The Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop, but You Can Still Find Great Candidates (if You Know Where to Look)

Pick the right partner in a tight job market

The U.S. Department of Labor has released another report summarizing the employment situation for March & April 2017. The overall unemployment rate continues to drop and has fallen another 0.2% to 4.5% overall.  The situation in the IT industry is even tighter – unemployment rates of 2.0% to 2.8% are the norm in major cities across the US.

While the numbers breakdown varies based on everything from gender and race to age, there’s no denying what those of us in the tech industry have been feeling for years – the pinch. The employment pool is getting tighter and tighter, and qualified candidates are getting harder to find. And it’s not because they aren’t out there. It’s because the vast majority of them are already employed.

Just Listing Jobs Won’t Cut It in This Tight Employment Market

There are a lot of ads these days for “supersites”, that promise to list your job on hundreds of web sites to expand your job’s reach.  While you might get lucky and catch that rare perfect candidate that way, you are more likely in my experience to get even more resume from candidates that are tough to employ for a reason.  They could be from outside your area looking to relocate, or have a very choppy job history or just are not a match for the job description.  Even the traditional job boards will give this result in a tight market, which results in you weeding through a lot of resumes that don’t result in a lot of good conversations.

In a tight job market, companies that have made a commitment to engaging and building relationships with top talented people in their industry will be the ones that are successful in hiring.  Rather than getting lucky with the timing of your job opening and a good candidate’s availability, they can tap a pool of qualified, employed professionals.

Some of those IT pros who already count themselves as “employed” are actively looking for opportunities to move up or change companies, and some are not. However, among the working who “aren’t looking,” there are always candidates who would be open to the right opportunity if it came their way. And, of course, if it came from a trusted source.

When you consider those three groups – the unemployed, the employed and looking, and the happily employed but open, you have a much larger candidate pool to work with.

Working with an Experienced IT Recruiter Makes All the Difference

If you’ve never worked with a recruiter, you may be shaking your head in exasperation wondering why we’d even count employed IT talent when they aren’t all on the market or even thinking about a new position. And the answer is: because they aren’t on the market yet.

Recruiting consultants can be the difference between waiting half a year or more to fill an open position and waiting for only a handful of months (or even less).

As IT recruiters, we are privileged to work with some of the most qualified, talented, and hardworking IT professionals in the field.  We spend a lot of our time talking to candidates before they are looking for new jobs so that we can be that trusted source to introduce them to a great opportunity.  Some of them are actively looking for a new position, but many are not. Nevertheless, almost all are open to making a change, and they rely on us to keep them informed of potential opportunities.

With unemployment in the IT sector continuing to drop, there’s no better time than now to partner with experienced tech recruiters to help you identify and attract the right people to fill your position and complement your company culture.  If you have not been able to commit the time and resources to building that network ahead of time, it is even more important to partner with an experienced recruiter to find that top talent.

Contact CopperTree Staffing today and let us help you find the perfect candidate. 

The Gig Economy is Here to Stay: Why Full-Time Jobs are Going to Contractors

Best talent and flexible costs

It’s no secret to employers that bringing on a new full-time employee is expensive.  Still, let’s consider some numbers to put it in perspective for those reading who might not be direct hiring managers.

For example’s sake, say you’re looking to fill an entry level position paying $40,000 per year. Add to that salary the average cost of recruiting a new employee yourself (about $4,000). Also, consider the time you invest in training them before they’re ready to perform, and health insurance when the average employer contribution is just under $13,000 for a family plan. Then there’s potentially retirement plan matching, and any other benefits you offer to remain competitive.

Costs for Hiring a 9-5 Employee Can Be Overwhelming

Just with our basic but very realistic example, we’re already sitting at more than $56,000 first year costs for an entry level employee. And those are only surface numbers. There’s are dozens of little and big expenses that add up quickly (sick pay, vacations, processing paperwork, etc.), and if you’re replacing an employee, the numbers can be even more staggering.

