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The Economic Impact on the Future of Recruiting

The current state of employment needs a change. While this might seem like a drastic phrase to use, it’s true and here’s why: the problems lay in changes to the way people find jobs. Baby Boomers are beginning to reach the age of retirement, and their children and grandchildren are now taking the driver’s seat in the office space. Recruiters can’t target candidates the same way they used to, not just because Millennials are different than Baby Boomers, but because the economy is different. Here’s what you need to understand about the economic impact on the future of recruitment.


The Problems

1. Economic recovery and the decline in the unemployment rate still leave job seekers wary.

This period of American economic recovery is the slowest in the last 70 years. As a result of growing up in the Great Recession, many new graduates remain leery of employment in the traditional sense. There is an increasing number of available positions in the job marketplace, but the unemployment rate is still nearly 2 points higher than it was before the Great Recession. Due to the instability of the last several years, job seekers are not sure about the idea of quitting their jobs or changing positions.

Ruth Mantell (@RuthMantell), Economic Reporter for MarketWatch, said:

“Over the year through November, the number of job openings rose 21%, fast outpacing quits, which gre 7%, the U.S. Labor Department reported. And while the monthly tally of openings has pushed past the level seen at the start of the Great Recession, there are still fewer monthly quits.

When more workers voluntarily leave their jobs, economists see that as a signal of individuals being willing to trade some stability for career opportunities.”

That number, while slowly increasing, is still indicative of mass public economic uncertainty. About one-third of job seekers have been looking for new opportunities in employment for the last year or so and, as Mantell continued, the number of monthly hires has remained below those during the beginning of the Great Recession at the end of 2007.

Recruiters need to understand the job seeker’s trepidation to find a new job, and assure the security of the position and the company.


2. Baby Boomers are trading in their suburban homes for a house on the beach.

Currently, 17% of Baby Boomers say they are retired, up from 10% just 5 years ago. This is a mass exodus from the employment arena, so recruiters need to know how to efficiently market and fill job openings.

Typical retirement lingo aside, the graying population was an economic force in both employment and consumerism. Between 1946 and 1964, 76.4 million Boomers were born in the United States alone, and are the largest generation to date. Since the 1990s, when the generation was at their peak employment, there has been a decline in the workforce. The primary cause: the aging Baby Boomers and the smaller Millennial population unable to take either place. There are half as many Millennials as there are Baby Boomers. It then stands to reason there will be more jobs available for fewer workers.

Ben Casselman (@bencasselman), Chief Economics Writer for FiveThirtyEight, said:

“All else equal, fewer workers means less economic growth. One way to measure this is a figure known as the “dependency ratio,” or the number of people outside of working age (under 18 or over 64) per 100 adults between age 18 and 64. The higher the ratio, the worse the news: If more of the population is young or other that leaves fewer working-age people to support them and contribute to the economy.”

The growing number of immigrants however, has projected the Millennial population to grow to surpass the Baby Boomer generation by nearly half a million.

Recruiters have to understand the Millennial generation in order to effectively fill positions with fit candidates.



Despite the economic recovery, recruiters still have much to worry about. Job seekers are cautious about leaving their current jobs for new opportunities. That fear, as well as the desire for stability in response to the Great Recession have left job seekers content with stability over a new opportunity. Not to mention the aging Baby Boomers have begun the process of retiring. The biggest concern with the aging generation is that their successors won’t have the numbers to fill the jobs they leave behind. Recruiters, subsequently, must understand the new working generation and the fears incited by the Great Recession in order to fill open positions.