While where and how we go to work may still be a work in progress, the jobless claims for unemployment have plummeted to a 54-year low. This means that the labor market is tight.
Layoffs are hitting record lows as employers recognize that laying off a team of human resources may not be simple to replace. Since mid-January of 2022 new jobless claims have totaled fewer than 200,000 weekly claims. That is a number not seen since 1968.
The drop in new claims is also reflected in the number of people receiving unemployment benefits which shows numbers not seen since 1970.
For those employers who would like to increase human resources or who are projecting growth in business which may require additional staff, it is time to prioritize and to make an honest assessment about the competitiveness of any job offer you may make.
Here are things to consider:
- Your position descriptions may need to be evaluated so that you can attract applicants at all. Prioritize the “must have” experience and skills from the “it would be great if…” As you interview listen for the places where on the job training may need to substitute for experience or acquired applicant skills.
- Think about ways that you can create your own expertise with on the job planned and supervised training. While this requires some planning and takes mentors away from productivity to support training missions, you can end up with the exact workforce you hoped you would have – because you trained them.
- Think about your evaluation tools. Probationary periods for new hires may require an extension or you may want to eliminate the idea of these purgatory statuses and just welcome your new hires to your team.
- Look honestly at your competitiveness. What benefits do you offer? How do salaries stack up? How flexible is your PTO? How happy is the environment you have created at the workplace that would welcome new people? Can you support flexible scheduling? Can you support working parents who may not have daycare or school schedules that have returned to normal? If you had a choice of places to work, would you pick your workplace?