hard_hiringBlog article about why today’s employers aren’t filling their open positions. To start off, the post highlights that even though there are clear signs that our economy is now in a recovery phase, unemployment rates are still very high in comparison to recoveries over the past century. Cappelli dismisses explanations for these high unemployment rates due to a sudden lack of necessary skills or education, given the relatively short five year recession time span.

Instead, Capelli proposes an interesting explanation as to why positions are simply not getting filled:  hiring is hard for employers right now. After tightening their purse strings over the past five years to make sure they stayed afloat, many employers now have far less resources to devote to the hiring process. Both recruiters and hiring managers now have more pressure on them to keep costs low while still bringing in the same level of high quality talent. This is proving to be a difficult task for most, which has kept a large percentage of job vacancies perpetually open. This is a lose-lose situation for both applicants and employers.

Sure, the recovery has been slow but it has been steady for at least the last two years. But, as Cappelli points out, employers may be making it harder to hire because they haven’t adapted to subtle changes in the economy that have shifted the pendulum back to an applicant’s market. From Cappelli: “part of the explanation may also be that this recession has gone on for so long that it changed what hiring managers think they can find in the labor market. Early on in the recession, when literally millions of people were being laid-off, it was easy to find someone fresh out of a job with the experience and skills needed to step right into your vacancy. Now in the fifth year of the downturn, unemployed candidates have often been out of work for quite a while. The candidates with current work experience that hiring managers want are working for someone else, and they aren’t desperate to take a new job.”

So what’s the bottom line for employers? It’s time to recognize that the market has changed. Demand for talent has increased. To be competitive, employers are going to have to reevaluate both job requirements and compensation rates. Talent acquisition processes and tools will need to be re-optimized to avoid costly fits and starts. And, recruiting budgets need to be revisited with an emphasis on hiring internal recruiters.

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