Now you can start to see why some employers are beginning to mix up their workforce and engaging freelancers for long-term contract work.

Contract Work Offers a Flexible Solution to Rounding Out Your Labor Force

Making the switch and incorporating some contractors in your workforce can provide you a degree of operating flexibility you’ve never had before. In addition to the substantial reduction in overhead, you will also have more internal financial flexibility to classify your labor costs. And hiring contractors in some instances can even give you access to a better talent pool who only take contract or contingent work because of the higher earning potential.

Lastly, when you hire contractors; yes, you will likely pay more per hour, but you won’t pay for healthcare, retirement plans, paid time off, or any of those other expenses that are the expectation for full-time workers.

The Number of Available Contract Workers Is Increasing Every Year

The gig economy or contract labor force, however, you like to think of it, continues to grow at a rapid rate. Many of the workforce’s best and brightest self-starters are making the transition to contracting. And you can access that talent pool just as easily as you can the broader, traditional full-time market. You just have to know where to look.

Interested in finding the perfect contract worker for your open position? Contact CopperTree Staffing; with our top-tier contracting talent you can potentially lower your expenses, add flexibility, and access dedicated professionals who will work harder and smarter to improve your bottom line.

What Does the Employee Marketplace Mean for Job Seekers and Employers?  


It’s official: we’re living in an employee-driven marketplace. During the recession and until recently, employers had the upper hand. The market was flooded with talented, experienced job seekers eager to get their foot in the door at companies across the nation. You didn’t have to look far for a pool of top-tier candidates.

And let’s be honest, lots of companies benefited greatly from that sudden influx of driven, highly qualified applicants. After all, there’s a big difference between selecting the best person for the job when they’re clearly the standout and taking your pick from a group of superstar talent.

Great candidates are harder to find today

But those days are over. Now the tables have turned, and the best and brightest employees are a hot commodity. Not only do you have to attract and engage star candidates, but you also have to keep employees engaged or risk losing your best people to a better, more appealing opportunities.

Human capital has the potential for the highest ROI of any investment your company makes.

In January the Execu|Search Group released their 2017 Hiring Outlook report that puts the new marketplace conditions into perspective. Understanding how employees and candidates view your hiring and onboarding systems as well as what they’re looking for in terms of job experience could be the difference between keeping your most talented employees or losing them to the open market.

Notable Findings of the 2017 Hiring Outlook Report:

  • Millennials comprise the largest share of US workers
  • A lack of advancement opportunities, salary growth potential, inadequate work-life balance, and poor corporate culture are the top four reasons employees leave a company
  • More than 60% of employees surveyed reported that they interviewed for two or more roles while interviewing for their current position
  • A whopping 50% of workers plan to stay at their current job for two years or less
  • There’s a disconnect in the hiring stage with 75% of employers reporting that their hiring process takes three or more weeks while employees feel it should take two weeks at most
  • 34% of responding employees stated that their interviewer couldn’t adequately convey the overall impact their potential role would have on reaching the company’s goals
  • Though millennials are the largest group of working professionals, more than 48% of employees across all groups stated that they don’t believe younger employees are encouraged to pursue leadership with their current employers
  • 76% of millennials surveyed said that professional development is one of the most critical aspects of company culture

If you’re an employer who’s actively hiring, you probably already know, or at least have sensed, that the marketplace is changing and these numbers only confirm what you’ve suspected. Employers are anxious to secure superstar employees and willing to put energy and effort into keeping their team happy and retaining talent. If you’re not doing the same, then you need to start right away.

Making the decision to research what employees are looking for now, or partnering with industry experts like our team at CopperTree, is crucial to engaging and retaining top talent. It’s no longer enough to try a few things here and there. You need to step up your recruiting and onboarding process across the board or risk falling behind.

Ready to partner with an expert? Contact CopperTree Staffing to learn how you can streamline your hiring and onboarding processes to attract, engage, and retain the best and brightest candidates.