Category Archives: Recruiting Trends

US Contractors Gear Up For Recruitment Drive

Construction Workers Looking at RoofThe research by Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Sage Construction & Real Estate found that optimism is particularly high in Kansas.

The survey, conducted as part of The Challenges Facing a Growing Industry: The 2016 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, indicates that contractors foresee a positive year despite tight labor conditions, regulatory burdens and IT security challenges.

“The construction industry will continue to recover in 2016 as many firms add to their headcount amid growing demand in a range of private and public sector markets,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The industry also faces a number of challenges that have the potential to dampen, and possibly even undermine, the sector’s recovery.”

Association officials noted that 71% say they will increase their headcount in 2016. In most cases, however, that hiring will only lead to modest increases in the overall size of firms. 63% of firms report their planned hiring will increase total headcount between 1% and 25% while 8% report they will expand their headcount by more than 25% this year.

Among the 30 states with large enough survey sample sizes, 95% of firms in Kansas plan to expand their payrolls in 2016 – more than in any other state. In contrast, 25% of firms in Pennsylvania report they plan to reduce headcount this year.

Contractors expect a mix of private and public sector market segments will drive demand for construction in 2016. As measured by the net positive reading – the percentage of respondents who expect a market segment to expand versus the percentage who expect it to contract – respondents are most optimistic about the outlook for retail, warehouse and lodging (21% net positive).

Respondents were also positive about the outlook for hospital (19% net positive), private office (19%), multifamily residential (14%) and higher education (13%) construction. And they are optimistic about the prospects school (12%) and public building (12%) construction, particularly in contrast to last year when contractors were generally pessimistic about all public construction market segments.

Contractors are less optimistic about other segments, including manufacturing, other transportation power and direct federal construction market segments. However, association officials noted that the survey was completed prior to enactment of federal legislation to increase funding for highways, transit and direct federal agency spending, and to extend the expiry date for wind, solar and other tax provisions helpful to construction.

Construction firms continue to cope with shortages of available workers, reporting that they are having a hard time finding either salaried or craft professionals. And 69% of respondents predict that labor conditions will remain tight, or get worse, during the next 12 months. Firms are responding to worker shortages by increasing pay and/or benefits. 49% of respondents report they have increased base pay rates, 30% report they are providing incentives and/or bonuses and 23% report they have increased their contributions to employee benefits to retain or recruit workers. And nearly half of firms report they plan to increase their investments in training and development compared to 2015.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

How the Improving Economy Is Making Hiring Harder

Portrait of a very happy young man in a rain of moneyFor workers, a growing economy means better jobs and the ability to choose between quality jobs to find that next career move. For companies, a growing economy means more revenue and more opportunities to grow. But a growing economy also means that there are less qualified workers looking for jobs, and the lack of quality employees due to the constantly improving economy is proving to be a huge challenge for companies around the country.

Many Companies Are Feeling The Recruiting Crunch

Yahoo! Finance published the findings of a report done in October 2015 that indicated that 48% of companies in the United States are finding it extremely difficult to fill positions with quality employees. That number is up from 45% in September 2015, and it is a number that continues to rise. The simple truth is that, as the economy continues to improve, recruiting is becoming more and more of a problem for American companies.

Who Is Feeling It The Most?

The tremendous growth in the service sector means that service companies are finding it the most difficult to attract new employees. Larger companies seem to have an advantage in attracting quality employees over small businesses because larger companies can offer higher wages, and larger companies can offer more competitive health benefits.

Investing In The Brand

According to a report done by LinkedIn, companies are combating the recruiting issue by investing more money in making their company brand more attractive. Many companies indicate that finding quality employees is more important than sales, which means that taking a sales approach is probably not a bad idea. By investing in the company brand image, it can be possible to attract more quality employees and increase the company’s chances of finding better recruits.

What Does This Mean For Employees?

