Labor Market Novelty and Candidate Confidence

labor market candidate confidence

I started off my week yesterday reviewing the typical brilliance from fellow FOT contributor, Steve Boese, over at his personal site, Steve Boese’s HR Technology. Steve and I both enjoy making HR data sexy (my phrase, certainly not his, and one that he will likely hate), and there is nothing more sexy than the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, often called the JOLTS report.

Data can help business leaders be smarter about business issues involving people. Great HR pros use data to drop knowledge on their executives and translate it into HR implications.

Two dead sexy HR terms for this week that you can teach are Labor Market Novelty and Candidate Confidence.

Stick with me. Here’s the chart (email subscribers click through to view) and some context and commentary from the aforementioned Steve Boese:

labor market analysisThe continuing increase in the level of Quits is generally seen as a proxy measure for the overall health of the labor market. The thinking goes that when employees feel more confident in their ability to find alternative work (either at another company or for themselves), then they are more likely to ‘quit’ the job they have now….employers will (according to the immutable laws of supply and demand), be forced to take counter measures. They can either look to reduce ‘quits’ by raising wages, improving benefits, or striving to become less crappy places to work.

So, here’s how this has implications for you and your teams in your talent shop.

  • Labor Market Novelty—we continue to operate in a labor market unlike any that ~95% of our managers have ever seen before. Even the boom years of the late 2000’s lagged the current labor market. Influencing, messaging, positioning, career opportunity discussions with candidates, offer development, closing, etc….all of this is happening in a climate that is totally new and novel to most of your leadership teams. They’ve never done this before.
  • Candidate Confidence—This has to do with risk tolerance. Candidates today can negotiate harder, move more often, take more risks, and be more selective than ever before. That engineer from Michigan State who told you she’s geographically mobile for the right opportunity? Two months before graduation, she has three offers within an hour of her parents or boyfriend. That’s confidence.

After you drop these tidbits of awesomeness to your executive team, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some great work. Be good talent advisors. Help these managers and leaders who have never had to operate in this climate succeed, and you’ll be the sexiest HR person ever.

FOT Note: This rant is brought to you by the good folks at OutMatch who like us enough to be an annual sponsor at FOT for all content in our Talent Selection and Employee Development track (and don’t expect that we run any of this by them ahead of time). 

FOT Background Check

RJ Morris
R. J. Morris is based in the STL as the Director of Talent Acquisition and Management for McCarthy Building Companies, a multi-billion dollar national firm. Like many others in the FOT clan, he’s a sports nut who can endlessly draw the parallels between athletes, sports and the talent management game. I know, I know, as if we needed more of that. He has 10 years of practitioner experience leading talent efforts in corporate HR and another 7 years in leadership roles on the agency side, so he gets both sides of the desk. Talk to R.J. via emailLinkedInTwitter...

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