Job Openings But Not Enough Qualified Applicants

red sign white lettering that reads Yes we're hiring

Not long ago this sign created excitement with the steady stream of resumes flooding desks of HR departments across the country. How quickly time and conditions can change in the job market. But this time it is changing for the good. With a robust economy and jobs growth, we are seeing unemployment numbers of which we’ve never seen before.

Just the facts: The current unemployment rate (September 2018) was 3.7%. Many believe that this has been the best labor market in decades. The number of job openings in the country was at a record 7.14 million in August. This was a good indicator showing both strong growths in the economy and a tight labor market. We looked at the numbers and saw that over 7 million job openings in August with slightly over 6 million people unemployed. We believe these numbers can be misleading because they vary per job sector.

Observation: So where are these job openings? According to the labor department healthcare, and professional services [including IT] lead the way. Providing career opportunities in healthcare and information technologies puts The AGA Group™ in the right space to help companies and job seekers. When you peel back the layers to see what’s happening you find that 5.71 million people lost or left their jobs, which includes 3.6 million who quit [quit rate]. We found that workers who were leaving their jobs was a sign of confidence in the job market but they also know there are many jobs available for them to choose from. You may have read recently about “ghosting”? An economy like we are experiencing gives the job seeker many options from which to choose. And this leads to workers not showing up for interviews or reporting to work on the first day.

It is great news when the economy is strong. But for employers, it creates a level of angst when trying to fill job vacancies while retaining your top employees. Employers are having to provide better career development opportunities as well as sweeten the pot [so to speak] in order to retain top employees or risk losing them. If your company is not having these discussions you will eventually start to see your top people exit the company.

Your plan of action:  Employers should know that this is a job seekers market. If you are experiencing high turnover and apathy on the part of some of your employees don’t feel bad. It is occurring in offices across the country. But you will have to give serious thought as it pertains to a retention plan and how to attract new employees. Many companies are learning that they are having to offer better comp packages to attract new workers or to retain experienced ones. This is especially true with healthcare and IT careers. Hiring the right candidate is not easy. One solution is to hire a contract worker to determine if the candidate is a good fit before making a long-term investment.

Show me the numbers:  When workers “voluntarily” quit their job this tells us that they are finding substantially better job opportunities across the street. Some companies will dismiss these numbers as only a momentary phase. Other hiring executives are understanding these numbers as an opportunity to do better at competing in the workplace.

  • Strong Onboarding process – Strong onboarding helps the new employee feel like they’re a part of the team.
  • Employees want to be valued – Just like you every employee wants to be appreciated. If that employee feels like they’re not being valued, they’ll just leave and find a better company to work for.
  • Developmental Opportunities – employees aren’t going to stay with your company if you don’t offer them professional development opportunities. They want to be trained and know that you are investing in their career.

Hiring and retention is hard for any company. But when with the economy is robust and opportunities abound companies have to be responsive to the job market. Also investing in your people with great compensation, great benefits, and professional development will help you come out ahead.


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