The Unemployment Rate is High. Here’s Why You Should Ignore it and Keep Recruiting.

More than four months after the COVID-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc throughout our economy, the unemployment rate remains at record high levels. And so, as organizations now begin to get back on their feet, it seems they should have plenty of options when it comes to hiring new employees.

In reality, that’s not the case. My advice to companies restarting their engines is to ignore the unemployment rate and keep on actively recruiting. Their future may well depend on it.

Why is that? It starts with several myths related to unemployment. One of the most popular is that people would rather collect an unemployment check than work. Recently, that has gained additional traction due to a small number of stories in which people receiving federal stimulus money are making more by not working.

Based on two decades of experience, I can tell you that’s not true. People want to work, to feel productive and valuable, and to contribute to something greater than themselves. If money is a recurring issue in attracting good candidates, it may be time to revisit your compensation models. Paying a competitive wage and offering strong benefits is always essential, even when the jobless rate is high.

Additionally, too many organizations believe that because unemployment is high, this is an employer’s market. That myth is also false. The economic instability, combined with health and safety concerns brought on by coronavirus, are making it difficult to find quality employees – another reason why employers need to remain vigilant in their recruiting.

Lastly, it’s important to recognize that the largest percentage of unemployed individuals are lower-skilled workers. In other words, the skills gap that has plagued employers for years has not gone away. Even though there are more candidates available, they may not necessarily have the right skills to match those being sought for an open position.

My suggestion to companies is to consider hiring candidates that are a good fit with their corporate culture, and then train them on the skills needed to perform the job. This approach has worked extremely well for a number of clients across a variety of industries.

Even in these unprecedented times, employers must be creative and proactive to find the best employees. They must reinforce their employer brand, explaining why it’s both safe and smart to join their organization, and invest in their employees to keep the best ones from leaving.

Don’t be fooled by the unemployment rate. Employers must work just as hard – in some ways, even harder – to build a winning workforce for the long term.

As always, we’re here to help in whatever way makes the most sense for your organization, from traditional staffing to transforming your recruiting process. There’s no better time to get started than today! Contact Us!

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.