Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pittsburgh Unemployment Rate Flat for October

The unemployment rate, as reported by the Pennsylvania State Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, held steady in October at 4.6% for the third consecutive month. This compares to a state rate of 4.5% and a national rate of 4.7%. Pittsburgh’s rate was down one tenth of a point from a year ago. The service sector accounted for the largest gain (up 5,200 jobs) lead by the education sector as schools reached full employment. However, leisure and hospitality lost 2,800 jobs, which is considered typical as seasonal businesses wound down and students went back to school.

Education and health services reached record highs in October. Overall, the Pittsburgh metro area added 3,000 jobs from one year ago.

How does this relate to employment OPPORTUNITY in Pittsburgh?

Overall job growth in Pittsburgh has been anemic compared to both statewide and national growth figures over the past year. However, with population out migration and having one of the oldest median ages of any metro in the country, more residents are reaching retirement age than are entering the job market. This has kept opportunities for hourly and entry level jobs at high levels. We are seeing continued strong demand for mechanics, sales, nursing and allied health and unusually high demand for factory and warehouse jobs. Below is a map of unemployment rates from across the state for SEPTEMBER. Click on the image to increase size.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What? Internet Recruiting is like Internet dating?

We have read a number of good articles and blog posts recently regarding the difficulty recruiters are having in not only hiring qualified workers for open positions, but just getting them to show up for a scheduled interview. Because we deal primarily with hourly recruitment this is a complaint we are hearing more about even right here in Pittsburgh. Although this phenomenon is occurring at all levels of recruitment, it is most prevalent with hourly and entry level positions.

The primary reason is not just the “millennial mentality” or increased lack of common courtesy anyone over 30 proclaims to be experiencing with those under 30. It could be due to the fact that because so much recruiting has shifted to large online job boards, the effort in applying to an advertised position has become so small that job seekers are able to spray their resumes to literally hundreds of listed jobs, agree to interviews with anyone who bothers to email them, and only then decide which interview they would rather go to, or whether their social life will permit investing the time required to go.

Internet based recruitment has become virtually anonymous (pardon the pun) with very little “sweat equity” involved in its use by either job seekers or recruiters. The old fashioned print ads required much more work on both parties. Job seekers had to actually print a resume, sign a cover letter, lick a stamp and put it in a mail box or, heaven forbid, actually walk in and fill out an application. That’s not easy to do 100 times in a week. Here come Internet job boards and a job seeker has almost unlimited ability to send their information out.

Conversely, recruiters can write a job description one time and easily post it on enough job boards to reach literally millions of job seekers within a week.

Of course this leads us to the title of this posting. Whether you are a job seeker or a recruiter this approach can result in response overload. Just like a consumer utilizing a dating site and putting embellished information about who they are and responding only to those who appear to meet their needs (which is also embellished). How many “dates” set up through anonymous dating sites have resulted in no-shows? The recruiter will be confronted by hundreds of resumes that he or she could not possibly have time to view, let alone respond to, with a high percentage of them unqualified due to the sender not having to expend energy in applying (throw it against enough walls and see what sticks). Job seekers who complain about recruiters who do not acknowledge the receipt of their response are also victims of this development.

Perhaps this will cause the Internet recruitment backlash that newspapers have been praying for since their classifieds began losing dollars to the web six years ago. Print will offer the potential of better prequalification of applicants for recruiters while making serious job seekers more likely to know whether their response has been received.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What Workers Want

We recently read an interesting article posted on MarketWatch that dealt with the reasons workers leave a company to work somewhere else. The article was based on a survey conducted by Kenexa, a recruitment and retention consulting firm. After surveying 10,000 U.S. workers and 1,000 workers from five other countries each, the survey found that direct managers have the biggest influence on their department’s turnover. Simply treating workers with dignity and respect is the biggest concern. However, it was noted that managers aren't the only reason workers opt to stay or go. The five key drivers of retention are, according to Kenexa:

A sense that the job holds a promising future for the worker, which includes a feeling that the company will be successful and that the individual worker plays a key part in that success.

The company's involvement in corporate social responsibility initiatives. "This came as a surprise to us,"

Recognition of the worker. That's often a simple "thanks for doing a good job".

Getting paid fairly.

Deriving a sense of accomplishment from the job.

If you are a manager of other people, consider your own management style and how it affects turnover. It’s not about being friends with your employees. Good management includes the ability to reward and recognize as much as it does discipline.

Read the whole article here.

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!
by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters