Recent Job Market Reversals Illustrate Dynamic Nature of Hiring

The recent challenges faced by many businesses across the country in finding qualified staff, particularly relative to the glut of available labor less than 15 years ago, highlights the dynamic nature of the American labor market and demonstrates the importance for an active and dynamic human resources approach to the hiring process.

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“Following the 2008/2009 recession, we saw job openings decline and candidates (especially new college grads) struggle to find employment opportunities in a cutthroat employers’ market,” says Ed Barrientos CEO of Brazen. “Not only was there an influx of candidates and no job openings, but those roles that were open required 3-5 years of experience for entry-level roles, and other unrealistic criteria.”

Retooling Hiring Strategies

Today, of course, the situation is much different. Companies across a variety of sectors are struggling to find enough employees to simply maintain their base operations, let alone undertake new initiatives. In this changing environment, the hiring strategies that may have been adequate or even successful just a few years ago need to be reevaluated and retooled.

“Employers can reevaluate and realign hiring policies by making sure their HR technology is up-to-date and the external messages being communicated to candidates is accurate and reflective of the job market,” says Barrientos. “This includes updating job descriptions and experience requirements, recruiters being accessible and flexible through text-based chat or video interviews, and timely follow ups to candidates. Heading into 2021, employers need to adjust their expectations and hiring criteria to course correct to the modern hiring climate – more job openings than candidates in a steadfast employees’ market.”

Change is Constant

The U.S. labor market is far from monolithic, and even the current struggle to find workers is not unprecedented. The labor market goes through periods of varying supply and demand for labor; sometimes employers have considerable leverage and a wealth of candidates to choose from; other times it’s workers who have a multitude of options. A hiring and recruitment process existing within the context of this shifting and dynamic labor market can’t afford to remain static and rely on old strategies to succeed in new climates.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.