America’s hiring again and associations and their members have reason to celebrate. Last Friday the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced a very strong jobs report that caught many economists by surprise. With more than 270,000 jobs added in September the unemployment rate fell below 6% for the first time since before the recession. That trend has continued through November.
According to JJ Kinahan, Chief Analyst for TD Ameritrade, the job additions were in the right places. Business services, construction and health care represented three of the four sectors with the strongest growth. Kinahan characterized these as being areas where people can have careers and not just short-term jobs.
This good news was echoed in the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for Q1 2015 where 18,000 US employers reported a positive Net Employment Outlook, and almost 20% anticipated an increase in their staff levels during Q1 2015.
“As overall demand improves, we continue to see consistent, gradual strengthening in U.S. employers’ hiring plans,” according to ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising. “There’s a little wind at our backs, as evidenced by the broadly positive hiring plans, and we see that as boding well for 2015.”
The fact that the job market is heating up is significant for many associations. The ongoing race to identify and recruit qualified talent will only increase as we move into 2015.
A recent report from JPMorgan Chase focuses on the skills gap that exists for many middle-skill occupations – jobs that require some education or training beyond a high school degree. As education and workforce development institutions continue to struggle to meet the growing demand in these areas, associations are in a prime position to help both employers and those individuals looking for work.
In New York City alone, there are 25,000 unfilled middle-skill jobs in the health care sector, a major industry among the association career centers we work with daily.
Recently, Tristan Jordan, SVP, Global Career Center Division with YourMembership led a webinar titled the Future of Association Career Centers. In the presentation he shared how associations can co-exist with the giant job board aggregators like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn and find success in helping members and prospects connect with employers, all while driving non-dues revenue for their organization.
As Tristan pointed out, it’s not difficult to get candidates to apply for open positions today, however, it is often very difficult to get the RIGHT candidates to apply for those jobs. Why? The reason is simple.
Many times the right candidates aren’t actively looking for jobs. They are engaged employees that are working somewhere else. They are often high performers, the best in their field, and their employers know it. And because of that, those employers make the effort to take care of these highly valued professionals.
That doesn’t mean that these top performers wouldn’t consider making a switch if the right opportunity crosses their paths. People who previous felt it was too risky to be looking for new opportunities are now actively looking to make their next move because they feel more confident about the economy and employment landscape.
That being said, 75% of your members are likely passive job seekers who aren’t looking, but would move for the right opportunity. We know employers can’t reach them through Monster or Indeed, but you can. As members of your organization, you have unparalleled access to them. You interact with them through your website, newsletters, emails, social media channels and events.
If you effectively incorporate job content into these engagement channels, in a way that is perceived as valuable by your members, you will get jobs off of a job board and out in front of the passive job seekers employers covet. You will have a strong and sustainable competitive advantage to offer employers that they can’t get through other channels. And the best news is your members will love it. Members don’t view job postings as advertising, they view them as opportunities. Opportunities for you to even further strengthen your organizations’ relevance and engagement strategies.
With our recent acquisition of JobTarget’s career center business, YourMembership is focused on the multiple levels of value that job boards and other career-related services can bring an association and its members. The business climate is right for associations to deliver great value to employers, members and prospective members. Are you positioned to take advantage of this opportunity?