Recruiting

People on their phones and text reading "Hiring Gen Z: How to Attract the Next Generation of Workers"

Hiring Gen Z: How to Attract the Next Generation of Workers

Hiring Gen Z: How to Attract the Next Generation of Workers 1016 528 Sprockets

Gen Z makes up 32% of the world’s population, and it’s expected that about 60 million job seekers will burst onto the job market in the next ten years. Having grown up in a world saturated with technology and internet culture as well as a time of steep economic ebbs and flows, hiring Gen Z requires understanding the unique needs and drives of this generation.

It’s time to think about your strategy for recruiting Gen Z if you haven’t already, as their idea of an ideal work environment is a bit different than that of the past. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about attracting and maintaining Gen Z employees.

Who Is Generation Z?

There isn’t total agreement on when exactly the range for belonging to Gen Z begins and ends, but a commonly proposed concept is that Generation Z is comprised of people who were born between 1995 and 2012.

Gen Z is the first generation that is considered to be “digital native.” Millennials were “digital pioneers,” growing up at the same time that social media and technology were radically changing our lives and work. Gen Z, on the other hand, was primarily born into a world where social media was the norm and information was always immediately accessible.

While all generations are made up of unique individuals, there are definitely some generational trends that emerge when looking at this group of people who range between 10 and 26 years old in 2021. Here are some of the characteristics that have been identified as relating to Gen Z:

  • Financially focused
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Technology-focused
  • Social both online and offline
  • Competitive
  • Open-minded in certain respects
  • Enjoy working independently
  • Desire to be heard

Because of the quickly changing world we live in, the gaps between generations are quite large. This means that Generation Z recruiting looks different when dealing with younger generations versus generations of the past, such as the Baby Boomers.

Recruiting Generation Z: What Gen Z Wants From Work

If you’re wondering how to attract Generation Z employees, you’re going to need to learn what it is they are looking for from a job and a career. Gen Z grew up surrounded by technology and information while also riding a pretty extreme economic rollercoaster.

(Are you wondering what character traits to look for in applicants? Check out this article.)

Flexibility

Gen Z expects that a job offers flexible work options. This means the opportunity to work remotely or have a choice where they work, as well as an understanding that there is some schedule flexibility.

Teamwork and Company Culture

If you’re wondering how to recruit Gen Z, you’ll want to focus on building a sense of being part of a team and energetic company culture. With more and more people working remotely, it’s more important than ever that workers feel like they are a part of something working toward larger goals.

Millennials have proven to be very interested in finding a company culture that suits them when on the job hunt. Gen Z recruiting trends point to a similar emphasis on desiring a good fit when it comes to the company culture.

Work-Life Balance

What does Generation Z want in a job? Well, honestly, they want a job that isn’t going to take over their lives.

Work-life balance is important to Gen Z in their career track and job. This generation wants to work for companies that don’t cause a big deal if they need to have a doctor’s appointment or have an emergency at home they need to deal with. Gen Z wants to work for a company and with people who understand that we are all human and have real lives.

In addition, people are pushing back on the intrusion of work into their “off” time. Increasingly, it is attractive to young job seekers that there is an emphasis on being “clocked in” and “clocked out,” rather than an expectation that you’re responding to an email from your boss at 10 p.m. on a Friday.

Growth

Another aspect of how to attract Generation Z employees has to do with providing opportunities for growth. This generation is more concerned about where a job could get them than the actual job title itself. Having lived in a time of great uncertainty, Gen Z wants to know what their potential for career advancement is.

Social Awareness

Gen Z has proven itself to be very concerned with whether or not the corporation is committed to social responsibility. This has to do with both social and environmental issues.

Mentorships

Mixing members of different generations within the same team is another strategy for attracting and maintaining Gen Z employees. This allows the younger generations to learn from older generations and help them form their career and life goals.

Job Rotation

Members of Gen Z are particularly interested in having the chance to rotate through several jobs while they are in their first few years with a company. This gives them the opportunity to figure out which particular role they are most interested in pursuing in the long run.

Hiring Gen Z: How to Recruit Gen Z for Your Company

Someone on a laptop screening high quality candidatesThe workplace is an ever-changing environment, and companies are already focusing their recruiting practices based on the preferences, needs, and desires of Generation Z. When you hire someone, you want to know that everyone will benefit from the arrangement and allow both the employee and your company to reach its full potential. By understanding what Gen Z is looking for in a career, you can attract and keep the best of the best.

If you’re ready to get serious about hiring Gen Z at your company, our AI-powered platform might be just the thing you need. It finds the common thread between your top employees and incoming applicants, ultimately enabling you to make better hiring decisions and improve employee retention. Sprockets even offers free job posting, tax-credit screening, virtual recruiters, and more. Schedule a free demo today!

