The Bureau of Labor Statistics released monthly jobs figures on Friday. And according to estimates, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in April—the lowest it’s been in nearly 50 years. That’s a positive sign for job seekers, but there are underlying factors that are giving employers anxiety.
Why? For starters, the market for top talent is more competitive than ever before and shows no signs of weakening. That means competition is intense, like Star Wars-attack-on-the-Death-Star intense.
What can companies do to compete? Here are some ways to hire top early-career talent without turning toward the Dark Side.
It might sound basic enough, but companies need to do more to incentivize early-career candidates to work for them. And one way to do that is to improve the employee benefits they provide. That seems to be happening: According to government data, compensation increased by 0.7 percent from January through March, with hourly wages up 3.2 percent year-over-year.
Another way organizations can enhance their employee benefits is by providing more flexible work arrangements. Not only does it improve employee satisfaction and reduce stress, it also helps companies recruit top Gen Z talent.
Another tactic companies can use to find qualified candidates is simply loosening onerous job qualification restrictions that have little basis in what is actually required to perform a job well.
For instance, some companies have started to rethink their demands for how many years of experience positions require. Instead, they’re hiring entry-level candidates and providing them with the training and necessary skills to make them successful in these roles.
Another way to ensure your company is getting qualified candidates is to improve employer branding. Remember that strong employer branding makes top talent want to work for you. Highlight your company culture and show it off on social media and your website. Doing that will even help reduce your cost-per-hire.
So while the Talent Wars will continue, there are strategic ways companies can strike back against a historically low unemployment rate to ensure they’re recruiting and hiring top talent.