The unemployment rate is just one of those things that’s depressing to track too minutely. Since the banking collapse of 2008, workers in the United States have been hit by mass layoffs, long term unemployment and a recession to boot. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who have become long-term unemployed (out of a job for 27 weeks or more) remained relatively unchanged in May, at 3.4 million. This marginalized group of job seekers accounts for 34.6% of the unemployed people in this country and, though this figure didn’t drop this month, the number of long-term unemployed people has been reduced significantly since last year. According to the same BLS report, “Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 979,000.” Long stretches of unemployment are one of the biggest resume killers out there, so the fact that this group of disenfranchised job seekers has been so successful within the past year means that we’re truly in a job seeker’s talent market. This week’s theme on the Accolo blog is “The State of Hiring,” which means we’ll be going over some recent hiring trends in this country and discussing how you can use them to your advantage.
Over all, the unemployment rate in the United States didn’t change very much this May, remaining at 6.3%. This figure, however is a marked improvement from the previous year, shrinking by 1.2 percentage points since May 2013. While many states are experiencing higher levels of unemployment, the clear trend is that of greater hiring over all. Since the economy has become less volatile, many businesses are starting to make hiring a higher priority. Whether that’s through acquiring talent from competitors or straight job marketing, many companies are trying to, as Jim Collins said, “get the right people on the bus.” While trying to remain competitive with a reduced staff might work for a while, employees are the lifeblood of every company and you can only get by with a brackish bloodstream for so long.
Because so many companies are ramping up their talent acquisition efforts, you need to make sure that your company treats talented job seekers like the hot commodity that they are. If you’re impressed with a candidate’s credentials, experience and attitude, you can bet that a hiring manager at a different company is thinking the same thing. This means that, when you find a candidate that you’d love to hire, you should extend an offer as soon as possible. Waiting weeks or months to extend an offer can mean losing out on valuable talent, making an efficient hiring process one of your top priorities for the next year. The last thing that you want is for inefficiency to get in the way of making a valuable addition to your company.