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How to Create an Effective Recruitment Plan in 6 Steps

How to Create an Effective Recruitment Plan in 6 Steps 1016 528 Sprockets

A strategic recruitment plan is essential for streamlining your hiring process and ensuring that you have access to top talent. When done incorrectly, recruitment efforts can attract job applicants who are unqualified for the positions you intend to fill, wasting valuable time and resources. To ensure that you hire the right people, you need to evaluate your existing strategies and update them to strengthen your recruitment plan. Here is what you should know about designing an effective recruitment plan.

Your Recruitment Plan Strategy

1.    Establish Recruitment Objectives

Your initial step should be to establish distinct goals for your recruitment process. One of the critical factors in talent acquisition is differentiating between expectations and reality. Specify what the company is trying to achieve and how hiring plays a part in reaching that goal. Clarify the number of positions that must be filled, the recruitment deadlines, and the type of qualifications to look for in applicants.

2.    Carry Out a Skills Gap Analysis

A skills gap analysis is essential to ensure that your current staff meets the demands of your business model. You need to know whether the existing employees can effectively perform their roles. Establishing this will also create opportunities for improvement and highlight specific qualities that should be assessed during the recruitment process. If there is a significant skills gap in the current staff, then it means that you need to supplement the workforce with some fresh faces with the desired skills and ability to meet demands.

3.    Set Your Ideal Timeline

After a successful analysis, it’s time to put your findings into practice. You now need to estimate the number of required employees in every department and determine when they are needed. With this crucial information, you’ll be able to build a full recruitment schedule for the entire year. The recruitment plan should include the positions you need to hire for per quarter, the number of employees for each department, and precise hiring timelines.

4.    Identify the Tools and Software Required for Recruitment

At this point, you should identify the tools required to carry out the hiring process. You may need to think about getting a virtual recruiter to help you execute your plan. A virtual recruiter can help you attract top talent, communicate with potential new hires, re-engage past applicants, and improve employee retention. Using a virtual recruiter will also help you reduce the application response time and increase the applicant flow. 

Applicant matching software would also be a great resource to execute your recruitment plan. By utilizing this software, you can create a unique success profile based on your current top-performing employees. There are many other benefits of an applicant matching software, such as reduced employee turnover, increased productivity, reduced training time, enhanced customer experience, and higher ROI. 

5.    Set up a Recruitment Budget

A recruitment budget sets parameters on everything from the job boards you intend to use to the sourcing methods and interview techniques. You should invest enough time to set the budget with other company leaders. Then, review the budget for each open position with the entire hiring team. This ensures that your recruitment process doesn’t run above the estimated costs.

6.    Revamp Your Hiring Process

Continuously review your recruitment plans and hiring approaches to determine their effectiveness. Evaluate details such as collaboration among team members, the number of new hires, and employee turnover rate. Then, see what improvements you can make to your recruitment policy.  

This evaluation will help you to understand how past recruitment processes were undertaken and if there are any necessary changes. You can use survey tools, feedback forms, and a one-on-one approach to gather information. You will be able to identify some missteps and set the right tone for job seekers. If you find pitfalls that need to be addressed, you should immediately look into them and get things right before the next recruitment process kicks in. 

Hire the Ideal Applicants With Sprockets

A woman on a laptop hiring applicants with no industry experienceHaving a well-designed, proactive recruitment plan helps your organization stay competitive and keep up with industry trends. Utilizing special tools such as Sprockets’ virtual recruiter helps carry the weight as well. Sprockets’ AI-powered virtual recruiter enables you to hire the ideal applicants, reduce employee turnover, and help employee retention.

Schedule a demo today to learn how Sprockets can streamline your hiring process.

Someone typing on a keyword and text reading "How to Write the Perfect Job Description"

How to Write the Perfect Job Description

How to Write the Perfect Job Description 1016 528 Sprockets

Recruiting qualified and competent applicants for a position in your organization or business requires dynamic skills. You’ll need to ensure your job posting stands out from hundreds of others and attracts the right applicants. Getting qualified people to apply to your company allows your hiring team to focus solely on suitable applicants. In return, these quality applicants are more likely to deliver on the company’s core values and meet objectives once hired. An attractive job description should highlight the required skills, experience, company’s culture, mission, values, and more. Here is how to write the perfect job description to attract the ideal applicants.

You can also check out our free guide on how to write job descriptions that boost applicant flow! It features industry insights, key elements, and helpful templates.

