Navigating the Employment Feeding-Frenzy

How To Survive and Thrive in a Competitive Employment Market

utah job huntWe all know the saying, “There are plenty of fish in the sea.” While that saying applies really well to someone who is seeking their soul-mate, unfortunately it doesn’t apply to businesses looking to find quality employees. For a majority of Utah employers, the struggle to find talent is more real than ever. The job market in Utah has been so extremely competitive these last couple of years, I’ve started referring to is as a Feeding Frenzy!

Employers are jumping at any chance to grab any available employee that enters the job market. (My perspectives below reflect that of the staffing agency market and those hundred or more employers we service who are primarily trying to fill entry-level positions.)

Good News for Employees; Ugly Reality for Employers

As you can see in the chart below, we are going on 8 years of a steady decline in our unemployment rate. Sure, low employment can be a good thing for our local economy and is a sign of employment and financial stability for most Utahans but for Utah employers, it's not necessarily a pretty sight. Fewer employees looking for work means the employment market is getting more and more competitive to attract what little talent is available.

seasonally adjusted unemployment rates

A Fishy Analogy

Employee = Bait: When an employee goes online to one of Utah’s many job boards and uploads their resume, it’s just like throwing a goldfish into a piranha-filled fish tank. The employer who acts quickest can usually grab the bait before anyone else. Although they may feel like they are a piece of bait with so many employers contacting them so quickly, the employee is in a unique position to be selective with who they will ultimately choose to interview with.

There is more than one kind of “bait” so here I’ll refer to them as “worms” and “bait fish.” Worms are the less appealing applicants without much experience or many skills. Bait fish have more experience and are more educated employees who are more appealing to higher-end employers.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea:

With so many employers in Utah all vying for the same small crop of available employees, we notice several factors that differentiate them:

Average Employers = Fish: These “fish employers” pay low wages, don’t have the most competitive benefits, aren’t well known for their culture or work environment. These employers are caught in the endless cycle of fighting for employees but end up getting the “worms” or even the scraps and leftovers from the employers listed below. This means they have to accept employees with poor work history who don’t have the ideal skillset for the job. The employees left behind have low engagement and commitment to their jobs. They jump from one employer to the next continually looking for a “better” job. News flash! It’s not the job that is causing turnover! It’s a combination of average employers who continually hire average employees.

find the best employeesGood Employers = A Marlin: A “marlin employer” has competitive wages, has a good reputation for how they treat their employees, have a culture their employees are proud to represent and they provide their employees with decent benefits. These employers are not part of the school of fish out for a feeding frenzy, they are selective and can pick and choose the best “bait fish” they want to bring onboard. You don’t have to be a BIG employer to have a BIG impact on the people you work with. Also, it doesn’t matter how big the pool of employees is, the “marlin employer” can be selective and has a better chance of catching the prize employee.

best place to workBest-In Class Employers = Shamu: These employers have such a good reputation that people everywhere watch in awe from the sidelines wondering how they are so successful. They do things for their employees that make other employers wonder, “How’d they do that?” or “Why didn’t we think of that?” Employees who have heard about their reputation apply directly with these employers and avoid the turbulent waters of the job-board-world caused by the average employers. These “Shamu employers” are practically fed the best “bait fish” on a silver platter by having a large resume reserve of employees who are all waiting eagerly to leave their average employer and join the winning team.

How Can Employers Survive and Thrive?

If you want to survive and even thrive in these feeding frenzy waters you can’t just be an average fish. Consider these few tips:

  • Evaluate your company culture to ensure current staff members are satisfied which will ensure your good reputation spreads.
  • Reconsider your advertising practices to ensure they are attracting talent. You don’t want to have to hunt for talent, you want talent coming to you. Be flashy.
  • Revamp your interviewing and on-boarding practices. You only get one chance to make a good first impression so your new-hire process should be fun and engaging.
  • You get what you pay for… Offering very competitive wages will ensure quality employees leave their current “average employers” and then stick with you for the long-term.
  • Help your employees grow. Develop them. Recognize them. Help them achieve their aspirations, even if that means they out-grow your organization. True success is found in helping others succeed.

If your organization is feeling like “a fish out of water” in this “feeding frenzy” employment market and would like help elevating your employment stature, give Your Employment Solutions a call. With over 20 years of experience, we’ve worked with hundreds of organizations, from the “Average Fish” to the “Shamu Employers” in this Utah market.

