Employers Struggle with Low Unemployment

According to the latest figures, Colorado’s unemployment rate is currently at 4 percent, the lowest since October of 2007, right about the time the “Great Recession” zapped us. Meanwhile, Utah’s unemployment rate was below 4 percent as of September 2015, while Arizona’s is hovering around 6 percent.

The landscape has changed for employers who are seeking to fill their cupboards (job openings) with tasty morsels (top-flight new hires). When compared to the past several years, when a bounty of qualified and eager job candidates flooded the market, the applicant pool is shrinking, narrowing the level of talent available.

As Baby Boomers retire, the workforce will continue to reflect a higher number of Millennials (those born since 1980) in the job market. Acquiring and retaining this generation of talent requires a new approach, as this new wave of workers has different priorities.

Prepare to be more innovative with Paid Time Off, as PTO is often as important as wages to many Millennials, and has replaced the sign-on bonus as a major perk.  Also, bonuses and rewards for perfect attendance can be addressed through additional PTO for employees who earn them.

Reward employees through a robust employee-referral program. Often the best and most cost-effective hires come through referrals from your top people. Referrals also often have among the lowest turnover rates among employees.

Other offerings such as alternative workweeks, flexible work hours, day care center subsidies, and student-loan repayment programs, which is a significant issue with the younger workforce, can all attract top-shelf professionals to come to, and stay with, your company in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

Show them you are the “employer of choice,” and these sharp minds will choose you as their employer!