Writing a Great Job Description: A Step By Step Guide

1. It All Starts With Writing an Accurate Job Title

You need to get the job title right in your description because this is the first thing everyone sees. Most people usually search for specific keywords in job titles, so page placement and rankings are critical to getting your job posting in front of the ideal applicants. If the job title is unclear, non-descriptive, or even out-of-the-box, qualified applicants may be confused or fail to see your posting. 

Keep the title clear, concise, and consistent with other market job titles. Ensure that the title reflects industry standards and your organization’s culture.

2. Create an Engaging Overview of the Job

Provide a brief description of the general expectation for the open position. It should also highlight the job’s main function and its contribution to your organization’s objectives. Remember to state what makes your company stand out among others. Your overview should highlight key items that articulate your company’s culture. By being thorough in the job overview, you make it easy for the applicant to identify the type of company they’re getting involved with to further pursue their career and experience.

3. Be Concise About Job Responsibilities

Provide a concise description of the roles and responsibilities involved with the job. These should clearly depict the fundamental nature of the job, which usually occupies a significant proportion of the employee’s time. You may also want to emphasize responsibilities that are unique to your organization. 

Highlighting the day-to-day activities of the position will help applicants understand your work environment and culture. However, don’t make the mistake of making long and tedious lists that put off the readers. Make your job description exciting and fun to read by only including necessary information. It also helps to incorporate a “why” explanation behind the day-to-day activities. This communicates that you have a specific purpose behind the tasks. Sharing this will show them how the position provides value to the team.

4. State Skills and Qualifications

This section states the required skills for applicants, level of experience, and the necessary competency for the job. Besides stating the required certifications and technical skills, you may also include soft skills, such as problem-solving, personality traits, and the ability to communicate fluently. Don’t be tempted to list every requirement you envision. Keep the list concise. Including many unnecessary skills and qualifications can dissuade qualified applicants. 

Using different tools can help you save time in this step. Sprockets’ applicant matching solutions create a profile based on top-performing talent at your company. As a result, you can find applicants with the necessary experience, competency, and soft skills for the job. Additionally, their personality assessment software compares and contrasts traits of applicants based on the qualities of employees at the company.

5. Talk About the Company and the Working Relationship

It’s best to assume that applicants don’t know as much about your organization or business. You, therefore, need to tell them about your company’s goals, vision, and mission. You can also provide other relevant and valuable details, such as annual sales, number of employees, and branch locations. 

It’s also important to explain the working relationships as well as the lines of communication for the employee. Inform applicants about who they will report to and help them understand their hierarchy within the company. Constructive working relationships are essential for employee well-being and integration.

6. Sell Your Job

Competent and qualified applicants usually require compelling reasons to choose your job over other opportunities. Describe key benefits that come with the position. However, don’t oversell it in your job description. If your job description misconstrues expectations, it will negatively impact workplace culture and employee retention.

7. Include Salary Details

While you may not provide actual salary figures for the job, provide a competitive salary range in your job description. Qualified applicants need to see the salary range for motivation to apply. Every applicant has expectations of what they would like to get paid. If you fail to provide the salary details, you risk wasting time interviewing applicants looking for higher salaries than you’re willing to offer.

8. Give Applicants a Call to Action and Contact Information

Use a call to action at the end of your job description to get potential applicants rolling in. This drives applicants to take the next step and apply for the job. You may also provide up-to-date contact information for applicants to reach you if they have inquiries. While some organizations only provide their email addresses, adding a phone number could be a great addition. 

Post Jobs for Free With Sprockets

A man in a coffee shop posting job descriptionsHaving a clear and concise job description helps your business attract competent and qualified applicants. A complementary aspect of writing the perfect job description is posting it in the right places to maximize visibility. With Sprockets, you can post your job listings for free on Google, Facebook, ZipRecruiter, Snagajob, CareerBliss, Recruit.net, and Adzuna from within the platform.

Schedule a brief demo today to learn how Sprockets can streamline your hiring process and ultimately improve employee retention.

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The Importance of Person-Environment Fit When Hiring

The Importance of Person-Environment Fit When Hiring 1016 528 Sprockets

Hiring managers sometimes focus too much on the qualifications and experience of applicants that they ignore something that can be even more important: whether or not the applicant is a good fit for their organization. So, how do you evaluate this in applicants? We’ll explore several types of person-environment (PE) fits that matter when scoping out new talent for your organization. We’ll also consider some person-environment fit examples and suggest tools that will help you identify the perfect-fit candidates.

What Does Person-Environment Fit Mean?

Person-Environment fit theory is based on the assumption that people perform at their best when they are in an environment that closely matches their needs, skills, and personalities. Typically, within organizations, you can identify which employees are great fits for their position and the company culture.