We’ve seen first-hand what works and know well what doesn’t.

Jarum Stone
Your Employment Solutions

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Proud to Work in America

Why I'm Proud to Work in the USA!

proud to work in americaThe land of the free, and home of the brave. We live in an amazing country. Yes, we have our issues, struggles, controversies, and scandals, but America is still great! Think of some of the events that are taught in American history classes all over the United States. The brave people that created this country make it great. Think of all the wars and conflicts this country has faced over the years. Our soldiers have made our country great. Think of all the influential and inspirational figures in our history. Those people have made America great.

What Makes America Great?

There is a group of people in this country that contribute to Its greatness every day. There are literally millions of them. Most of them spend 40 hours a week working towards the goal. Others contribute much more of their day and often times will work a whole day through.

Who is this group of people you might ask?

It’s the American workforce.

America is the largest economic force in the world because of working people like us. Everyone who works day-in and day-out has made America what is it today and will ensure we have an amazing country for the future generations to enjoy! America is the greatest country in the world. Americans have been saying that for hundreds of years. It’s because Americans have made it true for hundreds of years.

proud to work in the usaIn my opinion, the workforce of America doesn’t realize the responsibility that they have. Their efforts in their jobs are contributing to the further growth of this country. Some value their opportunity to work and some take it for granted. Wherever you fall, you should be proud. It doesn’t matter if you are assembling sprinklers or brokering a merger between two of the biggest corporations in America, you should still be proud. No matter how small or insignificant your job may seem, you are still working for the greater good. You are still contributing to the economic wellbeing of America.

Work Proud!

Take pride in your work, take pride in your job. Yes, we may be behind other countries when it comes to benefits like parental leave, health care, and personal time off, but those countries aren’t America. America is what It is today for a reason. Our Country is full of the hardest working people on the plant. We know what it takes to get ahead and stay ahead.

Take time today, July 4th, to think about all the people who have given their lives for This Country. Think about all the sacrifices and hard work. Then think about how we can continue that legacy. How can we continue to make this Country the best in the world? Be proud of America and be proud to work in America.

Happy Independence Day!

Trevor Hansen
Finance Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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Improving Your Hiring Process

If you are a business leader, you are tasked with the important ongoing responsibility of hiring. This time-consuming process has both monetary and reputational consequences if you choose the wrong person. You need to take time to find a good fit for your company, but in order to do this you need a successful hiring process that attracts high-quality people.

Here are our tips on improving your hiring process:

Write good job descriptions

The way your job posting is written can discourage great candidates from applying. Sometimes companies write detailed descriptions with long lists of responsibilities and requirements, but this has been found to alienate qualified employees. Put more focus on what your company can do for potential employees and you'll attract the candidates who fit your needs.

Embrace social media and the digital world

Most people want to work for digitally savvy organizations. This means businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to retain and attract employees. Make sure your career site is mobile-friendly, as a large percentage of people use their smartphone for job searching.

Pay attention to soft skills

Skills can be acquired but personalities cannot. Soft skills like interpersonal skills, communication s kills, thought processes and emotional intelligence is essential for an effective workplace. Necessary experience is good, but social intelligence is also important.

Check social media profiles

You'll probably do a background check, but if you don't look through someone's social media profiles, you're missing out on valuable information. Don't let a candidate's social media activity factor into your hiring decisions, but it can definitely give you a better picture of who they are.

Match the personality to the job

A candidate's personality is important to consider. Someone who has empathy is more suited to be a nurse or social worker than a tax attorney or computer programmer. Even if someone has the skills for a job, it might not match their personality type.

Ask the right questions

Ask someone why they left their last job. If they blame someone else, follow up with another question. Good questions to ask are things like “Where are you going to be 10 years from now?” or “What drives you to get up in the morning?” These questions can tell you a lot about a candidate's drive and ambition.

Attracting Great Millennial Talent to Your Company

attracting millennial talent Millennials are going to drive the future of business. The millennial workforce of 53.5 million has surpassed Generation X and now represents the largest share of the American workforce. This group is highly educated, adaptable, tech-savvy and quick learning. Millennials' skills are essential for businesses that want to innovate and stay relevant in the ever-changing business world. However, managers have learned that it is difficult to find and retain millennial talent.

