August 20, 2021

Recruiting Amid a Record Labor Shortage

Paula Santonocito Headshot
Paula Santonocito
August 20, 2021

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It’s easy to get immersed in the day to day, especially when you feel like you’re up against it. And recruiters today certainly are up against it.

If you’re like most people, when you’re in this mode, you tend to focus on the tasks at hand. Although this may seem like the best way to get things done, the downside is that it has a tendency to limit your vision. Taking a step back and looking at the big picture can provide perspective—and this perspective may lead to new approaches.

It’s with this in mind that recently released government data seems especially relevant.

In June 2021, a U.S. Labor Department record was broken. There were 10.1 million job openings. Meanwhile, the number of layoffs remained unchanged, after last month hitting an all-time low of 0.9%.

The words “record” and “all-time” are a bit misleading. For context, the Labor Department has been keeping records since 2000, so the numbers only take into account the last 21 years. Even so, 21 years is a long time, and the period includes a major recession, the one dubbed the Great Recession. In another words, these numbers are noteworthy.

What is the significance?

While the focus has been on the pandemic and people returning to work, or not, because of Covid-related issues, there is another factor driving the candidate shortage. There are fewer layoffs. And layoffs, historically, have been a source of candidates.

In fact, AIRS, a leader in recruitment training, has long advised talent acquisition professionals to view layoffs as a source of candidates.

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has been tracking layoffs for many years, and still shares information on layoffs by industry. The firm’s most recent report looks at July 2021 in comparison to July 2020, and year-to-date activity for 2021 in comparison to 2020. Findings confirm far fewer job cuts in nearly every industry.

Why is this so important?

It shows that there aren’t as many candidate sources. And when there are fewer sources, it’s critical to fully leverage those that are available.

Questions to ask, to do this, include:

  • Are you using the right job sites?
  • Do your job ads resonate with job seekers?
  • How the heck can you attract more candidates?

Appcast CEO Chris Forman shared a few, easy-to-implement tips at a recent webinar. The recording is available here.

When the big picture keeps changing, keeping your nose to the grindstone isn’t the solution. Take time to pause, assess, and make necessary changes.

And remember, you don’t have to go it alone. Relying on experts for actionable advice can make a huge difference. Appcast has countless resources – whitepapers, blog posts, customer stories, webinars, and more – that will help.

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