Hiring managers can rely on intuition, to an extent, to predict who is likely to fit in well. However, gut instinct may not always be the most reliable resource, especially in larger organizations that hire many people in different departments. One way to get over this hurdle is to establish a framework with reliable criteria to predict whether someone is a good fit before you hire them. An excellent place to start is understanding the various types of person-environment fits.

The Different Person-Environment Fits

Person-Vocation Fit

Person-vocation fit is something that goes beyond your organization and focuses on the individual. It’s based on the notion that employees may not always be in the profession that best suits them. For example, if Sam is a computer programmer and spends his time daydreaming about making independent films, he likely will not be an ideal employee for your company. This exceeds any personality clashes someone may have with Sam and speaks to his suitability for a specific profession. Therefore, when vetting out if someone is a vocation fit, understand how the individual’s aspiration fits within the job. Understanding how they foresee themselves growing in the position is an excellent indicator for if they’re in the right career or not.

Person-Job Fit

Some applicants may have a strong interest and aptitude for a career, yet they still need to find the right job. When seeking the ideal candidate, try to scope out if the daily activities of the job match with the person’s background, interests, skills, and goals. If not, it’s likely that either the employee or the organization will be dissatisfied with the arrangement.

Person-Organization Fit

To address this one, you need to be clear about your own company culture and the type of applicants that would make the ideal fit. For example, you may have hired Susan for a job that she’s perfectly qualified for, and she might have appeared to be the ideal applicant on paper. However, her personality may not blend well with your organization. If your company encourages independent thinking while Susan is accustomed to a more structured environment, the person-organization fit will not be an ideal match.

Person-Group Fit

One of the main aspects of most jobs is working in a team. An individual may click well with the company as a whole but may not fit within a specific group or department. When considering a candidate, you need to predict if they’ll be a helpful addition to the team. Questions such as, “Can you tell me about a time you worked well with a team?” are good options for determining whether an individual is a good person-group fit for your company. 

How Can Recruiters Find the Ideal PE Fit?

Now that you’re familiar with the different person-environment fits, you want to find applicants who are an overall good match. This means finding applicants that are the right fit for their vocation, job, group, and company. In other words, you want to look at the person-environment fit that includes all of the factors listed above. So, how can you identify such specific candidates?

Pay Equal Attention to Hard and Soft Skills

You want candidates who have the skills and experience necessary for the position. However, don’t overlook soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and flexibility. It’s often a person’s soft skills that determine whether they’re a good fit or not.

Create a More Productive Workplace

It is challenging to determine if someone is a good fit for their organization. But with the knowledge of PE fit, you can better identify a candidate’s needs, skills, and personality, making the hiring process easier. By using the principles of person-environment fit, you can establish: 

  • A more efficient hiring process
  • A more harmonious workplace
  • Less employee turnover
  • Higher productivity

Use Personality Assessments

A personality assessment is one of the most reliable ways to find out what makes someone tick. Answers to common interview questions, while helpful, aren’t always truthful. A personality assessment, on the other hand, goes quite a bit deeper than simple questions. There are special programs to help you accomplish this. Sprockets’ personality assessment software matches applicants based on the top-performing talent at your company. 

It does this by using a Mental Makeup Analysis (MMA) report that analyzes over 50 characteristics to deliver a comprehensive report. Then, applicants are scored on a scale from 0 to 10, providing a precise prediction on how good a fit they are likely to be.

Establish a More Effective Hiring Process

A woman on a laptop hiring applicantsBy screening applicants with assessments before interviews, you can cut down on the number of interviews and only talk to the most promising applicants. This will result in more insightful and productive interviews. You can also use Sprockets’ applicant matching software that creates a unique profile based on the top-performing talent at your company. This profile is used to screen candidates and make a data-driven decision on whether or not they’re the right fit before you interview them, saving you time and money. 

Find out more about how Sprockets can help you find candidates who are the right fit. We offer personality assessments and other innovative tools that will help you find the ideal candidates for your organization.

A man typing on a keyboard and text reading "Improve Employee Retention With Artificial Intelligence"

How to Improve Employee Retention With Artificial Intelligence

How to Improve Employee Retention With Artificial Intelligence 1016 528 Sprockets

Did you know that the average cost of losing an employee can be more than $5,000, according to a study conducted by The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell? This includes costs associated with pre-departure, recruiting, selection, training, and lost productivity. Plus, you have to consider the amount of time this whole process wastes when you could focus on important daily tasks instead.

Luckily, there are tools available that can improve employee retention with artificial intelligence! Sprockets, for instance, provides a user-friendly platform with a whole suite of sophisticated, AI-powered solutions. It predicts which applicants are the most likely to succeed and stay long-term, helping you build better teams from the start and reduce costly employee turnover.

