Knowledge Center / Blog
Where Are the Job Applicants?
Where are the job applicants? If you’re a business leader or a hiring manager, you’ve likely asked that question recently. The US currently has a record-breaking high number of jobs available (8.1 million at the end of March 2021, according to the US Dept. of Labor). At the same time, almost 10 million people are classified as unemployed. Some quick math tells us that there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs available. So, why aren’t we having an easier time filling our open positions?
- Covid-19 is still here: The virus is still around and only half of adults in the US are fully vaccinated today.
- Lack of access to childcare: Not all schools or childcare facilities are open fully in-person yet.
- Skills gap: Many companies are hiring for positions different from those that were eliminated during the pandemic, making individuals that were well-qualified for their previous positions under/over-qualified for the positions currently available.
- Hold out: Laid off employees may be holding out for their old jobs to become available again.
- Unemployment benefits: Many individuals receiving unemployment benefits (state + federal) are receiving more money on unemployment than they would earn taking a new position. Numerous states are either ending the federal unemployment benefit and/or reinstating the work search requirement for unemployed individuals to encourage them to take a new job.
Here are a few strategies to get applicants to apply:
- Spend a few dollars on your job postings: This helps the jobs move to the top of the list and makes it easier to find your company’s open positions.
- Rewrite your job ads: Are they only listing job duties and how to apply? Consider listing your pay – if it’s at or above market – your benefits, and information on what makes your company a great place to work.
- Use social media: Ask your employees to share your openings on their social media, as well as posting the job opportunities on your own pages.
- Consider signing bonuses: Signing bonuses create interest in the job. Just be sure your signing bonus program requires the employee to stay for a period of time and a pay-back provision. Also consider paying the signing bonus in increments to ensure the employee stays for a period of time.
- Offer a referral bonus: Employees are a great source for finding good job candidates. Offer a referral bonus that is paid out to the referring employee after the person is hired and employed for a period of time.
Another great strategy is to work with experienced HR professionals to assist you with these strategies and policies. The Employer Group helps its clients every day with these challenges. How can we help you?