Business PeopleAfter years of sluggish economic conditions, the national unemployment rate has finally reached a seven-year low of 5.4 percent.  However, job growth has varied from state to state, with some states enjoying only meager gains since their lowest points during the recession.  As of March 2015, Arizona reported an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent.  Although this rate is slightly higher than the national average of 5.5 percent that month, it is a significant improvement over the 11.2 percent that the state experienced at its nadir in November 2009.
A low number of applications for unemployment is a proxy indicator that businesses have enough confidence in the economy to retain their staffs as opposed to conducting lay-offs.  While lower unemployment rates are a promising sign for today’s job-seekers, they indicate that recruiters are likely to encounter a dearth of qualified candidates as those would-be candidates enjoy job security with their current employers.  A survey conducted last year by the recruiting software, Jobvite, found that 69 percent of recruiters believed that competition for candidates would increase in 2015.  As the economy continues to improve, how might businesses boost their chances of attracting top talent?  Here are some strategies that will appeal to job-seekers in 2015:
1)      Cultivate a unique brand for your organization that will be attractive to candidates.  An employer brand refers to an organization’s reputation as an employer, as opposed to the corporate brand that it presents to clients.  Given the prevalence of social media and websites such as Glassdoor, employer brands are easily broadcast to large pools of job candidates.  Therefore, it is crucial that businesses think strategically about the image that they want to convey and incorporate it into an appealing, clearly defined brand.  Present this brand to prospects via social media, as well as a separate company website that elaborates on the company’s mission, values, and culture.
2)      Strive to create a positive recruitment experience.  When candidates have an unpleasant recruitment experience, they are likely to form a negative opinion of the organization as both a potential client and employee.  Furthermore, they may spread the word about their experience through social media, tainting the viewpoints of other possible clients and candidates.  One of the primary factors that leads candidates to identify an experience as negative is poor communication from the recruiters.  Prospective hires like to receive frequent communication both before and after an interview, and prefer to be informed from the outset as to how the process works and how long it is expected to last.  If a recruitment process seems impersonal and candidates feel that they are interacting with the company’s talent screening software more than they are interacting with a human, they are likely to exit the process with a poor opinion of the company.
3)      Build a talent network from which to recruit.  As more organizations are leveraging social media to promote their brands, they are finding that potential candidates develop an interest in them long before the recruitment process begins.  Sites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram may be used to develop a fan base comprised of prospective hires, current employees, and clients.  Early engagement with prospects through these forums may allow for a more efficient and cost-effective recruitment process, and may result in new hires who are genuinely interested in the company and its mission.
4)      Optimize your recruitment process for mobile devices.  According to the 2014 Jobvite survey, an estimated 43 percent of job-seekers use a mobile device.  Given the popularity of smartphones, this number is likely to increase.  Companies may reap the benefits of this trend by ensuring that all of their websites are mobile-friendly and by using job-search apps that create an interactive experience for candidates.
The decrease in company lay-offs has created a more competitive landscape for recruiters.  However, companies may still attract top talent by keeping abreast of the latest trends, which emphasize the strength of the employer’s brand and the means by which it is promoted to potential candidates.
Looking for ways to optimize your talent and recruitment process?  Contact CBR and find out more about harnessing talent in this changing economy.  Call today: (602) 200-8500!
(Sources:,, CEB-SHL Talent Measurement webinar, “Adopting a Candidate Driven Experience,”,,,,