The Job Market is Tight Again- What’s Your Strategy?




Although the great recession of 2008-2009 is still a fixture in many peoples’ minds, the job market has changed substantially since those recession years.   I’m hearing more HR pros and business leaders complain about not being able to source and hire quality talent in a broader set of areas than usual.   We aren’t just complaining about the need for computer programmers and skilled tradespersons anymore.

According to the latest BLS Report on job openings and labor turnover,  “Job openings have trended upward since their series low in July 2009, and have surpassed the prerecession peak (April 2007). In July 2016, there were 5.9 million job openings.”  If you don’t think it has happened yet, you’re wrong- job seekers, or those not so active but passive job candidates that we really want, are back in the driver’s seat.

Given this information, there are three things you can do:

  1. Lower your expectations and hire to those lowered standards
  2. Lure the best talent in by upping your pay rates above the competition
  3. Develop your internal talent to be prepared to fill the jobs now and for the future


What I see most often happening in a talent crunch is companies looking externally instead of internally to address the problem, yet they don’t lower their expectations or raise their pay.  Then we get the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting different results.

Look internally to address your talent shortage woes.  This puts the investment you’ve already made in hiring to better use and it should even motivate your millennials as well as others to stay with you because you are invested in their growth.

How do you keep labor market trends from causing problems for you and your organization?




Mary Ila Ward

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