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Unemployment Is Down – How Do You Find Quality Candidates?

The unemployment rate in Florida is under 6 percent in most areas and that’s a good thing, right? Not if you are an employer looking to fill an open or new position.

Finding quality talent is hard enough, but it gets even harder when the unemployment rate is this low. Companies must put in the extra work just to bring in qualified candidates, much less hire someone that fits the bill. These strategies can range from targeting workers outside the area to tapping into state workforce programs, and each strategy has varying levels of success.

A low-efficiency approach

In 2012, the oil boom in South Dakota meant that many companies were have trouble hiring workers to keep up with the level of production, and with the unemployment rate in the rest of the United States relatively high at the time – some employers tried to recruit from outside their immediate area.

According to a report from Dakotafire, this strategy was not very effective because companies had a hard time convincing qualified candidates to uproot and settle in South Dakota, particularly the companies in more remote areas.

Although the Sunshine State may have more aesthetic appeal than South Dakota, companies should be mindful of the fact that employees are often resistant to the idea of a big move – especially if they are married or have children. Parents often like their kids to have a consistent upbringing, and married candidates will have to consider the employment prospects for their spouse.

Some better ways to draw talent

A great way to recruit talent is by appealing to them before they even enter the workforce. Both high schools and colleges are receptive to companies that want to give an informational presentation to their students. Connecting with students today will make them much more likely to give your company a serious look in the future.

Some colleges also hold job fairs or other events where area companies are allowed to come in and recruit prospective talent. In addition to talking to candidates, recruiting at colleges also allows a company to build relationships with teachers and administrators, who can later refer students looking for employment.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity also has a number of workforce programs that employers can connect with in their search for top talent. In particular, the DEO has programs that connect military veterans and agricultural workers to jobs.

The most effective approaches

Cross-training current employees is a great way to either fill an open position or hedge against turnover. A major advantage of this approach is the employer knows the quality of individual they are cross-training and this eliminates some of the guesswork involved in the hiring process.

Speaking of current employees, each one of them has a personal network and leveraging all of these small networks can help an organization lock down leads on some new talent. This approach has the added benefit of having a candidate’s personal references already at the company.

At CAREERXCHANGE®, we are always rooting for a low unemployment rate, but we know that means a smaller talent pool for our clients. Fortunately, we always have a large database of talented job candidates in South Florida, and our partner companies can access that talent pool with a single phone call.

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