Sprockets: Improving Employee Retention With Artificial Intelligence

How It Works

The way Sprockets works is simple. First, it creates a benchmark for success based on the personality traits of your current top-performing employees. Each incoming applicant is then evaluated with that unique success profile, allowing the Sprockets software to identify shared characteristics. Then, you can select the candidates with the highest “fit scores.” It removes the guesswork and reduces the number of interviews necessary to find the ideal employee.

Plus, the Sprockets platform includes free job posting to websites like ZipRecruiter and Snagajob ($400 value), reveals which applicants would provide Work Opportunity Tax Credits, and offers virtual recruiters who send instant alerts when a match has been found!

The Benefits

Owners and operators, especially in fast-paced industries with high rates of turnover, don’t have nearly enough time to search for applicants. That’s what makes Sprockets so essential. It’s the missing ingredient in your hiring process, empowering you to find and retain the best workers with less effort and resources. Here are the results that Sprockets users enjoy, on average:

  • 43% improvement in 90-day employee retention
  • 37% less time spent on the hiring process
  • 22% increase in annual employee retention

Success Stories

So, you know that our solution is powered by AI and proven by data. Now, it’s time to see what others have to say about Sprockets! These are only two of the many testimonials we’ve received from happy customers:

“We’re pleased with the investment, and we are absolutely going to continue to [use Sprockets] because it cuts down the amount of time we would spend on bad interviews.”

– Michael Mann, General Manager, Chick-fil-A

“The onboarding process was extremely easy. It was fast and very professional. I can’t think of a single problem or glitch that we had. As far as [Sprockets] being trustworthy, I would give that a giant stamp of approval.”

– Alecia Pineo, Owner, Visiting Angels

Match, Hire, and Retain Top Performers

The Sprockets platformStart improving your employee retention with Sprockets! It removes the guesswork from the hiring process, making it simple to select the ideal applicants and stop the cycle of costly turnover. You’ll even get access to free job postings, tax-credit experts, and virtual recruiters to source and screen candidates more effectively.

Schedule a brief demo now to see how Sprockets can improve your retention by 43%!

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How Do I Know If an Applicant Is the Right Fit for My Team?

How Do I Know If an Applicant Is the Right Fit for My Team? 1016 528 Sprockets

It may seem impossible to identify the ideal applicants, especially when you can’t dedicate much time to the hiring process, but it becomes easier when you know what signs to look for. Don’t rely solely on resumes and cover letters. You might waste time on poor interviews and increase costly employee turnover due to bad hires.

Instead, pay close attention to indicators that suggest who will be the right fit for your team. You can also use the AI-powered solution that’s trusted by numerous business owners and managers: Sprockets. It reveals which applicants share personality traits with your current top performers, empowering you to make better hiring decisions and improve employee retention.

3 Signs That Applicants Are the Right Fit for Your Team

1. Genuine Enthusiasm

When it comes to determining job fit, excitement and enthusiasm are crucial. However, this can be challenging to identify at first because most applicants will come to you in an enthusiastic manner. You may attribute this to putting on a fake persona to land the job, while other times, it’s genuine.

So, how can you tell who is really enthusiastic about becoming a member of your team? The first thing to look for is how they approach the initial interview. Is the conversation one-sided, where you do all the talking, or are they truly engaged and show interest? You can also listen closely to how they speak about previous positions and workplaces. These can be major indications of how their behavior will be if they end up working for you.

2. Company Culture Fit

If you’re hiring for fit, then you absolutely need to take your company culture into consideration. Just make sure you meet with your leadership team beforehand to clearly define your ideal workplace culture. This makes it easier to create a list of personality traits to look for in candidates.

Let’s take collaboration as an example. If you value open communication and teamwork, then hiring someone who mentions that they prefer working alone may not be the best move. It would be a lose-lose situation for them and your entire team.

3. Enjoyable Interview

It can feel repetitive and tedious to conduct several interviews for an open position. So, it’s always a pleasure to meet an applicant that makes the interview an enjoyable experience. It’s a positive sign when the conversation is constructive, productive, and flows naturally. That’s typically someone you want to bring onto your team, especially if the role involves customer service. This is incredibly important because there are many candidates who check all the initial boxes but are not personable.

Note that this does not mean you should hire purely based on this aspect of the interview only since nerves often play a part in an applicant’s first impression. It should just be taken into consideration if you are ever conflicted between choosing one candidate or another.

