The unemployment rate fell 0.4% in Lancaster County to 5.5% in December. That’s the largest one month drop since August 1996. It’s a full 1.3% better than the previous December.
But, what does it really mean to you? To me we’re experiencing a “sweet spot” right now. We have a sharply falling unemployment rate as the economy seems to be gaining upward momentum. Why do I call it a “sweet spot”? Because the market has changed. The market has changed from an employer driven job market to a candidate driven job market. We’re in the “sweet spot” because I don’t think everyone’s realized this yet. The government is still focused on the unemployed and many employers still believe they’re in the driver’s seat. Those that realize we’re in the sweet spot will attract the best talent.
As the unemployment rate falls the pool of qualified candidates falls with it. When the unemployment rate was 8% there wasn’t a large pool of truly qualified attractive candidates. Now that we’re at 5.5 % unemployment just think about it… fewer still truly qualified, attractive candidates. Those qualified candidates? It’s their market and believe me they know it. They’re demanding more money, and they’re being quite picky about where they decide to work.
Now – here’s the other edge of that double edged sword… the “not so” qualified candidates. They’re in that mix doing everything they can to fool you into thinking they’re what you need. And some of them are going to fool some of us.
What can you do as your business is improving and you’re looking to add to your staff? Do your due diligence. Screen, check and double check, and don’t stall or try and low-ball offers. The best, smartest, most attractive candidates know what they’re worth these days. They’re in the driver’s seat so treat them that way.
We’ve added another perm / direct hire recruiter recently and are busy helping our clients identify and hire the best talent – perm or temporary. If you would like to learn how we can help you click HERE and we’ll get you through the sweet spot.