The end result of an improving economy to companies means that companies make more money. But the concern in the past has been that an improving economy does not always mean that there will be higher wages for employees. This lack of quality employees is the worst that the job market has seen in nearly a decade. Most economists feel that the need for higher quality employees will cause companies to raise wages to attract those employees for future growth. The hope is that the increase in wages will start to appear soon and help the economy to grow even further.

A growing economy is great for companies and workers, but it becomes a burden to companies when the workers become difficult to find. It is during these economic times, when the employment is so low, that new methods of recruiting differentiate in talent acquisition.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Why Recruiting Has Become Marketing

Why Recruiting Has Become MarketingOver the years, recruiting has become marketing: it is not just about finding the right fit for your position anymore. Recruitment is about encouraging job seekers to apply for your company in the first place, but also about providing a positive candidate experience and retaining top talent. It is about conveying an authentic message out there to the public so that unsuccessful candidates do not feel rejected, and former employees still feel very strongly about their past employers.

Recruiting has become marketing because recruiters need to convince and sell, just like marketing folks do. Except recruiters do not sell what the company is producing, they sell the company itself: its corporate culture, values and mission, its workplace, its roles and advancement opportunities.

More than ever, human resources departments have to worry about employer branding and candidate experience. Companies do not only need to take care of their clients, they need to take care of their past and current employees as well as their past, current and future candidates. In other words, they need to take care of the public at large – or at least their target audience, whether for selling or hiring.

It is necessary to treat your current and future employees the way you would treat your clients. In fact, candidates and employees are like internal clients: they may not be interested in the products and services your company sells out to the world, but they still remain potential clients and active brand ambassadors, whether in a positive or negative way. As explained in the video below, today’s job seekers are in the driver seat. As a result, companies take employer branding and candidate experience more seriously. What most of them do not yet realize is that they need to start considering recruitment like an internal customer service.

Today candidates are more selective about the organizations they are willing to work for so that recruiters do not have sole power in the final decision when it comes to hiring. This makes the relationship between both parties more equal. If it is slightly unbalanced on the candidate side now, it is because the market tends to be candidate-driven rather than employer-driven. Since employers are no longer in a position of strength, companies have to consider candidates like clients.

But it takes quite the marketing skills to build up a strong and effective employer brand and offer simple and attractive application tools to the job seekers out there eager for an engaging but quick and easy candidate experience.

Because companies can offer relevant products and services to their clients based on data, recruiters should be able to do the same with candidates on employment websites and mobile apps. Just like marketing departments make plans and take actions to drive the client’s attention to their products or services, human resources should come up with targeted and engaging content and job offers.

A typical marketing strategy can be based on mobile, personalization and predictive advertising. A recruitment strategy is more similar to a digital marketing strategy today: it is about building awareness, engaging, nurturing and hiring. While the technology necessary is made available to us, it is more about our habits, behaviors and willingness to change our approach to recruitment.

Some companies will not have the time and money to invest on such major shifts, while others will. But it may be as simple as encouraging teamwork and collaboration between marketing and HR departments. It does not have to feel overwhelming: most companies with HR already have marketing departments. They just need to start working hand in hand more often.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with only qualified and verified professionals that we have vetted for each position you are looking to fill.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

5 Employer Pain Points That Video Interviewing Addresses

Video InterviewingRecruiters, HR Professionals and Hiring Managers are all involved in the hiring process but not all share the pains of the other. Each faces challenges in their position the other does not fully understand or appreciate. Video interviewing offers a one size fits all solution to handle the difficulties faced by those in the hiring profession.

Pain Point #1: Scheduling Hassles – HR Professionals and recruiters both feel this pain. Scheduling and rescheduling phone interviews with candidates can take as long as the actual phone interview. Taking just minutes to set up, automated virtual interviews allow the candidate to interview on their schedule no matter what time of day or night. HR professionals/recruiters are free to focus on other responsibilities as a result.