Let Sprockets Find the Right Fit for You

Someone on a laptop hiring hourly employees with SprocketsIt’s challenging to find the best applicant, even if you look for the right signs throughout the hiring process. Luckily, Sprockets can do the heavy lifting for you with the power of artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

Sprockets reveals what makes your top-performing employees tick and evaluates incoming applicants based on that benchmark. You’ll be able to see who has the highest likelihood to succeed and stay long-term with the click of a button, ultimately reducing costly turnover and enabling managers to focus on daily operations. It’s trusted by numerous happy customers and proven to increase employee retention by 43%!

A man putting a sign on a door and text reading "Which States Will Return to Work Soonest After COVID-19?"

Which States Will Return to Work Soonest After COVID-19?

Which States Will Return to Work Soonest After COVID-19? 1016 528 Sprockets

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in thousands of employees leaving the workforce via layoffs, furloughs, or resignations due to health concerns. Now, we are faced with a labor crisis that has people wondering, “Which states will return to work soonest after COVID-19?”

It’s a valid concern as more states begin to open back up to travel and tourism, encouraging a return to the “norm.” However, how can businesses keep up with consumer demand when it’s such a struggle to stabilize and maintain optimal staffing levels? Let’s examine which states are likely to see employment rise and explain what employers can do to get back to their norm.

Evaluating Which States Will Return to Work Soonest After COVID-19

Industries and Occupations Hit Hardest by the Pandemic

First, it’s important to take note of which industries COVID-19 impacted the most. After all, certain states rely more heavily on specific industries than others.

The unemployment rate in the U.S. reached a shocking 14.7% in April 2020, with an estimated 20.5 million jobs lost. Here are the eight occupational fields that saw the most significant drops in employment:

  1. Leisure and Hospitality
  2. Mining/Oil/Gas
  3. Travel and Transportation
  4. Construction
  5. Entertainment
  6. Laundry
  7. Self-Employment
  8. Manufacturing

States With the Highest Unemployment Rates

Now, fast forward to mid-2021 with a fresh look at unemployment rates by state, and we can gain even more insight into the effects of COVID-19. These are the 10 states with the highest rates of unemployment as of April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  1. Hawaii: 8.5%
  2. California: 8.3%
  3. New York: 8.2%
  4. New Mexico: 8.2%
  5. Connecticut: 8.1%
  6. Nevada: 8.0 %
  7. New Jersey: 7.5%
  8. District of Columbia: 7.5%
  9. Pennsylvania: 7.4%
  10. Louisiana: 7.3%

States Bouncing Back the Quickest

So, while unemployment rates have improved since being at a country-wide average of 14.7% in April 2020, there is still a long way to go before we return to the pre-pandemic average of 3.5%. However, with the rise in vaccination rates, reduction of unemployment benefits, and introduction of return-to-work incentives, some states have begun to bounce back.

WalletHub recently released findings on which states are making the biggest gains by comparing unemployment metrics from various dates relevant to the pandemic. Here are the top 10:

  1. South Dakota
  2. Utah
  3. Nebraska
  4. Vermont
  5. Idaho
  6. Kansas
  7. Montana
  8. Alabama
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Iowa

Hire and Retain the Best Workers

Two people shaking hands during an interviewThe country is on its way back to pre-pandemic norms in terms of employment rates, and Sprockets is doing what we do best to help get businesses back on track. Our AI-powered platform empowers owners and operators to find the ideal new hires. Plus, it augments sourcing with free job posting ($400+ value) and virtual recruiters that send immediate alerts when they discover candidates who would be excellent fits for their teams.

It’s not magic — it’s logic. Schedule a demo today to see how Sprockets reveals shared characteristics among top-performing employees and incoming applicants to improve retention!

Someone doing a job search on a laptop with text reading "The 10 Highest Unemployment Rates by State"

The 10 Highest Unemployment Rates by State

The 10 Highest Unemployment Rates by State 1016 528 Sprockets

Studying the unemployment rate by state midway through 2021 reveals which parts of the country are poised for economic recovery in a post-pandemic era. This can prove beneficial to both job seekers and business owners, especially while we’re in the midst of a labor crisis. The following list consists of states with the highest unemployment rates in America, according to April 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State-by-State Unemployment Rate

1. Hawaii 8.5%

Even though Hawaii had the highest unemployment rate of any U.S. state in April 2021 at 8.5%, it was a considerable decline from the previous September when the figure spiked to 15%. Chief Economist Eugene Tan of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism predicts the state will return to normal unemployment levels by November 2021. The state economy relies heavily on its tourism industry, which is expected to recover during the summer.

2. California 8.3%

The Golden State’s reopening for business on June 15 is expected to mark the beginning of a speedy recovery. Over 2.7 million jobs were lost in the state between March and April 2020. By the following April, 1.58 million Californians were still unemployed. Although the state has 11.8% of America’s workforce, it accounts for over 14% of jobless claims in the nation.

