As you may have seen in the news, September boasted the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. At 3.7%, this is the lowest unemployment rate that most of us have experienced in our professional careers. With the national average being the lowest it has been in almost 50 years, it makes sense that this is also reflected in our state. In fact, Washington’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in just over 40 years at 4.4%. Even more locally, the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro area is below the national average at 3.4%.

While this is the perfect time to apply for jobs, making a quality hire when the candidate pool is looking particularly bare is a struggle for many companies. To reduce your stress level, it is important to not only understand what low unemployment means for your business and its hiring practices, but also who to reach out to for assistance.


As we see the unemployment rate drop, a lesson from Econ 101 comes to mind—supply and demand. The data on the graph below shows that along with the unemployment rate, the supply of qualified candidates is dwindling and the demand for those candidates is becoming more and more noticeable—especially to companies currently hiring. Due to the low supply of candidates, talent acquisition has simultaneously become more difficult and increasingly crucial.

Higher Wages

“It’s inevitable that supply and demand are going to start pushing up wages. I do think today’s wage gains are sustainable.”

This statement from Glassdoor’s chief economist, Andrew Chamberlain, should inspire employers to look at their current compensation packages and restructure them accordingly. Now is the time to go all in on qualified candidates rather than waiting to see if they will accept a lower offer. Simply put, the candidate that you want will be snagged by a company with a better offer if you are not willing to stay competitive in this market.

Retain Your Talent

While your focus may be on talent acquisition, companies should also be working on retention to avoid having their top employees poached by the competition. “Employers are running out of people to hire and that’s encouraging them to poach workers from their competition,” Chamberlain reports. Increase their wages to decrease the chances of them leaving to find a more lucrative opportunity elsewhere.

Speed Matters

In this economic climate, the speed in which you hire can determine the quality of candidate that you hire. Qualified candidates will not be waiting by the phone to receive an offer, they will have already accepted an opportunity with a company that recognizes their worth and is prepared to make a swift hiring decision.

Be Creative

Keep in mind that it’s not always about the money. Once you have the right candidate in front of you, find out what is important to them on both a personal and professional level. If they like to travel, figure out how to offer then extended time off. If they need a flexible arrangement, offer the option to work remotely. If they are looking to grow in their career, find and offer training opportunities.

Know Who to Contact

Feeling overwhelmed yet? Between restructuring your compensation packages, finding creative ways to set your company’s offer apart, retaining your current talent, and making a swift offer, how could you not? Luckily, there are resources to assist you in staffing your team. If you are struggling to find the right candidates and are located in the Seattle area, consider contacting Business Talent Solutions. Our expertise is matching qualified candidates with companies for long term success.