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Why Cheaper Prices at the Pump Mean Darker Days for Your Recruiting Efforts

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Posted by Matt Rivera

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January 28, 2016

oil-well-pump_TALL_F.jpgBy now you've likely felt the impact of cheaper gas prices. Good news for our economy and your wallet, but bad news if you're in the business of recruiting talent across all industries. 

Does cheap oil mean cheaper recruiting costs, or could it make recruiting easier or more difficult? I’m no economist, and I certainly like the low price of gas at the pump, but I can’t help but wonder how cheap gas and low oil prices might impact recruiting.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I think it actually makes it harder to recruit. Which if you are paying attention is exactly the thing we DON’T need right now.

 

3 Reasons Why Gas Prices Impact Recruiting Efforts

There are a few reasons why I think the drop in oil prices will make recruiting even more challenging and I’ve put them in the form of questions to give you an idea why I think this is true. 

Are workers more willing to relocate? Yes and no. I think many workers may consider a move if the change in their cost of living is minimal. So, if staples like gas and utilities are low and stable, than other costs of relocation could be mitigated. That could be good, but in general, I think more people, especially passive or hard-to-recruit workers, would want to have extra money where they live right now.

More willing to commute? Probably not. Luckily for employers, workers have a short memory. That’s why sales of larger vehicles are on the rise again. People think gas won’t go up again. But will they agree to a longer commute? So this one might be in the plus column, but let’s face it, no one really wants to spend more time on our old highways (where we won’t have enough engineers to help fix them in the future).

Extra spending money? This is one of the biggest reasons I think cheap gas is bad for recruiting. If we are really talking about recruiting skilled, successful people who are already working, you’d have to offer more money to compensate for the extra money they have in their pockets now. And with wages set to rise for workers for the first time in a while, I think it’s going to get even harder to convince people to change.

As I said at the outset, I’m no economist. I just think people don’t like change. But what we find in many surveys, especially a few recent ones, is that many are open to listening to job offers. The question then becomes: How can you convince them not only to listen, but to actually take your job offer?

The bottom line is that many things impact recruiting. Some you have control over, some you don’t. And don’t even get me started on the stock market.

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This blog was written by Matt Rivera. Matt serves as Vice President, Marketing and Communications and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Yoh’s marketing and brand communications. Matt holds a degree in Journalism/Public Relations and has been working in the staffing industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this role, Matt held many different roles from branch recruiting and proposal writing to technology management and online marketing.

Topics: Recruiting Trends, News & Events

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