Posted on May 7, 2013

Why Hiring is Hard for Employers

Why are today’s employers having so much trouble filling their open positions? Despite signs of an improving economy, unemployment rates continue to be higher than in past economic recoveries. A recent blog post in the Harvard Business Review offered a unique perspective. Peter Cappelli, Professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, believes that, given the relatively short span of years since the recession began, high unemployment rates cannot be explained by a lack of necessary skills or education in the applicant pool.

Instead, Cappelli proposes an interesting explanation as to why positions are simply not getting filled: hiring is hard for employers right now. After tightening budgets over the past few years to make sure they stayed afloat, many employers now have far fewer resources to devote to the hiring process. Both recruiters and hiring managers are feeling more pressure to keep costs low while still bringing in high-quality talent. This is proving to be a difficult task for most, leaving a large percentage of job vacancies perpetually open: a lose-lose situation for both applicants and employers.

Another reason hiring has become more difficult could be that employers have not adapted to the new landscape of the labor market. As Cappelli put it, “Early on in the recession, when literally millions of people were being laid-off, it was easy to find someone fresh out of a job with the experience and skills needed to step right into your vacancy.” Now that a few years have passed, unemployed candidates have been out of work for an extended period of time. The more desirable candidates with the most current work experience are working somewhere else, and may not be as desperate for a new job.

The take-away for employers is to recognize the market has changed. Demand for talent has increased. To be competitive, employers are going to have to reevaluate both job requirements and compensation rates. Recruiting budgets may need to be revisited with an emphasis on hiring internal recruiters. Talent acquisition processes and tools will need to be re-optimized to streamline hiring. Paycor’s Applicant Tracking system can be an invaluable asset for companies as they navigate these changes. Learn more by contacting us today.

Source: Peter Cappelli, Harvard Business Review