of industry. Another side effect of the candidate driven market is that employers are having to think outside of the box when it comes to offering employee perks. By reviewing current benefits, companies have the opportunity to make changes and tweak certain areas that may make the organization more attractive to employees.  This doesn’t mean that every organization needs to add a ping-pong table to the break room, nor would that make sense in every environment.  What it does mean is that most companies have the capacity to at least consider modifying, adding or simply fine-tuning what they already offer in order to increase employee engagement and satisfaction. 
  1. Tariffs and trade wars loom on the horizon causing economists to hold their breathe in anticipation of the impact – good and bad. The White House is imposing tariffs on Chinese goods including boats, aircraft engines, nuclear reactors and other industrial and agricultural machinery, as part of a wide-ranging list of 818 types of product. How this will play out and its impact on the employment market is yet to be determined but very much on the mind of those in the manufacturing industry.

These are just a handful of the current market trends affecting recruiting and hiring in the US right now.  If you partner with a good external recruiting firm, this can alleviate some of these challenges as our job is dedicated to sourcing and presenting companies with the best available candidates for a given position.  By staying current on what is truly going in the job market, we can make observations and provide insight to assist our clients.  If you find yourself in the middle of a difficult search, please reach out to The Q Works Group and let one of our dedicated professional recruiters provide a “Needs Analysis” for you.

Written By: Angie Barnes, The Q Works Group