Pain Point #2: Discrimination – Everyone involved in the hiring process wants to ensure their company’s hiring standards are fair and diverse but the HR professional has the greatest concern of all for this. Video interviewing is seen by some in this role as a tool that further facilitates bias however automated interviewing’s use of a structured interview process where all candidates answer the same questions, ensures no prejudiced questions creep in. Video interviewing is also able to screen candidates back into the process who might have unfairly been dismissed solely on the basis of their resume. Through a recorded video interview, minorities are able to dismiss pre-conceived biases surrounding their race, gender, age and so on. Additionally, recorded video interviews provide a great record of an organization’s non-discriminatory hiring practices.

Pain Point #3: Too many candidates, so little time – Organizations receive around 120 resumes for every open job position which leaves recruiters and hiring managers little time to screen them all. In fact, according to the Ladders.com, recruiters spend an average of only 6 seconds reviewing each resume. Even when whittled down to a manageable number, recruiting professionals might still need to conduct a dozen phone interviews and from that the hiring manager may select up to five candidates with whom he/she will spend hours interviewing. Video interviewing decreases time wasted on numerous phone screens and unnecessary face to face interviews.

Pain Point #4: Inadequate collaboration – Panel interviews are conducted so hiring managers may collaborate on their interest in a candidate because collaboration can’t adequately be achieved with phone screen notes. In-person however, the panel’s time is greatly burdened, especially if they determine in five minutes that the candidate is not a fit but are forced for etiquette’s sake to continue with the interview. Some video interviewing vendors allow you to compare candidates’ video responses side by side so that a more accurate picture develops and the hiring managers can save time by targeting candidates who best fit their organization.

Pain Point #5: Shallow candidate pool – Despite the increased number of resumes per position, hiring managers continue to complain that they can’t find adequate talent. Video interviewing allows managers and recruiters to interview job candidates outside their geographic region and for less expense than phone screening. This not only expands the candidate pool but reduces travel costs associated with flying in candidates.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Employers Are Losing More Candidates as Time to Fill Continues to Grow

Time to Hire Continues to Grow

It’s taking companies longer than at any time in the last 15 years — maybe even longer than ever — to fill a job, and that languor is losing them candidates.

Two recent reports on hiring put the average time from vacancy to offer at more than four weeks. And both studies — one from Glassdoor and the other from career site publisher DHI Group — say the time to fill is getting longer.

Slide1In the midst of a national recovery that has seen the unemployment rate go from a high of 10.1% to 5.3% in June, while the labor force continues to contract, Glassdoor found hiring time went from 12.6 days in 2010 to 22.9 days at the end of 2014.

Even when the data is scrubbed to control for changes in hiring location, industry mix, and other variables, Glassdoor found that interview time increased between three and four days.

Slide1 (1)The monthly DHI-DFH National Mean Vacancy Duration says it took an average of 28 working days (which includes Saturdays) to fill a job in May. In just one year, the average increased by 3.3 days. In some industries the average is even higher. For health services jobs the average is 42.3 days; financial services jobs average 41.2 days.

Recruiters at one of the largest search agency networks in the world say this hiring slowness is costing employers candidates. It’s a candidate-driven market, say 9-out-of-10 recruiters, yet too many employers drag their heels on hiring or make low ball offers.

The survey of the independent recruiters at MRI Network agencies says the leading reason why a job offer is turned down is because the candidate accepted another one.

Rejections are also coming sooner. The time between the first interview to a rejected offer is four weeks or less, according to 63% of the recruiters. “Year-over-year data,” says the MRI report, “shows rejected offers after two weeks are on the rise, advancing six percentage points since the first half 2014 survey.”

Offers RejectedCommented one of the survey recruiters, “Employers have to realize candidates are truly a precious commodity in today’s market and they will not remain on the market very long. If they want the candidate, they have to aggressively pursue them in order to get them and keep them.”

That’s not, however, what the recruiters see happening. Almost half of them (47%) say the biggest obstacle to hiring is salaries that are too low. When they find out during the interview, they simply withdraw.

