Hiring tips for 2021 based on the November jobs report

December 8, 2020

Unemployment is still inching down for every major demographic group, but significantly less than earlier months this year. Here is insight into who’s employed, where you can find skilled talent and how to attract diverse candidates. 

Employment by the numbers 

  • Overall unemployment: 6.7 percent (down from 6.9 percent last month) 
  • Unemployment by demographic groups: 
    • Women - 6.1 percent
    • Men - 6.7 percent
    • White workers - 5.9 percent
    • Asian workers - 6.7 percent 
    • Hispanic workers - 8.4 percent
    • Black workers - 10.3 percent 
  • Temporary layoffs decreased to 2.8 million, which is much lower than the high of 18.1 million in April but is 2 million higher than in pre-pandemic February.  
  • Permanent job losses remained mostly the same at 3.7 million, which is 2.5 million higher than in February.  
  • Long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 385,000 to 3.9 million, accounting for 36.9 percent of the total unemployed/  
  • Teleworking increased slightly, up to 21.8 percent (from 21.2 percent last month). 
  • And finally, 14.8 million people reported they were unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours at some point in the last four weeks due to the pandemic. 

4 recruiting and hiring tips for 2021 

COVID-19 accelerated trends that were on the rise pre-pandemic, like building talent pipelines and candidate pools for staffing up when the time is right, as well as pivoting to skills-based hiring. 

As 2020 has shown us, business needs can change monthly, and you can future-proof your staff by cultivating talent pools. Find ways to engage job seekers on an ongoing basis and develop a foundation of strong candidates for when you need them. 

Another smart way to navigate evolving hiring needs (while increasing diversity among your teams) is to focus on a skills-based hiring approach. Hire people who have the majority of the skills and training they need to do the job, then allow these workers to evolve in the role. Otherwise, they perpetuate a cycle where the same people get the same jobs — demographics will never change. Use smart technology – like our skills-based matching capabilities – to highlight candidates who have necessary skills and unique backgrounds that will add value to your organization. 

Get in front of the right candidates and leverage tools like job boards and virtual hiring events to engage with job seekers. There are many strong candidates out there who are switching industries and leveraging transferable skills to do so.  

Showcase your safety culture. If you allow work from home, promote it. Consumers are increasingly searching for opportunities that will allow them to work remotely, as well as paying attention to companies that are heavily focused on their digital presence, such as virtual hiring fairs and posting on social media. 

How to commit to diverse hiring for the long-term 

People are hesitant to be “the first” at a company (or feel like they might be the first), such as becoming the first woman executive or minority leader. Job seekers want to understand and identify with the company culture before diving into the role, and employee referral programs and social media can help illustrate and demonstrate that for potential candidates. Continuously engaging your employees and candidates through social referral platforms gives them a picture of your company, such as your mission, values and brand identity.  

Foster inclusion through referrals the right way

New hires who were referred by existing employees have 30 percent less turnover, but keep in mind that a typical employee referral system doesn’t lend itself to more diverse hiring. Encourage employees to refer outside of their job type, as people have broader networks outside of their profession.  

For example, if a hiring manager needs a salesperson, they would naturally tap into the company’s salesforce, however, project managers, finance team members or IT workers might have salespeople in their network. 

Keep reading here for 25 more recruiting tips to take with you into 2021. 

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