Finding it tough to fill your job openings? Of course. The unemployment rate for all IT occupations in the United States during June was just 1.5%.
That’s even tighter than the overall job market, which itself is pretty tight with an overall unemployment rate of 3.7%. That’s according to a July 5 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During the month of June, a total of 135,000 U.S. tech jobs were filled. Of these, 13,500 (or 1 in 10) were in the tech sector. All others were in related IT positions, including sales and marketing.
And for the first 6 months of this year, tech-sector employment grew by 56,400 positions. That’s up about 13% from last year, when employment for the first six months of the year grew by 49,700 positions.
Two job categories picked up in June. Tech services, custom software development, and computer-system design together gained 7,200 positions, according to CompTIA. And computer and electronics manufacturing gained another 6,500. Employment in other tech sectors was essentially flat.
For the future, CompTIA says the top 5 occupations that U.S. companies are now looking to hire are: software developers; user-support specialists; systems engineers and architects; systems analysts; and web developers. That’s based on the number of help-wanted listings posted in June.
4 ways to hire
How about you? Are you looking to hire? If so, job site Indeed.com recently offered these 4 strategies for recruiting in a tight labor market:
> Pay more: Are your salaries competitive? The economic model of supply and demand states that when demand rises but supply is tight, prices rise. That includes paychecks.
> Search more broadly: Don’t just round up the usual suspects. For example, if you have a job typically filled by men, then also consider women. In addition, maybe let people work remotely. You could also relax some of a job’s requirements, such as educational levels.
> Invest in employee training: Still can’t find the right job candidate? Consider “upskilling” your current employees. But be aware of the risks. Training can be costly and time-consuming. And in a tight market, employees with new skills can easily jump ship for higher wages elsewhere.
> Invest in employee productivity: If you really can’t hire, then at least get more from your current staff. This could involve re-arranging teams and rethinking individual roles. Also, consider investing in productivity-boosting tech. This might mean adding remote conferencing systems such as Intel Unite and online collaboration tools such as Slack.
So don’t let the tight employment market do a job on you. Get smart, and get hiring.