Glassdoor’s analysis didn’t delve into job offers or rejection. Instead, it looked at 344,250 job interview reviews posted on the site between February 1, 2009 to January 31, 2015 to examine hiring time in the U.S. and five other countries. “Our findings suggest the job interview process has indeed grown significantly longer in recent years, both in the U.S. and around the world,” the report concludes.

Some causes of the longer hiring times are beyond the control of either job seeker or employer. For example, hiring is faster in Miami (18.6 days) than it is in Seattle (25 days). And smaller companies take less time to make a hiring decision than do larger ones.

One factor, however, is within an employer’s control, says Glassdoor: “The number and type of job interview screening methods chosen by company HR management. Of the nine job screening methods we examined, all have a positive and statistically significant effect on job interview durations.”

“Telephone interviews add 6.8 to 8.2 days; group panel interviews add 5.6 to 6.8 days; one-on-one interviews add 4.1 to 5.3 days; background checks add 3.1 to 3.4 days; and so on. In every case, additional layers of candidate screening add to hiring times,” according to the report.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

HR Leaders Are Not Confident They Can Overcome Talent Shortage

Talent ShortageFindings from an independent survey of more than 840 senior HR leaders from across the globe reveal that over a half (53%) believe that there is a shortage of talent quality, with 84% admitting that it is harder than ever before to attract and retain talent.

The survey commissioned by Lumesse, a global leader in talent solutions, and undertaken by research specialists, Loudhouse, highlights that over three quarters (76%) of respondents agreed that a shortage of talent will be the biggest threat to their business in the next two years. Furthermore, specific industry sectors that demand highly skilled employees, such as the pharmaceutical and financial industry, feel the shortage in talent most intensely.

Yet, currently only one in ten (9%) classify their approach to attracting and retaining talent as strategic and optimized and, as a result, fewer than half are very confident that their organization can effectively address what they have identified as the three main recruitment and talent sourcing challenges:

  • Only 41% felt confident in identifying potential internal candidates
  • Only 40% felt confident in tackling global sourcing
  • Only 36% felt confident in employer branding to help recruitment efforts

These three challenges represent a 360° spectrum of needs, internally and externally, domestically and internationally. The research also found that HR leaders are pessimistic about identifying and hiring the right skills in the future with (68%) agreeing they are experiencing a lack of visibility into what these needs will be in 12 months’ time.

Stephan Schmitt, CMO, Lumesse said, “The talent crisis is very real. Demand is growing for very specialized and skilled workers to help businesses compete in tough global markets. When the pace of change is rapidly increasing, and new tools and technologies are disrupting the way we do business, these skills are absolutely necessary. Yet, HR leaders do not feel confident in their ability and that of the organization’s to address this change.”

Schmitt continues, “HR leaders need to take a strategic approach to ensuring that the right processes and plans are in place to capture talent at both a global and local level. There is no silver bullet – no same approach will work for every company – but leaders should review and streamline their technology and applicant tracking (ATS) systems, automate social engagement to build a talent pipeline, and strengthen internal learning and development processes to ensure that they can adapt skillsets to changing business needs. This will help them to get better insight into data to inform talent decisions, connect with talent across multiple channels and ultimately strengthen their talent pipeline for the future.”

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Top Tech Tools for On-The-Go Recruiters

Urban business man talking on smart phoneSometimes there’s just not enough time in the day. This is especially true for on-the-go talent professionals who often have to travel to conferences and events. Luckily, technology can help busy and traveling recruiters by letting them take their work with them. If your productivity crashes when you’re on business trips, consider using some of these top tools:

Never Miss an Interview With Video Interviews

First impressions are important. Within the first five minutes of an initial meeting, you probably know if the candidate is the right person for the role. With video interviews, you can still get a first impression of a candidate even if you’re unable to meet face to face due to your busy schedule. RecruitLoop’s video interviews let candidates record their blind answers via a webcam and can speed up the process, allowing you to screen more candidates while on the go.

