The Labor Department said this morning that U.S. employers continued a trend of robust hiring by adding 295,000 new employees last month. This lowered the unemployment rate to 5.5%!
February’s rate is the lowest since May 2008. The economy has now added more than 200,000 jobs for 12 straight months, which is the longest such streak since 1995.
These results were a lot better than many economists had projected. Instead, they expected payrolls to increase by only 240,000 in February and the jobless rate to fall to only 5.6%.
Hiring was strong across most industries. The leisure and hospitality sector added 66,000 jobs last month. Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs. Health care and social assistance added 32,800 jobs. Retailers added 32,000 positions to payrolls and construction jobs increased by 29,000. The public sector added 7,000 jobs.
Anecdotally, over the last few months, most of my technical recruiting colleagues have shared that top-notch technical talent is becoming more and more scarce. This is due to a lot more demand than supply among the Research & Development (R&D), engineering, scientific, Information Technology (IT), technical and manufacturing areas that we concentrate on as an executive recruitment firm. This has resulted in many R&D, engineering and scientific job positions going unfilled for longer periods of time and in turn reducing the productivity of many departments!
As a result, we recommend that companies greatly improve their recruiting prowess. Unfortunately, most human resource departments have been cut back during the recession. Furthermore, those remaining personnel professionals have been required to handle a lot more tasks. This has brutally hampered many companies’ recruiting efforts. As a result, many R&D, engineering, scientific, technical, IT and manufacturing positions have gone unfilled for longer periods of time. In turn, this has severely reduced many firms’ productivity.
That is why we have recently launched our training division. The primary focus of our new practice is teaching hiring managers the Best Worldwide Practices To Attract And Retain Talent. One aspect of this is training internal hiring managers to be better recruiters, which in turn lowers your Cost Per Hire! One of the tools we use for this training is our 12 Commandments of Recruiting outlined which are some of our best practices learned since opening our doors over 25 years ago on July 14, 1989.
During this process we follow 4 steps: a) dividing hiring managers into small work groups of 7-8 (Key: as I shared in my recent YouTube video smaller groups tend to be a lot more productive) b) sequentially discussing each of the 12 Commandments, including customizing them to the particular needs of the group and overseeing each group member as they attempt to actuate the commandment within the group setting c) progressing to the next commandment and following the same procedure and d) ending with a general question and answer session to ensure that each attendee has mastered all 12 Commandments. At the end of the process most of our clients have exponentially increased their technical recruiting abilities!
WHAT ARE YOUR FINDINGS?