3. New York (8.2%)

New York state lost over 2 million jobs during the pandemic, but jobs are steadily returning in 2021. However, unemployment remains exceptionally high in New York City at over 11%. The worst period of joblessness, though, for the nation’s most populated city, was in 2020 at 15.5%. Tourism and hospitality were the industries most impacted by shutdowns.

4. New Mexico (8.2%)

One key reason why COVID-19 shutdowns have drastically affected New Mexico is that the state doesn’t have a high percentage of large corporations that employ thousands of workers. However, since the state has a relatively small and sparse population, only 78,000 residents were unemployed in April 2021. Some officials believe the state’s unemployment benefits are so comfortable that many people don’t want to return to work.

5. Connecticut (8.1%)

As far as job declines in the first half of 2021, Connecticut has suffered the worst, losing 9.7 percent of its workforce from February through April. That equates to a loss of about 188,000 jobs in a state that has had a minimal drop in its unemployment rate since the pandemic began. Overall, Connecticut’s workforce slid from 1.9 million to 1.6 million people over the past year.

6. Nevada (8.0%)

Since Nevada is a large state with a small population, its high unemployment rate is somewhat of a mirage driven by thousands of lost jobs in Las Vegas, the state’s only major metropolitan area. The gambling destination had an unemployment rate of nearly 12% in November 2020, while the state’s overall jobless rate stood at 6.8% by the end of the year. At that point, 1.35 million of the state’s 1.48 million workers had jobs. Potential areas for growth areas that will help the states’ recovery process are mining, logging, business services, manufacturing, and construction.

7. New Jersey (7.5%)

Similar to other states with popular tourist attractions, New Jersey has been hit hard by travel shutdowns, particularly in the hospitality industry. Traditionally, it’s been a commuter state as well, with many residents crossing the state line to work in New York City. New Jersey’s beaches and casinos usually attract heavy tourism in the summer, which will be a key indicator this year for the state’s turnaround. Prior to the pandemic, the Garden State had an unemployment rate of 3.2%, while the national figure was 3.7%.

8. Pennsylvania (7.4%)

One of Pennsylvania’s main problems with unemployment is that many small businesses, including restaurants, can’t find workers to fill jobs. Employers believe the extra $300 per week federal pandemic benefits have slowed down unemployed people’s ambitions to return to work, resulting in a massive labor shortage. Consequently, business leaders will likely put pressure on lawmakers to end the moratorium in which individuals must prove they are looking for work to receive unemployment compensation.

9. Louisiana (7.3%)

Louisiana is trying to lower its high jobless rate by encouraging people to get back to work and discontinuing federal handouts. While 25 Republican governors in the country had made plans to cut federal unemployment benefits by June 2021, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana became the first Democratic governor to join them. States may continue receiving funds from the federal program until September 6, 2021, to pay unemployed individuals an additional $300 per week.

10. Illinois (7.1%)

As one of the worst-stricken states for job losses throughout the pandemic, Illinois’ unemployment rate soared as high as 16.4% in April 2020. By December, the rate had fallen to 7.6% and has continued to decrease. Nearly one million people in the state were unemployed in April 2020, but a year later, the number dropped to around 438,000.

Stabilize Staffing Levels With Sprockets

The Sprockets platformWhen we analyze the state-by-state unemployment rate, we get a clearer picture of how the pandemic shutdowns have affected jobs and certain industries. Nevertheless, signs of economic recovery are evident across the nation, and Sprockets can help businesses achieve healthy staffing levels once again.

Sprockets augments sourcing via free job postings ($400 value) and reveals which applicants are the ideal fit for your team. The AI-powered platform empowers you to hire the perfect candidates every time, ultimately improving employee retention and allowing operators to focus on important daily tasks rather than dealing with an endless cycle of turnover.

Schedule a free demo today to jumpstart your business’s recovery in the post-pandemic era.

A line of people with resumes and text reading "The Importance of Industry Experience vs. Mental Makeup"

Industry Experience vs. Mental Makeup: Which Is More Important?

Industry Experience vs. Mental Makeup: Which Is More Important? 1016 528 Sprockets

Have you ever wondered what the best employees have in common? Do they possess specific industry experience, or do they share a particular mental makeup? Why do they stand out among their colleagues? And, is it possible to predict which applicants will be top performers before you hire them? Get the answers to all of these questions, and find out how to identify the ideal candidates!

Industry Experience vs. Mental Makeup

Industry Experience

It’s difficult to dispute that industry experience can be a critical factor in determining an employee’s success. That’s why many hiring managers and recruiters seek applicants who have a certain level of education and level of proficiency in “hard skills” or technical knowledge, depending on the role. 

