The Tight Labor Pool and Its Effect on You

How is a 4 percent unemployment market affecting your job search? While employers are grousing about the tight labor pool and talent wars are forcing companies to offer more to attract better candidates, how does today’s unprecedented low unemployment rate affect the job seeker?

The Advantages of Low Unemployment

The low unemployment rate in the U.S. is a win/win for employees, even in rural areas, where jobs are traditionally more difficult to find. Some of the power has shifted from the hiring manager to the potential employee, bringing some possibly unexpected benefits for the applicant to enjoy. For example:

  • You have a better chance of getting jobs you aren’t as qualified for. That’s because the candidate pool you’re competing against is much smaller. Consider restructuring your resume for the job you dream about instead of the job you’re most qualified for by emphasizing crossover skills. Don’t waste time agonizing over whether you have the chops; go ahead and apply. In this job market, it may not be a waste of time.
  • You’ll have less chance of encountering hidden biases. The sad truth is hidden biases still exist in the HR world. The Financial Times says there are gender, age, and racial biases still having a negative effect on corporate hiring processes by playing a role in who gets hired. But in a tight labor market, these biases shift because the need outweighs the stereotypes.
  • Higher salary and benefits are now an option. Perhaps the biggest benefit is employers are willing to pay more today. It’s supply and demand economics with a twist; as the labor supply dwindles the remaining candidates can demand more. One tip for job seekers is to consider benefits in addition to salary. Can the employer offer a signing bonus or throw in extra vacation? Perhaps working from home one day a week is a possibility?
  • The job choices are greater so you can be more selective. This is especially true in high-demand jobs such as healthcare or computer programming. Finding the right opportunity should be a little easier in a low unemployment market; there are more jobs to choose from and less competition.

The New York Times says we’ve had more than 90 consecutive months of job gains. As the candidate pool has thinned and more jobs are added, the chances of you landing that dream job are improving.

Getting Started in the New Employment Environment

If you want a better chance of showing up in the radar of HR managers, partnering with a recruiting firm like Blackstone Technology Group will give your search a boost. While the odds are currently in your favor in terms of the U.S. unemployment rate, it’s still free to work with recruiting firms that can act as job coaches, resume reviewers and put you in touch with hiring managers – sometimes even before a job has been posted.

If you’re a job candidate looking for a competitive edge, contact our talent team. We’re standing by to match your skills to the best jobs in the market.

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