Washington Post White Paper


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White Paper I wrote on the Washington Area Job Market and Recruiting Tips

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Washington Post White Paper

  1. 1. In Association with: Recruiting Solutions Recruiting Tips in the Metropolitan Area Employment Statistics: Washington Area Job Market Gains/Losses Written by Nicole Cathcart 60000 30000 0 The Washington Area Job Market Snapshot -30000 It seems like any economic news is bad news these days. With constant layoff -60000 announcements, rising unemployment rates and falling market values facing -90000 working Americans, the job market appears bleak. The national unemployment -120000 rate rose to 8.5 percent in March, or 13.2 million unemployed. Since the beginning of the recession, a reported 5.1 million jobs have been lost, the -150000 majority of which have occurred in the last 5 months. Unemployment rates rose in all metropolitan areas from last year. Washington, DC Metro Houston Metro One ray of hope—the job market in the Washington Area is in better shape Dallas-Fort Worth Metro than most. The latest data from the Bureau for Labor Statistics concludes San Antonio Metro that the Washington Area has maintained one of the lowest unemployment Austin Metro rates. As of April 1, 2009, the Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville, MD area reported NY/NJ Metro the lowest national unemployment rate at 5.4 percent and the Washington- Phoenix Metro Arlington-Alexandria, DC/VA area comes in with the third lowest rate, 6.3 Detroit Metro percent. Additionally, the two-year projection for jobs saved or created due to Los Angeles Metro the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) adds or retains 191,000 Atlanta Metro area jobs. Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 01, 2009 The trade, transportation and utilities sectors were hit hardest by the economy, losing 15,900 jobs from January 2008 to January 2009. The growing sectors in the Washington Area in the same time period include education and Estimated Two-Year Job health services (10,700 jobs gained), professional and business services (9,900 Effect of the American jobs gained), leisure and hospitality (7,200 jobs gained) and government (5,600 Reinvestment and Recovery jobs gained). Each of these industries demonstrates consistent growth across Act (ARRA) a four year period. State/District Jobs Added/Saved Although encouraging news for the Washington Area, competition remains over Two Years fierce for management-level jobs. The Washington Post reports 31,722 job Washington, DC 12,000 seekers vying for 1,338 manager or higher level positions. This increased Virginia 93,000 competition may create greater options in candidates, but makes selecting Maryland 66,000 the right person for your open positions harder than ever before. Many West Virginia 20,000 organizations are already running lean and cannot afford to waste recruitment Total 191,000 and training time on bad matches. Source: Recovery.gov, Retrieved March 18, 2009
  2. 2. Brief Report on Recruiting Tips in the Washington Area Job Market Recruiting Solutions P. 1 Metropolitan Area Nonfarm Employment (Not Seasonally Adjusted) Employees on nonfarm payrolls (Numbers in thousands) State, area, and division January February Change from Feb 2008-2009 2008 2009 2008 2009 Number % District of Columbia 689.0 700.3 693.6 702.7 9.1 1.3 Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville 568.8 565.2 568.3 569.5 1.2 .2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 2,390.4 2,390.1 2,399.8 2,395.3 -4.5 -.2 Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2009 Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry super sector, Washington Metro Area and its components, not seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands) Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, January 2008 November December January 2009 Change from D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. Metropolitan 2008 2008 Jan. 2008-2009 Statistical Area Net change % change Total nonfarm 2,959.2 3,021.3 3,015.2 2,957.4 -1.8 -0.1 Mining, logging, and construction 173.4 169.7 167.1 161.5 -11.9 -6.9 Manufacturing 61.2 59.9 59.8 59.2 -2.0 -3.3 Trade, transportation, and utilities 402.2 400.3 402.3 386.3 -15.9 -4.0 Information 92.0 90.2 90.4 89.1 -2.9 -3.2 Financial activities 154.6 152.0 152.2 149.5 -5.1 -3.3 Professional and business services 669.6 688.1 685.1 679.5 9.9 1.5 Education and health services 331.2 346.1 345.0 341.9 10.7 3.2 Leisure and hospitality 245.4 259.0 258.3 252.6 7.2 2.9 Other services 180.3 185.2 184.9 182.9 2.6 1.4 Government 649.3 670.8 670.1 654.9 5.6 0.9 Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2009 Top 5 Strategies for Finding and Retaining the Best Hire 1. Develop Accurate and Effective Employment Branding The first mistake organizations often clash. Finding potential employees to your company brand in the market, make in recruiting is assuming the thrive in your unique culture is the will capture long-term employees. job description is the most important real challenge.” Institute employee focus groups and factor in finding the right candidates. surveys to develop your brand and The employment brand has equal The first step in forming your ensure credibility with your workforce. importance in attracting the right employment brand is to take an honest Diane Thielfoldt, co-Founder of The person. “The job itself is only half the look at your internal culture. Is it faced- Learning Café, suggests that finding equation,” explains Jon Desenberg, paced and entrepreneurial? Does a match for the social environment senior consultant for human capital creativity reign supreme, or are metrics at your organization is also a key in management at The Performance at the core of every strategy? Defining developing a happy and engaged Institute. “When employees leave in and communicating what makes workforce. “You have to hire for fit; fit their first 3-6 months of employment, working at your organization unique, for the job, fit for the culture, and fit for the overwhelming cause is a cultural just as you would uniquely define the social network,” says Thielfodt.