These workplace skills are significant when hiring workers for your company since you want to hire workers who are well-equipped to handle the job at hand. (However, applicants with no experience can actually be better hires!)

Mental Makeup

On the other hand, mental makeup refers to the mindset or attitude of a person in regard to various circumstances. This is often understood as a set of “soft skills” that an employee possesses in the business world. Some of the most common and sought-after soft skills include communication, critical thinking, leadership, positive attitude, teamwork, and work ethic.

While industry experience can be critical, a preferable mental makeup potentially leads workers to a higher level of success in any role, making it essential to consider when hiring applicants. Consider asking specific questions that evaluate soft skills during interviews.

So, Which Is More Important?

The short answer is that both industry experience and mental makeup are crucial, especially when deciding which applicants to hire. You want to ensure your crew members are capable of completing tasks efficiently, but you shouldn’t gloss over the importance of soft skills. Identifying key characteristics and personality traits, especially ones that foster team harmony, is critical to achieving success and improving employee retention. You need to know when to prioritize soft skills over hard skills.

Sprockets Helps You Find the Balance

A woman on a laptop hiring applicantsAttempting to analyze both industry experience and mental makeup by yourself can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Moreover, wrong decisions can lead to bad hires, causing you to go back to the drawing board and spend even more time and money on the hiring process.

Luckily, Sprockets makes it simple. Our AI-powered hiring solution identifies your current top performers’ characteristics, creating a benchmark, and then evaluates incoming candidates to predict their success before they are hired. The platform even augments sourcing with free job postings and virtual recruiters that enable managers to focus on daily operations.

The average Sprockets users see a 43% improvement in 90-day retention, 37% less time spent on the hiring process, and a 22% reduction in annual turnover. Join the list of happy customers today!

A man on a laptop with text reading "25 States Reducing Unemployment Benefits"

Which States Have Decided to Reduce Unemployment Benefits?

Which States Have Decided to Reduce Unemployment Benefits? 1016 528 Sprockets

The COVID-19 pandemic has created one of the worst economic downturns since the financial crisis of 2008, leading both federal and state governments to quickly bring relief to millions of Americans who suddenly lost their jobs. State leaders agreed on the need to increase the number of unemployment benefits being provided to their citizens during this time.

Now, states have begun to open up once again, prompting governors to propose dates when federal unemployment benefits should be reduced. The following includes a list of the states that are seeking — or have already approved — a plan to reduce unemployment benefits.

States Reducing Unemployment Benefits

It’s important to note that the official expiration date for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is September 6, 2021. Although federal funds would still be available to states, many leaders have chosen to end the programs before September 6 in an effort to encourage people to get back to work. This means that benefits such as the extra $300 per week supplement will be removed.

June 12 | Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri

June 12 is the earliest date set to terminate benefits. These reduced unemployment benefits will affect Americans in Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Missouri. Dr. Tamika L. Ledbetter, Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner, has stated that Alaska’s economy is open, and employers are ready and willing to bring people back to work. The same sentiment is shared among the other three states who have chosen June 12 to bring an end to COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

June 19 | Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming

Just a week later, the states of Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming will end the COVID-19 unemployment benefits. Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama defends the move by saying that many business owners have come to her stating that they are having a difficult time finding people to hire. 

Opponents of this move point to small business owners and other self-employed Americans who would normally be denied unemployment during COVID-19 but are keeping themselves afloat due to the additional federal funds and removal of certain restrictions.

June 26 | Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas

Spearheaded by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, the states of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas will effectively opt out of 2021 unemployment funds from the U.S. Department of Labor on June 26. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott stated that those on unemployment benefits are equal to the jobs available in Texas.

June 27 – July 10 | Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Arizona

Some of the last states to reduce unemployment benefits include Montana on June 27, South Carolina on June 30, Tennessee and Maryland on July 3, and Arizona on July 10. Although these are some of the latest dates on the list, they are still a far cry from the September 6 deadline set by President Biden and Congress.

Business Owners Are Turning to Sprockets’ Staffing Solution

A man looking at job applicants on a tabletIt’s challenging to attract applicants, especially the ideal ones for open positions with the current labor crisis. Luckily, Sprockets offers an AI-powered solution with all of the tools necessary to quickly stabilize and maintain healthy staffing levels. 

The Sprockets platform features free posting to popular job boards ($400 value), personality assessments, virtual recruiters, and a sophisticated applicant matching system that reveals which applicants will perform like your best employees. It’s proven to be effective, improving 90-day retention by 43%, and it’s loved by business owners across several top brands. Curtis Wilhelmi of McDonald’s states, “It’s a no-brainer!”