As much as employers have waited for the tides to turn in the job market, candidates still have the upper hand. Even the dire workforce and cost cutting of the pandemic was short lived and didn’t generate large, eager candidate pools for employers to pull from. In fact, employers were quickly back in the battle, competing to find and hire strong talent.
Now, with recession on the minds of economists worldwide and caution in the air, some businesses are hopeful that shifting economic winds might return some job market leverage to the side of employers. Based on jobs data and population realities, those hopes are misplaced. Workforce demographics today do not favor employers who are waiting for an economic shift to improve their recruitment odds:
- Unemployment remains remarkably low at 3.5% in September of 2022 and with some industries falling even lower, such as the tech sector which fell to 2.1% With 10+ million vacancies, workers still have the choice of opportunities.
- The size of the incoming workforce is shrinking: approximately 400,000 fewer Americans are turning 18 each year according to U.S. census data.
- The pandemic accelerated Baby Boomer retirements culling experienced talent from the workforce.
Analyze, Don’t Wait
Rather than waiting for an external market event to deliver momentum to recruiting and hiring efforts, employers have a better option: labor market analytics. When the competition for talent is relentless, a business needs to get smart, which means gaining a more scientific understanding of local market talent pools, competitors, and compensation and benefit trends.
These labor market analytics are not just good information. They are powerful targeting tools that allow a business to cut through all the job market noise, find the specific candidates needed, and engage with speed and the right message. It can deliver transformative recruitment results.
Creating a Clear Picture with Programmatic Market Research
To target talent effectively and with the speed needed to compete in a tight labor market, market research is more important than ever. Programmatic marketing combines technology, strategy, artificial intelligence, and data to increase the precision and efficiency of candidate targeting, and its success depends on making the best data-driven choices. Here’s how it works.
Choose the Right Market
An employer begins by researching and analyzing the location of the job (where the hired professional will end up working). What data is required?
- Availability (supply) of talent: How many active professionals and job seekers in the region have applicable skills and experience?
- Local compensation trends: What are employers, consultancies, and staffing firms paying for this work?
- Marketplace competitors: How many competitors are in the market and what is their current recruitment activity?
- Diversity: How diverse is the talent pool and will the business be able to meet its diversity goals recruiting within the market?
These labor analytics will tell a business if local talent pools are too small or just right. If local competition is too intense and whether pay rates are in the right range or exceeding it. All that information is essential to know and understand before investing big recruitment time and money into a location. If the market isn’t strong, employers end up throwing big money at a region that will not deliver enough hires.
Choose the Right Title(s)
Job titles can be tricky. One recruiter’s software engineer is another recruiter’s senior staff software engineer. Before any strategic targeting and marketing begins, it takes research to determine what the right titles are for the role but also for the region. Many times a few large employers and the titles they use set the market standards for job titles and how people search. Knowing what your candidates are searching for when they look for jobs is key to getting the title right and ensuring they click when your jobs and ads pop up.
Choose the Right Rate
Once candidates are responding to your outreach and ads because you’re in the right market and using the right titles, the applications will start to arrive. Employers need to be ready with the right offers and rates. Make sure you have the pay rate set and the case for why. Market research will tell you what competitors are paying and if your range is on par with cost of living realities and likely competitor packages. Hitting the right range from the start is one of the best ways to convert strong candidates quickly. Low balling, especially in a tight job market, will hurt your employment reputation and opportunities for referrals.
Good Analytics Require Good Time Management
Market analytics will help a business make the best choices around market, titles, and rates, but only if it’s done in a timely manner. Job markets and talent pools are always changing. Data gets stale as economics and industry trends evolve.
Recruitment excellence means embracing a moving target. Labor market analytics help employers keep pace with targets in motion, regularly checking key metrics to ensure rates, job titles, and locations are still aligned with recruiting strategies.
Bet on Labor Market Analytics
To find and win talent in a competitive and talent-scarce market, you can’t go big and broad. You have to choose precision. So aim for laser-focused precision by starting with the labor market data and analytics you need to get there.