High turnover, low unemployment are impeding hiring plans
- In 2018, 44% of employers will be looking to hire full-time, permanent employees and 51% plan to hire contingent workers, according to CareerBuilder's employment forecast. But 45% of employers say they can't find qualified people to fill their job openings, and for 58% of them, job vacancies last for three months or more. Harris Poll surveyed 888 HR professionals and hiring managers and 809 full-time employees in the private sector for CareerBuilder's annual study.
- Employers also say they're facing a 40% turnover rate among workers, with many planning to leave their current jobs this year. In addition, employers face recruiting challenges for nearly all job categories, survey results show.
- CareerBuilder says five trends to watch in 2018 include: recruiting talent early on, especially college students; importing talent from abroad; rehiring former workers; hiring and training workers for their potential instead of their skills; and increasing wages for in-demand employees, both new and current.
Employers recognize the challenges ahead in recruitment and hiring. A tight labor market has always tilted in favor of workers. But a low unemployment rate of 4.1%, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (considered approaching full employment), and a seemingly insurmountable skills shortage is setting back recruitment efforts. Employers will need to adopt untraditional ways of attracting talent — and reconsider their diversity and inclusion initiatives — to see success.
While 4.1% is the official U.S. unemployment rate, economists note that it certainly doesn't hold true for every group. LGBTQ workers report unemployment at three times the national average, while unemployment for Americans with disabilities hovers around 10%. Employers must not only consider how and where they reach out to post job openings; they have to consider how employees are treated within their organization, and ensure retention efforts focus on inclusion rather than a dangerously misinterpreted "culture fit." Bullying, for example, is one major reason why many LGBTQ Americans find themselves out of work.
Some employers plan to recruit applicants from wider geographic areas, as CareerBuilder notes in its study. But employers looking to hire foreign workers, especially those with in-demand high-level tech skills, may find more stringent visa policies in place as the Trump administration focuses on its "Hire American" promise.
In response to the challenges of hiring for full-time work, many organizations are turning to the contingent workforce to shore up talent needs and improve agility. Independent contractors, freelancers and other contingent workers are often readily available for work between engagements, allowing HR to obtain talent at the moment it is needed.