The Six Groups That You Should Actively Recruit
Diversity is no longer just a government requirement—it is a key recruiting strategy. Here are some reasons why. According to Current Population Survey data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), participation in the US labor force peaked in 2000 and has been declining ever since. The Labor Force Participation Rate experienced a sharp drop from 66% before the Great Recession to 63.7% in 2012 and is not projected to rebound any time soon. That means fewer working-age candidates for businesses to hire.
Why the Decline?
Simply put, the workforce is getting older. In 2010 there were 15.8 million workers aged 55 and over, according to BLS data. There are enough Millennials to replace the aging Baby Boomers who are about to retire. But will they be capable of doing the job?
The question of work experience aside, we have reason to be concerned about the large numbers of young people lacking basic skills. According to a recent report from the OECD, one-third of low-skilled individuals in the US are aged less than 35. So businesses will need a recruiting strategy that centers on finding skilled candidates within the major groups of available workers.
The Six Groups
1. Younger Workers—particularly the two-thirds of them that are not lacking in basic skills. You will need them to replace the retiring Baby Boomers.
2. Older Workers. If you cannot keep them on full time, can you bring them back part time or as consultants? The 55-and-older group is the only age demographic whose Labor Force Participation Rate increased in the last decade. So they just may be willing to stay on with you.
3. Women. According to the OECD report referenced above, two-thirds of younger (16–24), low-skilled individuals are men. So young women are more likely to have higher basic skills levels than their male counterparts. They may also be interested in the often higher-paying non-traditional occupations for women.
4. Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Labor Force numbers for white, non-Hispanic men have remained flat since 2000. In contrast, we have seen increases for every other group. Of particular note are the participation rates (2010) for Black or African-American women (59.9%, higher than any other group of women) and Hispanic or Latino men (77.8%, the highest of any racial/ethnic subgroup).
5. Individuals With Disabilities. Labor Force Participation for workers with disabilities is only around 20%. And among the other 80% many of them do want to work. That is evidenced by the Unemployment Rate for individuals with disabilities, which is about six points higher than the rate for people with no disability.
6. Veterans. Labor Force Participation for Veterans is about 51%, well below the rate for the general population. So if you actively recruit Veterans, you are likely to find workers with some solid, transferable skills.
Speaking of transferable skills, look out for the final article in this series, which will discuss the benefits of recruiting workers with skills in declining occupations. Click here for a link to the previous article.