Benchmark Search Hiring Insights – December 2023

With a new year around the bend, what’s your hiring strategy? December can be a chaotic and distracting month, but the sooner you make a solid plan for HR, the better your outcomes.

In this month’s newsletter, realistic goals for hiring in the new year, why you need to prioritize your new hires once you have them and why it’s getting harder to hire in the first place.

November Jobs Report Highlights

The latest November jobs report provides crucial insights into the economic landscape. National unemployment declined to 3.7%, reflecting a 0.2% improvement from the previous month. The unemployment rate for recent college graduates remained steady at 2.1.

Throughout November, the job market exhibited resilience, witnessing the addition of 199,000 new jobs. Key sectors driving this growth included healthcare, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing, each making significant contributions to the overall positive trend.

While the unemployment rate remains higher than the year’s low of 3.4% in April, it remains comparatively low. This underscores the persistent challenge in sourcing talent, given the relatively small percentage of the population actively seeking employment, especially among those with college degrees. Consequently, organizations are increasingly focusing on passive talent – individuals already employed but open to new job opportunities.

Candidate Spotlight:
Director of Accounts Payable
  • Accounting Degree
  • 17+ years of experience both in General Ledger Accounting and Accounts Payable
  • Large ERP, system implementation and process improvements
Senior Financial Analyst
  • Active CPA
  • Master’s Degree: Double major- Accounting & Business Analytics from Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Hybrid blend of Accounting and Finance experience
  • Quarterly margin analysis and financial modeling experience
Senior Financial Analyst/Accountant
  • 10+ years of experience
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Information Management from the University of Texas at Dallas; also holds an Executive MBA from Texas Woman’s University
  • Started career out in Accounting and then pursued finance route with expertise in budgeting, forecasting, variance analysis, etc..
Senior Tax Accountant
  • Prior banking experience while in school with American National Bank of Texas
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting- The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Most of Tax experience consists of 1065s, S-Corps, and HNW
  • Looking to transition out of public tax to use her personable skills in a more client facing role eventually
Senior Tax Associate
  • Big 4 Public Tax Accountant
  • Masters, Taxation
  • Experience with R&D tax credits, ASC 740, Partnerships, SCorps
Senior Associate/Accountant
  • Big4 Public Accountant with 3 busy seasons
  • Industry experience includes Asset Management, real estate, and hospitality
Property Accountant
  • Works a 29-community portfolio with each having a distinct entity- performing full cycle accounting
  • Accounting degree
  • Before graduation, worked in a project management capacity with a SAAS company

Realistic goals for the new year of hiring

January is an important month for hiring managers — a time to set goals for the year, review your strategy and make a plan for sourcing candidates. January is also a time when many organizations approve their annual hiring budgets.

As you head into a new season of hiring, a few things to think about:

  • Set realistic goals.  That includes pacing your hiring and prioritizing on finding key employees first — those whose hiring will have the biggest impact on your company and teams.
  • Start sourcing early. The earlier you start looking for candidates, the earlier you start interviewing, and the sooner you get to the hire. Reach out to a recruiter like those of us at Benchmark Search for support.
  • Be prepared to close deals quickly. January is Go Time for candidates, too, and they’re ready to meet their own goals by finding new jobs as fast as they can. 
  • By following these tips, you can make January your most successful recruiting month yet and start the new year off right.

    Prioritize your new hires or lose them

    Happy to have done so much hiring this year? Not so fast! A new report out by Qualtrics found that 39% of employees who have been hired within the last 6 months plan to leave within the next year. Ouch.

    “Ok, that’s probably just an anomaly. How many people could they possibly have asked?”

    I thought that, too, but it turns out that Qualtrics asked almost 37K people. This trend is a change from the past, and fewer new hires in particular show engagement and well-being in their jobs. Since SHRM says it costs nearly $5,000 to hire and onboard a new employee, new-hire unhappiness is not great news. 

    Also not good news, and related: Fewer than half of leaders (41%) actually prioritize the onboarding of new employees. You can see the problem.

    Prioritize your new hires and focus on their wellbeing, and they’re far more apt to stick around.

    It’s getting harder to hire

    According to Gartner, a little more than half of new hires are turning down jobs right now — even if they’ve already signed a job offer. Some are changing their mind; others are ghosting employers before they even begin. 

    What gives?

    The number of people walking away from jobs they’ve already accepted has been steadily rising over the last few years, and a tight labor market is not helping. Candidates have a lot of options.

    Working with a recruiter like me is a good way to ensure that the person you decide to hire actually follows through on their word. Recruiters like those of us at Benchmark Search put a lot of effort into cultivating relationships with both job seekers and hiring managers.

    A heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us at the Celebration and Appreciation event! Your presence was truly appreciated. To those who couldn’t attend, you were missed! We look forward to serving you in the coming years.  Have a great holiday season!