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In a Turbulent Labor Market, Business Intelligence Tools Are Your HR Team’s Best Friend

Tech layoffs. They’ve been in the headlines, and your LinkedIn feed, for the better part of a year. Tack on the emergence of several recession indicators and that must point to skyrocketing unemployment rates, right?

Actually, no. Unemployment remains historically low (just 3.5 percent as of March). And plenty of employers in various key industries are still desperate for talent and/or reluctant to cut back. So where’s the disconnect?

It could just be a matter of job seeker demand. People may not, for instance, want jobs in the steel industry as much as they do with a tech startup. There may also be a pandemic factor – long COVID is keeping as many as four million people out of work.

Whatever the answer, these are the issues that HR teams grapple with. And they need help making sense of it all. Here are three ways HR teams can use a business intelligence product with real-time jobs data to both decipher the job market and build a company’s talent pipeline.

1. Review Compensation Packages from Industry Leaders

When the Mayo Clinic posts a job, candidates in healthcare flock to it. Why? For one, these job seekers are attracted to the organization’s prestige. But the Mayo Clinics of the world are also known for their lucrative compensation packages. In many cases, they set the standard.

You may not be an industry leader (yet), but that doesn’t mean you can’t recruit like one. And that starts with seeing what you’re up against. What are industry leaders promising employees in job listings (sign-on bonuses, 401(k) match, flexible work)?

Our business intelligence product, Job Market Pulse, makes this research easy. In a matter of clicks, you can see how many industry leaders’ job listings include the keyword “sign-on bonus” or check what their average salary is for entry-level nursing assistants. This research will also explicitly show any differences between what you and these companies offer job seekers.

Once you have that information, you’re empowered to decide whether or not to offer benefits that make your positions more competitive. The Mayo Clinic may be able to pay more than you, but maybe you can offer a better work-life balance. Or maybe your company’s mission is keenly focused on a certain worthy cause. The takeaway here is to highlight the differentiators that make you competitive (and identify them based on what others are and aren’t offering).

2. Check What Employers in Your Area Are Offering

Hybrid and remote work will likely remain a fixture in the business world for a while. But geography still matters. Some jobs still require onsite attendance. Some employers base salaries on the cost of living where they’re based – which means they may default to local hires. And sometimes employers just want everyone working in the same area to ensure hours fully overlap.

This is to say: you should always consider your area’s hiring market. For instance, let’s say you’re a professional services firm based in Chicago. You offer hybrid work – and even remote in some cases. But you’re in a competitive market. It seems like every day a new company is moving to, or popping out from, this city. And you want to make sure the team you’ve assembled stays on board.

So you use Job Market Pulse to check several data points:

  • Average salary in Chicago.
  • Average salary by position (consultant, accountant, sales representative, etc.) in Chicago.
  • How many listings from Chicago-based employers include the keyword “401(k) match.”
  • Average salary by employer in Chicago.
  • How many listings from Chicago-based employers include hybrid or remote work.

This hard data shows where your compensation packages stand in comparison to other employers – and competitors – nearby. These insights can also help you answer a question that many businesses are still weighing three years after the shutdowns in 2020: does it make more financial sense to go fully remote?

Let’s say the data shows that your compensation is lower than what other employers offer. That could inspire you to go fully remote – or offer a cost-of-living bonus. The idea here is that the data can support and help catalyze hiring decisions that your team has likely been mulling over. It helps you take the next step for your business.

3. See What’s Happening in Your Industry

Picture this: you’ve just crafted a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy. It aligns with job seekers’ demands. It’s financially sound. And it’s no longer applicable because your industry – and many others – are suddenly dealing with widespread layoffs.

You can’t ever “outsmart” the labor market. So work with it. For example, let’s look at the demand for tech jobs and jobs that explicitly include “AI” in the listing (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Since the beginning of 2023, tech job openings have declined more quickly than AI job openings.
Figure 1: Since the beginning of 2023, tech job openings have declined more quickly than AI job openings.


Our database shows the number of tech job openings is declining faster than the number of AI job openings. We could potentially thank the popularity of ChatGPT for this AI “boom,” but that still doesn’t answer the question HR teams are asking: what does this mean for my company?

In this case, the data essentially broadcasts to HR teams that the competition for AI jobs has increased. So plan accordingly. If you have AI job openings, you’ll need to stand out, whether with transparent salary ranges in job listings, flexible work, or something else job seekers want today.

The takeaway here: your recruitment strategy exists in context – not in a vacuum. Let hiring trends and industry-wide changes inform your tactics.

Real-Time Data Gives Your C-Suite the Insights They Need

The most accessible jobs data provider is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its reports are incredibly detailed and, unfortunately, almost impossible to decipher at a quick – or extended – glance.

Not only that, but the BLS only releases employment reports on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. That means if you wanted, say, a day-to-day breakdown of the job listings in your area and industry, the BLS can’t help you.

To navigate this choppy job market, HR teams and executive leaders need data they can count on. They need customization. They need stats that support their ability to react quickly and anticipate hiring trends. They need a business intelligence platform with real-time jobs data. Job Market Pulse offers all of those things.

Interested in learning more about what Job Market Pulse can do for you? Shoot us a message.

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