Go Mobile to Recruit Talent

According to Forbes, 70% of job seekers use their mobile devices for job searches. And, 23% of keyword searches that include the word “job” come from mobile devices. Meghan Biro, writing for Forbes, provides a pretty compelling case to switch to mobile, citing that companies who fail to adopt mobile run the risk of falling behind in the search for talent.

Savvy recruiters can gain a leg up in the industry with the right mobile tools. Smartphones like the Google Nexus 6 phablet offer the functionality of a traditional cell, with the screen size and capabilities of a modern tablet. This device is great for recruiters because of its long-lasting battery life. Its Turbo Charging takes just 15 minutes to get a 6-hour charge, so it lets you get more done and do less charging while on the go. With the Google Nexus 6, you won’t have to rely on your desktop or laptop; you have everything you need right in your hands.

Screen Candidates via the LinkedIn App

No list of recruiting tools is complete without LinkedIn. According to recruiting software company Recruiter Box, a staggering 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to screen potential new hires. On-the-go talent professionals who use Apple devices can use the LinkedIn Recruiter App. Using the app via your smartphone makes discovering new talent effortless. You can search and review the profiles of potential candidates, respond or reach out via InMail, email and text potential candidates. The app also gives you access to updates concerning applicants, saved searches and the profile changes of potential hires that you follow.

The LinkedIn Recruiter app helps keep you organized throughout the entire process. You can save the profiles of candidates to folders and add notes. With the app, you never have to worry about missing a message or not responding to an applicant while on the go. The helpful alerts pop up in real time when candidates reply, so you can respond in a matter of seconds, no matter what your busy schedule looks like.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Recruiters Are Using ‘Algorithmic Hiring’ to Solve One of the Workplace’s Biggest Problems

Algorithmic HiringHumans are biased decision makers. One well-known and troubling example of this is the tendency for interviewers to hire candidates who remind them of themselves, resulting in workplace homogeneity. In the tech sector, this homogeneity has been particularly extreme: Google’s first ever diversity report, released last year, reported only 2% of its staff are black, and 3% Hispanic, for example.

Facebook recently announced that it’s going to try the NFL’s “Rooney Rule”—which requires that NFL teams interview minority candidates for coaching positions—in order to expand its staff beyond white and Asian men.

One proposed solution is to try to remove some of those biases with systematic analysis of data—or in other words: Use an algorithm. Companies administer personality tests to candidates during screening, and then use data analysis to determine its ideal hires. While the algorithm depends on what a company is looking for, common variables include using the data from personality tests to predict whether a candidate will quit or steal on the job.

Algorithmic hiring has been on the rise in recent years. Google used an algorithm to staff up quickly, employing an elaborate survey to zone in on candidates who will fit into the company’s culture. One study of algorithmic hiring found that a simple equation was significantly better than humans at identifying high-performing employees. The result held across different industries and levels of employment, and the researchers attributed the result to humans paying too much attention to inconsequential details and using information about candidates inconsistently.

Now, one company is reporting that algorithmic hiring can also improve diversity. Infor Talent Science provides software that helps companies hire by collecting behavioral information using a survey, then making a predictive model based on top performers. They then hire based on how candidates match up with those top performers. The company dug into data on 50,000 hires for their clients and found an average increase of 26% in African Americans and Hispanics hires across a variety of industries and jobs after deploying Infor’s software.

“What we’ve found is regardless of [the industry], whether it’s restaurants, retail, call centers—it actually increases the diversity of the population,” says Jason Taylor, Infor’s chief scientist for human capital management. In Infor’s forthcoming report, they found that using an algorithm to help with hiring increased their wholesale clients’ Hispanic hires by 31%. For their restaurant clients, African American hires increased by 60%.

“What a systematic process does is it knows no color, no race, no ethnicity,” says Taylor. “When [a hiring manager] doesn’t know a person and they don’t know what to look for, they basically hire people like themselves. It’s ‘We have something in common,’ or ‘Oh, I like you,’ then it’s ‘Okay you’re hired.’ What this does is provides them with an objective piece of information that shows the probability that they’re going to be successful in the role. So it helps to qualify that pool.”

