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What slowing employment growth means for employers

What slowing employment growth means for employers

The good news: The economy is expanding. The not-so-good news: It’s slowing.

For those who have been following headlines, it should come as no surprise that economic expansion has been slower compared to recent years. In 2019 so far, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)reports that job growth has averaged 158,000 per month, below the average monthly gain of 223,000 jobs last year. With fewer people entering the workforce, the unemployment rate has held at or below 4% for 18 consecutive months, currently sitting at a near-50-year-low of 3.7%. All signs pointing to a tightening labor market.

Looking ahead, it’s clear to see the trend: Between 2018 and 2028, employment is expectedto grow at an annual rate of 0.5%, which is slower than the annual growth rate of 0.8% from 2008-2018. With more jobs than unemployed seekers, employers will have to get creative in order to be sustainable in the labor market. Here are some considerations for your employee retention and talent acquisition strategies in the coming years.


Strengthen compensation packages

A tightening labor market means it will be even more challenging to attract and retain quality workers. As a result, it’s no surprise that wage growth has steadily been on the rise, meaning your competition is likely considering or already implementing wage increases. As you consider your compensation packages, look to not only increase wages, but also other benefits, such as 401(k) retirement contributions, supplemental insurance like vision, dental, and life insurance, equity in the company, and paid time off.


Refine job requirements

With fewer people entering the labor market, a primary goal will be to entice people to the workforce. Consider revising your job requirements and descriptions to be more inclusive. For example, you could broaden your reach and attract talent in different markets by allowing the position to be held remotely. Or, with the rising cost of higher education, you could substitute educational requirements for years of experience.


Offer employee skill training

By 2022, the World Economic Forumsays 54% of all employees will require significant re- and upskilling. To combat the growing skills gap at your organization, offer employee training and upskilling to help bridge the gap between high-potential candidates and the skills they need to perform the job. Consider investing in a training program—either in-house or via a third party—to keep your employees’ skills sharp and/or offering educational reimbursement as part of your compensation package.


Accommodate the disabled

The disabled, essentially, are an untapped market that can help combat the worker shortage. According to the BLS, nearly 70% of working-age disabled people are without work. A lack of or inadequate accommodations presents one of the biggest barriers to this group’s entry into the workforce, presenting a huge opportunity for employers looking to make their next hire. Flexible schedules, part-time work, decreased travel, working from home, adaptive furniture and office equipment, and having a private rest area in the workplace can all appeal to disabled workers. You can also ensure parking is available close to the building and that office supplies aren’t stored in places where disabled employees would have trouble reaching. Some employers may even supply a wheelchair or motorized scooter to make navigating the workplace easier.


Reward high performers

Researchhas found that employees not only want but expect to be recognized when they do good work. If not, they’ll be more likely to seek recognition elsewhere. In order to retain quality employees, consider building an employee recognition program that shows your appreciation for their hard work. Your recognition program should go beyond celebrating birthdays and years of service and be tied to rewards that truly impact your employees on a professional level, such as career advancement opportunities and bonuses.


Invest in employee productivity

If vacancies remain unfilled for longer than anticipated, you’ll need to invest in alternative ways to keep productivity levels at the status quo. Consider investing in technology to automate workers’ tasks. Whether it’s artificial intelligence software that can write code or a chatbot that can answer routine customer service questions, Accenturefound that AI will soon have the potential to increase productivity by 40% or more.


Boost your recruiting efforts

Need help driving job growth at your organization? For more than two decades, Monster Hiring Solutions has been helping businesses large and small connect and hire the very best talent, wherever they are. We can help you advertise with highly targeted job ads to reach the right people and get more qualified responses. In addition, you’ll also get access to our resume database of millions of qualified candidates in virtually every industry and job market.  Start connecting with job seekers today.