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Five Reasons It’s Hard to Find Great Talent in Today’s Job Market

“A great employee is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”
-Tammy Cohen, HR Professional

Hiring managers know the above statement to be true, now more than ever. In fact, almost a third of employers claim the main reason they can’t fill roles is a lack of applicants. But why are great hires so hard to come by? Here are five reasons.

The Virginia unemployment rate sits at a 2.8%, a 10-year low

One of the biggest challenges to finding stellar hires is actually a good problem for our commonwealth to have – a low unemployment rate. With the unemployment rate dropping to 2.8%, the pool of eligible hires is smaller than ever. And finding qualified hires in that group can prove to be a challenge.

In addition, many Virginia businesses’ staffs are still lean from the 2007 recession, making the need to hire all the more important, but not any easier.

Relaxed hiring standards

With the job market increasingly competitive due to the low unemployment rate, some companies are relaxing their standards to stay fully staffed. When hiring standards are reduced, however, the level of talent can decline, so managers may need to spend more time managing day-to-day operations instead of forward planning. Hires who don’t have the experience, skills or right attitude will lead to more turnover– a vicious cycle.

Inaccessible application process

In the digital age, it’s critical to have application processes in place in which potential hires are likely to find them — especially: online. In the current job climate though, the 2.8% unemployed may not have regular access to technology – whether that’s a computer, the internet or email. In addition, some of the 2.8% may not have a working resume because of those technological difficulties. If hiring managers don’t implement alternate ways of reaching these folks, they will have a hard time finding them.

Individuals looking for help to create or improve their resumes can visit one of Goodwill’s Community Employment Centers for personalized assistance at no charge.

Candidate-centric market

Currently, there are more open jobs than unemployed people in the U.S. In the third quarter of 2018, there were 7 million job openings and 6.1 percent unemployment. The imbalance in jobs and people creates a candidate-centric job market, where employers must compete for candidates’ talent and attention, and the competition is stiff.

With competition for talent so fierce, it’s crucial for employers to do more than look good on paper. An employer can pay well, have good benefits and a streamlined hiring process, but a lackluster culture, either observable in the interview process or in online company reviews, could be the difference between securing your next great hire and continuing the search.

Time (and lack of time)

Hiring great candidates takes time and dedication, and many businesses find themselves strapped for that, lacking the resources, staff, or processes to find quality individuals in a time-effective manner.

In addition, a long hiring process is not in line with the current candidate-centric job market. Taking an extended amount of time to get back to applicants gives competitors room to swoop in with a better (or timelier) offer.

A Solution

While challenges abound for employers, finding good talent is possible. Making applications available to those without technology and shortening your application process so potential hires remain engaged are just a few of the small actions can add up to good results.

Goodwill’s Business Solutions team is a key part of our mission to help change lives through the power of work. Our placement services are free of charge to employers. We’ll meet with you, get to know your business and your staffing needs, and work to provide job-ready candidates to help keep your business moving forward.