One of the caveats of Infor’s study is that their data is only based on hires that disclosed ethnic background. As with most surveys, checking the racial box is voluntary. Collecting racial data has long been tricky as candidates often worry that that it will result in discrimination. (The Census Bureau too suffers from this problem, and it is experimenting with new ways to collecting data about race and origin.) But it’s not clear that, in the end, minority candidates are undercounted: Others might believe that disclosing race will attract diversity-minded employers.

So will algorithms rid the hiring process of bias? Scholars warn that big data’s supposed objectivity can mask other biases built into the algorithms. Chelsea Barabas, a researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, writes:

Decisions based on algorithms, are becoming “used for everything from predicting behavior to denying opportunity” in a way that “can mask prejudices while maintaining a patina of scientific objectivity.” These concerns are echoed by other scholars such as Kate Crawford, who has made incisive arguments against the claim that big data doesn’t discriminate against social groups … The peril of these algorithms is that they mask deep seated biases behind the promise that the numbers “speak for themselves.”

There’s plenty of research on the reasons that diversity is good for the workplace: It increases productivity; it enhances problem solving; it’s even been shown to increase sales and improve profits. The question of whether workplace diversity is good seems to have been answered, but the question of how to attain such diversity seems to be the more baffling one.

At least the early results seem to indicate that algorithmic hiring can help reduce biases, but an employer has to care about doing so. In other words, though Infor’s results are encouraging, what matters most is that companies are genuinely interested in increasing diversity in the workplace.

Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

The Past, Present & Future of Mobile Recruiting

Mobile RecruitingIt’s obvious that we use our phones for everything from online shopping to driving directions, our mobile devices are there for us. It’s replaced our camera, camcorder, alarm clock and more.

The popularity and convenience of smartphones makes them a powerful tool for recruiting too. Job seekers are attached to their phones and other devices, and use them in their search for new positions.

Mobile recruiting has come a long way over the past few years, and still has room to improve and grow. Here’s a look at the evolution of mobile recruiting and where the technology is heading in the future:

The Past

  • Back in 2007, mobile recruiting was a crazy concept. Cell phones were becoming the norm, the first iPhone was released, and Twitter was rising in popularity.
  • In the beginning, mobile recruiting was all about better connecting with busy candidates. With mobile, employers could send text message alerts to let job seekers know about open positions, send emails with candidates on the go, and boost their social media efforts.
  • As more people began using smartphones, employers could use QR codes to drive job seekers to their company or career websites.
  • Some companies took advantage of the opportunity by creating job search apps. CareerBuilder released their first job search app in 2008, and others soon followed. Job seekers could now search for jobs at any time, any place from a device they almost always carried in their pockets.
  • Although job searching from mobile devices was possible, applying for jobs was another story.
  • Job seekers needed to switch to a computer to actually apply for the jobs they found on their phones or tablets. Mobile applications were either not available, not optimized for mobile, or too long and inconvenient.

The Present

  • As we’ve become more and more reliant on our smartphones and other devices, job seekers are now applying to jobs at any time from their mobile devices. In fact, a 2014 Glassdoor survey of 1,000 employees and job seekers found that 89% of those surveyed use a mobile device during their job search, and 45% use their mobile device to search for jobs at least once each day.
  • Although mobile is popular among job seekers, many employers are still trying to shift their focus to the new recruiting possibilities. In a 2014 survey conducted by CareerXroads, seven in 10 companies surveyed said they rarely used mobile to hire executives, and a similar amount said the same when hiring hourly and entry-level employees.
  • Employers who have embraced mobile recruiting are focused on two trends: mobile-optimization and mobile applications.

Optimization: Job seekers expect a mobile site that is easy to read and use from any device. This means companies are going beyond mobile-friendly and optimizing their sites for multiple mobile devices. Employers who fail to do so won’t have much luck attracting job seekers on mobile.