  3. 3. Brief Report on the 2009 Transitions in Governmence Dialogue Recruiting Solutions P. 2 2. Diversify Your Outreach Recruitment is like any other Forming relationships with area but the agencies are creating the advertising—the most comprehensive universities and colleges gives you a supply to match their demand,” approach includes marketing your great pipeline of talent, especially for Desenberg says. Washington Area position through multiple channels hard-to-fill positions. Internships, universities have career centers and media. Relying on one approach fellowships and scholarships are that can help organizations set up can result in a homogeneous all ways to promote and recruit top internship programs or participate candidate pool, which may not yield talent. The federal government, in career fairs, regardless of the best choice. The basic online for example, has significant organization size. job posting is now the standard, but shortages in cyber security there are many options to supplement specialists, so they instituted a Sharing job opportunities and this strategy. Your company website coveted Scholarship for Service requesting recommendations from should feature a careers section, (SFS) program. “The SFS program current staff is another great way where you can post openings or is a great example of innovative to diversify your options. Referral solicit resumes for a general job thinking. The best measure of incentives can drive applications bank. Career fairs are a great way success is that participants are from qualified individuals in your to pre-screen large numbers of staying beyond their mandated employees’ networks. Hiring friends applicants or fill a larger volume of years of service. It may not be or well-respected contacts of your positions. Social networking sites possible for every organization to current staff will increase retention in such as LinkedIn.com and Facebook follow this model, but there are a your organization. In fact, a poll by are new avenues and alternatives few replicable elements here. Not Gallup Management Journal (GMJ) for traditional networking and often only does the relationship between found that employees with friends at allow you to preview an applicant’s the organization and the university work are seven times more engaged recommendations or work samples. create a greater pool of applicants, than their counterparts. 3. Design a Comprehensive On-boarding Program Although seemingly premature to is one of the easiest techniques for notes Desenberg. You can focus on an activity that occurs after keeping newly-acquired talent. facilitate your new employees’ recruitment, on-boarding, a term integration into the organization by used to describe the initial training From the start, equip your new instituting mentoring programs and and adjustment period for new hires, employee with the tools needed for encouraging peer relationships, but helps increase the efficacy of your success, including access to your most importantly—give and receive recruiting. The time and money organization’s strategic plan. “New feedback at frequent, scheduled spent finding a new employee can hires, like all employees, should intervals, with sit-down meetings be wasted if your organization lacks understand the mission and vision of and surveys. This sort of consistent a program to orient new hires from your organization. Knowing where communication encourages a day one. Many challenges exist you fit in the big picture helps define transparent and honest when integrating new employees priorities and responsibilities, even environment that will drive into your culture, but on-boarding in the early days of employment,” performance and innovation.
