January 25, 2023

The Labor Market in 2023: How Recruiters Can Reach Missing Workers

Angela Lin
Angela is a Data Science and English major at UC Berkeley who juggles interests in machine learning with short fiction. Outside of writing blog posts, she can be found painting Bay Area views or trying new recipes.

Missing workers in today’s labor market

When the pandemic hit, Kayla lost her job in hospitality. Staying at home gave her time to care for her newborn. Now, two years later, Kayla wants to find a new job. But paying for childcare would cost her $15,000 each year – almost half her previous salary.

Kayla researches remote positions but the job descriptions are confusing and unclear. She’s frustrated that she’s checking boxes instead of speaking to a real person. After spending her evenings applying to jobs, she only receives automated rejections. Feeling discouraged and underqualified, it's been one month since Kayla has stopped job hunting. 

Kayla is one of 5.7 million missing workers who want a job but aren’t currently applying. The declining labor force participation rate is a record low since 1970. While tech and media are experiencing high layoffs, labor shortage persists in many industries like healthcare, education, hospitality, and food service.

Barriers in job applications

Automated applicant tracking systems have become widespread but lack flexibility and human understanding. 88% of employers believe that qualified candidates are vetted out of the process because they do not match the exact job description criteria.

3 Ways to Reach Missing Workers

From previous missing workers who later found work, the top reason for their success was “supportive employer practices.”  Here’s the three most helpful practices:

  1. Easy application process: Respect your candidate’s time by removing unnecessary steps. Only ask for relevant info that will help you make your decision. Don’t miss out on good candidates because the application was too long or difficult. 
  2. Jargon free job descriptions: Make job descriptions clear by aligning the position to specific tasks. Simplify what you’re looking for and limit the requirements to what’s essential. Know your audience and use language that they’ll understand.
  3. Link to info and advice: Knowing where to find jobs and how to effectively apply can be confusing and challenging. Offer career information and advice to help candidates find the roles that match their needs.

These are simple yet effective strategies to reach missing workers. People need to easily identify exactly what a job requires and offers. Understanding why people stop participating in the labor market is key to discovering how to include them again.

About Puck

At Puck, our mission is to make hiring more human. We believe that job transparency is crucial to connecting the right people with the right teams.

Thanks! We'll reach out to you shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.