Mobile Applications: As mobile technology advances and becomes more popular, job seekers want to complete every stage of the process, from the search to the application, from their phones and tablets. More companies are embracing the mobile application and finding ways to make the process easier for candidates.

Some enable candidates to use their LinkedIn or other social profiles to complete sections of the application. Others are creating simplified applications that job seekers can easily complete from their devices without getting frustrated.

The Future

  • Until now, the focus of mobile recruiting has primarily been on the candidate. The future of mobile recruiting is all about creating seamless programs that make the process easier for both job seekers and employers.
  • More organizations will adopt the use of mobile on their career sites and job applications, and provide candidates the mobile experience they deserve.
  • Mobile technology will also give recruiters a simpler way to review and sort candidates, communicate with their top picks, and work with their hiring teams to choose the best person for the job.
  • Only time will tell if job seekers will be using their Apple watches to apply for jobs in the future, but mobile will continue to evolve to provide job seekers and recruiters a more convenient and effective way to complete the hiring process.

Zero Fee Recruiter is a new and better way to find great talent.

We are the world’s largest passive candidate marketplace. We provide you with qualified professionals that we have contacted and vetted for each position you are looking to fill. We deliver only candidates that are interested in the position, are available in your location and have agreed to your salary range.

ZFR focuses on passive candidates that we source through our proprietary system, “Reach Out”, and this enables our team to reach candidates that are not actively looking.

We guarantee results! It’s that easy…

Why Are Employers Struggling to Fill Jobs?

783af3a944ad479520b387ba941870cdMuch like Lazarus, the U.S. economy has made a spectacular comeback. Even as the skunk-like stench of the Great Recession lingers, the worst seems to be behind us (SEE FIGURE 1 BELOW)

Unemployment Rate

FIGURE 1: U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (10-YEAR)

A snapshot of the good news:

  • U.S. employers advertised the most open jobs in April 2015 than any time in the last 15 years.
  • The economy added 280,000 jobs in May 2015, beating forecasts of 225,000 jobs.
  • Job growth occurred across the board, even in retail, suggesting growing consumer demand.
  • Wages are up 2.3%, the first increase since the recession ended.

Typically, an economic recovery after a steep recession would mean that newly created jobs would fill up rapidly. There is usually pent-up demand among the unemployed and underemployed, as well as those biding their time to move up.

Why then, are so many jobs going unfilled?

  • In a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study, 53% of leaders at smaller businesses said they faced a “very or fairly major challenge in recruiting non-managerial employees.” In a survey of Inc. 5000 CEOs last year, 76% said that finding qualified people was a major problem.
  • According to a March 2014 CareerBuilder study, 50% of the companies reported unfilled positions due to a lack of qualified candidates. In the IT field, that number rose to 71%.
  • The construction industry in Wisconsin has 80,000 unfilled jobs. Just to give you a sense of how the tide has turned after the housing bust, contractors have begun showing up at competitors’ worksites to lure workers with higher pay.
  • Even the manufacturing sector is now affected by worker shortages. According to the Wall Street Journal, 75% of manufacturers surveyed were having trouble finding skilled production workers.
  • These stats are not a post-recession anomaly. In May 2011, 3 million jobs were unfilled even as millions of Americans were still out of work.

These numbers are troubling since there is a cost when jobs go unfilled. The CareerBuilder study stated that it costs companies $14,000 in revenue for every position that remains unfilled for 3 months. According to indeed.com, for the top 10 companies in the Dow Jones Index, the cost of unfilled jobs costs the U.S. $75 million in monthly GDP.

We have a lot of available labor that accumulated during the recession, and we now have jobs being created. But, these jobs and workers seem too shy to break the ice. When Clinton (Bill, not Hillary) ran for President, the slogan was “It’s the economy, stupid”. The stats above make me ask: “Is the economy stupid?”

More and more employers claim that several American workers do not have the skills to fill these newly created jobs.

So, is there really a “skills gap” at play here?

