The United States economy appears to be on the upswing, and our nation’s financial outlook is finally starting to improve.
This morning, the February employment reportwas released by the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. unemployment rate remains at 9.7 percent with overall job loss falling less than expected. Our own Monster Employment Index(MEI), a monthly gauge of U.S. online job demand, rose by 10 points in February, as employers resumed hiring activity after January’s seasonal lull.
I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t predict the markets, but I do know that historically, employment lags the economy.
In plain English: even if companies are once again beginning to see an uptick in business and even if government develops innovative incentives for job creation and hiring, the employment marketplace is crowded and complicated for employers looking for the best candidates and job seekers looking for the right job.
Speeding up the hiring process has never been more critical for job growth.
Businesses that find a hiring advantage can lead the economic recovery.
Historically, the key to accelerating business growth is innovation; the same principle needs to be applied in a recovering job market.
Today, new and multi-faceted tools that help job search such as social media, career networks and targeted job advertising can help connect people and companies better than ever. Finding a way to leverage and align these resources so employers can find the best candidates and job seekers can find the right job faster and more efficiently is the holy grail.
These resources will become even more important as the jobs market picks-up. Many people consider unemployment numbers as the sole gauge of hiring activity, but it’s important to know that even in down cycles, people who already have jobs are changing careers voluntarily – an often overlooked variable of hiring activity levels.
Hiring seems to be picking up.
Interestingly, 44 percent of the approximately 1,000 small-business owners who participated in an online survey for Intuit, reported that they are planning to hire employees within the next 12 months. More than ever, small business owners and hiring managers at large companies need to quickly find candidates who best meet their hiring needs – not an easy task at a time when more resumes are inundating scaled-down or nonexistent HR departments.
On the employer side, options for listing job openings, networking, reviewing and vetting resumes, interviewing candidates and finally making a job offer are more complex and time consuming than ever. According to the American Management Association, the cost of hiring and training a new employee can vary from 25 percent to 200 percent of annual compensation. Hiring efficiencies can bring down that cost, freeing up resources for job growth.
On the flip side, job seekers face an overabundance of options to search for a job or build a career — job boards, newspapers, Web sites and networking sites to name a few. What should a hiring manager or a job seeker do? I suggest utilizing all of the options available. But you’d better find an efficient way to do it, or it gets overwhelming fast.
New technologies are transforming the way employers and job seekers search for and find each other.
Organizations that leverage these technologies have a competitive advantage: as markets improve, they can staff faster and capitalize on growth opportunities sooner. Automating job search – the ability to post job openings and resumes online – is not enough. Today, optimizing technologies such as semantic search – a process that seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of terms (as opposed to just key words), delivering more precise matches – is crucial.
Google has made us all accustomed to targeted search in our quest for information – semantic search provides highly relevant search results that should be applied to the dynamic and crowded job search market. The more precision we can apply to job and talent search, the quicker we can match candidates and employers and get people back to work.
This is our passion at Monster – getting people back to work by creating matches between job seekers and employers. Monster’s new semantic search technology, called 6Sense, marks a big jump beyond simple keyword search. Instead of returning lots of so-so job options, the technology precisely identifies the right people for the job so that employers and job seekers can save time and money and ultimately, make the right match. This new precision technology advances Monster from a static job board, to what we like to call a job matching engine – an efficient resource that matches people to the right jobs and gratifying careers.
Innovation is the engine that will propel job creation and our economy.
Collaboration will make it happen. I know that the job market is tough right now and will move too slowly for those folks out of work, but through innovative ideas and new technologies applied across the job growth spectrum, Americans can get back to work faster than expected and accelerate the overall recovery.
Sal Iannuzzi has been Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monster Worldwide Inc. , since April 2007 and has been a member of the Board of Directors since July 2006. Prior to joining Monster Worldwide, Mr. Iannuzzi served as President of Motorola, Inc.’s Enterprise Mobility business from January 2007 to April 2007.