Hiring & Recruiting, Strategic HR

Why The ‘New Normal’ Economy Spells Opportunity for Recruiters

By Josh Wright, chief economist, iCIMS

A foot in the door. Pounding the pavement. Our metaphors for finding a job emphasize the arduousness of the task and its chanciness. And these days, it’s not getting any easier. Glance at a newsstand—or your social media newsfeeds—and you’re bound to see stories of economic transition and dislocation. Many commentators argue that this is also driving the new political crosswinds that have been blowing across the U.S. and the U.K.

This isn’t just a topic for the eggheads and the politicos, nor just a challenge for the common working stiff—these times of change raise pressing questions for employers as they build and manage their workforces.

To attract, select, and retain the best-fitting talent, employers need to think long and hard about how shifts in the labor force are reshaping the practice of talent acquisition. Put another way: a “new normal” in macroeconomics implies a “new normal” in recruiting itself, even if advances in HR technology weren’t already changing the game.

One of the key changes is a split between the quality and the quantity of jobs that are being created in the U.S. Job growth has been strong and relatively steady for several years now, and even a moderate slowdown over the last few months doesn’t change the fact that the pace of gains continues to be more than enough to absorb the number of new workers entering the labor force. The problem is that not enough jobs offer the security, upward mobility, wage growth, or benefits that workers of yesteryear came to expect.

Gig economy

New data from iCIMS’ system for tracking job applicants indicates that while job growth remains strong, full-time positions are not outpacing the creation of part-time and contractor work enough to meaningfully increase their share of total jobs created.

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