  4. 4. Brief Report Recruiting Tips in the Washington Area Job Market Recruiting Solutions P. 3 4. Try “Boomerang” Recruitment One way to reduce costs in retention past workers that may have left recruit or tap expertise during critical is to hire back high-performing, the workplace to have children. staffing shortages. To start, look experienced former employees, or Employees in the industry also back at top employees who left on “Boomerangs.” Although applicable frequently leave to pursue educational good terms over the last few years for numerous industries, including goals. This group is a prime target and build a database that includes Washington Area company Booz for re-joining past workplaces. their contact information, past salary Allen Hamilton, this technique has information and skill sets. gained popularity in the healthcare Keeping track of former high- field. In the latest Nursing performers in an internal database The best part of this strategy? Economics, Karen Hart of Bernard is a great way to access intelligence A study in the Harvard Business Hodes Group Health Care Division for fast recruiting in tough times. Review reported rehires are 40% notes that the healthcare industry The State Department, for example, more productive in their first quarter has several professional groups that keeps of database of workers and of work, and on average, stay longer are primarily female, and include their unique skill sets to quickly than other hires. 5. Understand Workforce Demographics You’re heard of Generation Y or of newspapers, it might seem logical feedback. “Generation X and Y are Millennials (1977-1990), Generation X to reach Baby Boomers through that job consumers. They aren’t afraid (1965-1976) and Baby Boomers (1946- medium, but according to the Pew to ask for what they need,” notes 1964)—but should you approach Internet & American Life Project, 35% Thielfoldt, “and be ready to spend recruitment efforts differently for each of internet users are now Boomers twice or three times as much time of these generations? Surprisingly, and 46% of internet users are over managing a millennial, or Gen Y despite the much-hyped differences, 44. “Baby Boomers are all about worker, than other generations.” the generations have remarkably building networks. They may not be similar needs. On a macro-level, as quick to embrace new technology, Younger workers have also reported these generations differ significantly but they are growing savvier with the social responsibility and “green” in their views of the workplace, needs latest social networking tools, such as companies as factors in their job from direct managers, expectations in LinkedIn.com and Facebook,” says searches. Even in positions with limited careers and approaches to technology Thielfoldt. Think Generation Y is the salaries, positioning an organization and communication. This is not only online generation? Pew reports with a mission that resonates with to say there is significant variation that Generation X has the most active workers and makes them feel like they in the quality of the work output by online life, and they are the generation are making a difference in the world generation, but rather suggests utilizing most likely to shop, bank and look for can yield greater recruitment results. A different approaches to achieve the information online. recent report from the Johns Hopkins desired output. Listening Post project reported that Creating open lines of communication for the nonprofit sector, consistent Start a generation-sensitive approach during on-boarding and maintaining communication of an organization’s by forgetting any stereotypes you may communication throughout social mission to employees and have regarding different age groups. employment can help when managing managers creates a measurable impact Since they have the highest readership any generation, but expect different on recruitment success.
  5. 5. Brief Report Recruiting Tips in the Washington Area Job Market Recruiting Solutions P. 4 5 Tips to Pre-Screen Your Candidates In this competitive market, many employers are seeing an abundance of applications for open positions. Combining through these applications to find the best candidate is a daunting and time-consuming task. Use these techniques to focus on only the most-desired candidates: 1. Incorporate pre-screening questions into the initial application: Websites such as washingtonpost.com allow employers to pre-qualify candidates during the initial application process. 2. Develop a point-based rating system: Determine the value of each skill or experience and evaluate each candidate using a simple point system. Once complete, only interview candidates over a certain number. 3. Require 15-minute or less phone interviews: Never lead with in-person interviews, always conduct brief phone screens with basic questions to screen out fluff resumes. 4. Ask for additional application materials: It never hurts to ask for writing samples. Communication skills are important in any position, and requiring extra materials means your applicants will be more serious. 5. Create unique application instructions: If your position demands attention to detail, check on that by only considering applicants that follow your application process perfectly (example: Ask for no cover letter, but two writing samples—then delete anyone who breaks the rules). About The Performance Institute Called “the leading think tank in performance measurement for government” on OMB’s ExpectMore.gov, The Performance Institute has been a leader in performance management and workforce development training and policy since the 2000 administration transition. As part of the Government Performance Coalition, a group of good government organizations, the Institute worked in 2000 to deliver recommendations to the then new administration on what would become the President’s Management Agenda. In 2009, the Institute is leading Innovations in Government: From Transition to Transformation, or InnoGOV.org, a collection of forums, research and recommendations to bring insight and transformation to the federal government. The goal of InnoGOV.org is to centralize the importance of performance, accountability and transparency in government and to disseminate the leading best practices to government managers. The Performance Institute has published several research reports regarding performance management initiatives and trains over 10,000 government managers per year on performance-based topics. Dedicated to improving citizen services and taxpayer transparency, the Institute uses a best-practices foundation to deliver the most effective and tested methodologies for improving performance. About the Author With The Performance Institute since 2005, Nicole Cathcart is responsible for direct and online marketing, brand development, product development, internal and external communications campaigns, product development, social networking strategies and partnership development. Nicole is a leader on the Innovations in Government Project, or InnoGOV.org, a collection of forums, research and recommendations to bring insight and transformation to the federal government and frequently represents the Institute as a member of The Performance Coalition. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Loyola University New Orleans and holds certifications in Lean Six Sigma and Project Management. She is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, pursuing her Masters in Communication with a focus in Digital Technologies.