No, there is not a “skills gap.” There is, however, a training gap for employees and perception gap among employers.

First, let’s review the “perception gap.”

According to a 2014 labor survey65% of new executive assistant jobs require a bachelor’s degree, but only 19% of currently employed assistants have bachelor’s degrees. Therefore, about 81% of current executive assistants are unqualified for their own jobs, based on the degree requirement.

I have seen several excellent admins who do their jobs well and it is impossible to tell the ones with a degree from the ones without a degree. But as they often do, employers erect artificial barriers that block qualified employees from applying for jobs. Furthermore, employers often demand higher qualifications, but balk at paying based on those qualifications. So the logic goes thus: employers want someone with a college degree for a job that does not require it, but don’t want to compensate based on the degree since the job does not require it. This makes complete sense if you insane, but that may account for the gap between perceived worker availability and job vacancies.

Rather than just blaming a “skills gap,” employers would do well to hire based on a skill/experience/degree matrix rather than focus on just one aspect.

This does not, however, let job seekers off the hook.

Many workers believe that closing the gap between skills required and skills available is easy: back to school. If only life were that simple, they’d call it football.

Our education system is ill skilled to prepare workers for the workforce. According to a McKinsey study, while 72% of educational institutions believe recent graduates are ready for work, only 42% of employers agree.

I am not trying to devalue education, but the fact is that colleges were not set up to deliver job training. They were set up to teach you to think and to teach yourself. Besides, it takes a lot of review and revisions to adapt academic curricula to cater to the thousands who attend college. Often college degrees are permanent monuments to temporary knowledge.

Additionally, the jobs that exist today did not exist in the same form a decade ago – how many iPhone programmers did you know in 2005? Not many colleges can deliver the skills at short notice to find a job.

Job seekers also find it hard to pick an area to develop expertise in, especially when market demand is so unpredictable.

A few years ago, getting trained in print design was an easy ticket to a marketing job. Thanks to Mr. Jobs, those jobs were quickly replaced by interactive design. As a result, there was a shortage for graphics designers. However, it is not easy for former print designers to overnight become experts in interactive design. Besides, who knew that the design landscape would change so precipitously? There were plenty of Flash designers who were suddenly unemployed, and had to learn JavaScript, HTML5, etc. to remain viable and employable.

U.S. employers clearly have a role to play. In 2011, only 21% of workers surveyed by Accenture had received any formal training at work in the previous 5 years. Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, surveyed more than 2,000 employers. While 80% say they were concerned about a skills gap, only 40% were doing anything about it. (SOURCE)

There are ways, however, for employers and employees to work on a training mechanism together. The following examples show a pattern:

  • As manufacturing in the U.S. rebounds, there is a shortage of welders and the average age of welders is 55. In order to increase labor supply, the American Welding Society encouraged its 70,000 members to tour high schools and explain the profession, spread the word about available high-paying jobs and even arranged for a nationwide exhibit on welding. As a result, in 2012-13, 80,000 kids completed welding courses up from 42,000 in 2009-10.
  • The state of South Carolina has worked with businesses to create apprentice programs so as to train its workforce. In 2007, only 90 companies participated and created 777 apprenticeships. In 2014, 670 companies participated to create 11,000 apprenticeships. The state has benefited from German companies like BMW and Bosch moving there, since those companies brought the German model of apprenticeships.
  • Shereef Bishay, once a lead software developer with Microsoft, has founded Dev Bootcamp, a for-profit enterprise that develops what Bishay calls “world-class beginners.” Rather than a degree, the school provides folks hands-on skills to get jobs. They learn from working professionals marketable skills like Ruby on Rails, HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.


While the labor supply and demand are out of sync after the Great Recession, writing off workers as unqualified or employers as stingy paymasters will solve nothing. “Skills Gap” is a fancy term, but the real solution is to invest in our workforce, and grow the number of market-ready employees. That way, rather than competing for a small yet qualified sliver, employers have a bigger collection of talent to pick from.

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