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Hiring Success in a Shrinking Labor Pool

During the Great Recession, officially from December 2007 to June 2009, the United States shed more than 7.5 million jobs, causing the national unemployment rate to double.

Employers looking for workers suddenly found themselves with far more qualified applicants than open positions. But things have changed.

Today, due to a slow but steady rise in economic activity, unemployment rates have fallen and are now back where they were 10 years ago, at five percent. An improving economy and the accompanying lower unemployment rate brings its own set of challenges for employers seeking talent in an increasingly competitive hiring environment where great applicants have more options.

Smart employers use a variety of channels to fill their applicant pipeline.

They recognize that results from an exclusively in-house hiring approach do not cut it anymore and adding a professional staffing service to the mix greatly increases the likelihood of a successful hire.

Consider the following when thinking about the success of your hiring program into 2016:

  • Labor Force Participation Rate: While unemployment may be down, the labor pool is hurting. With the labor force participation rate at about 62 percent, the actual number of individuals working or looking for work is at its lowest in decades. This means you may have trouble finding the right candidate for a position, making it important to seek help when recruiting and hiring to maximize your chances of landing the ideal employee —before your competitors do.
  • Competition: As the economy and your business improves, so does your competition. This makes attracting and retaining job seekers much more difficult, and even puts pressure on your turnover rates. Working with a staffing agency can make the most your efforts with better recruiting tactics and a wider reach of applicants.
  • Temporary Work: When there are low labor force participation rates, temporary staffing becomes a viable option to fill your employment needs. U.S. staffing agencies employed an average of 24 million temporary and contract workers per week during Q2 2015, with each one eager to help your business. Hiring temporary workers can help you during high demand times without the expenses of full-time workers.
  • Direct Hire: Staffing agencies like @Work do much more than finding temporary employees. Why struggle to find the right candidate on your own when you can have a hiring professional with access to a large labor pool do the legwork for you?
  • Background Checks: As the pool of potential employees shrinks due to lower unemployment rates, properly screening hires becomes even more important as a to

Written by Gregg Hassler

Gregg Hassler is the owner of Work Personnel Services -, 951.297.3591 ext. 101.

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