Here are some ways you can attract (and keep) excellent millennial talent:

Create a dynamic culture

Your company needs to be an industry leader that understands millennial wants, needs and behavioral patterns. The modern workplace is constantly changing, due to new technologies, globalization, automation and a fluctuating economy. A modern company needs to create culture that works with the progressive, millennial mindset. With the right culture, you won't have to force anyone to do anything.

Encourage innovation

Millennials strive to develop, create, contribute and innovate. Unlike any other generation, it is their goal to make an impact on the world. These millennial qualities will not only fuel your growth and influence, but encouraging innovation contributes to overall happiness. If you want to attract and retain millennial employees, your business should be unique and nurture creativity.


The millennial workforce changes and creates industries. These individuals have the flexible skill sets required to be successful in a technology-driven world full of change, instant responses and infinite workdays. Millennials crave experiences and opportunities above all else. You need to create an environment that allows people to work remotely and even travel. Providing the opportunity to have unique experiences will keep millennial employees engaged. Maximize the talents, creativity and independence of your employees by giving them freedom and flexibility.

Make Your Business Meaningful

Millennials are driven by purpose. They want to be impactful and need more than a large salary to motivate their work. Find a charity or cause that is important to and congruent with your company's mission. If you can sell products or services and make a difference, everyone will win. Employees will find fulfillment when they're part of something bigger.

Cheers to Great Business!
Eric Nelson
Marketing Director
Your Employment Solutions

“I help connect Utah jobseekers to Utah jobs.”

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My Favorite Staffing Experience

Making a Difference vs. Saving the World

I have been working in the staffing industry going on 13 years. It definitely wasn’t my dream or lifelong goal to work in the staffing industry. I had no intention in doing it as long as I have, but somewhere along the way I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s where I belong.

help others staffingThe staffing industry has so many ups and downs, sometimes you are busy and sometimes you are not. Sometimes you change someone’s life and sometimes you don’t and you walk away feeling totally defeated. I have definitely grown a ton in the last 13 years. I went from thinking I want to help everyone and make a difference but then came to the realization that I can only help the people that are willing to help themselves, the ones that want to change their lives and make it better. There are a ton of stories and experiences I remember. Some good and some not so good. But there has always been one story that made a huge impact and reminds me why I’m still here.

Once Upon a Time in Staffing…

About ten years ago there was a young kid that walked through the door of my previous employer. He was of smaller stature but acted like he was ten feet tall and very confident. I started his interview like I do all the others. Not too far into the interview that I found out he was in a halfway house. This was nothing new. We were known for being the staffing agency of second chances. Still, I had to wonder if this kid was serious about getting a job or if he was just there because he had to be.

Going through all the interview questions and getting to know him for that short time I realized what a great kid he was. He was very eager to work and to get out of the situation he was currently in. For the next week I kept him in mind for any jobs that came in that he qualified for. Needless to say he made an impression and I believed in him.

I finally found him a job, a very decent job for that matter, one that he could be proud of and with hard work and dedication could very well lead to growth in the company. He was so happy and grateful. After feeling accomplished in what I had done to help him, it faded away just like anything else. I had thought about him and how he was doing from time to time, but hadn’t heard from him for quite a while.

Time Passes

thank you cardThen one day I received a card at work specifically addressed to me. When I opened it, there was a big “Thank You” on the front of the card. I was very curious, so I opened it. Inside, in very tiny writing the entire card was filled up. It was from this employee, thanking me for what I had done for him. He wanted to let me know how big of an impact I had made on him, treating him like a person, and not judging him for the mistakes he had made. He told me that because I believed in him he was now out of the halfway house and had been hired on at the company I had sent him to.

It's the Little Things

I learned so much that day. Knowing never to judge a book by its cover and also that I didn’t have to save the world, I just needed to make a difference. It was then that I knew I was here for a reason. Stories like this are why I am still in the staffing industry today.

Andrea Posell
Ogden Staffing Branch Manager
Your Employment Solutions

“I help Ogden, Utah jobseekers find work.”
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Diversity is Key

Diversity in the Office is Key to a Better Workplace and World

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work or live in a place where everyone is the same? I have many times and no matter the scenario it does not seem very appealing.
Diversity has been a sensitive subject through history in not only our country but in the entire world. The unfamiliarity of a different language, color, race, sexual orientation and even less suggestive differences such as age, personality, education and background could make or break from the smallest office to the most prominent empire.

“Diversity not only involves how you perceive others but how you perceive yourself.” – Josh Greenberg

Diversity – USA vs. Colombia

I have had the marvelous opportunity to recruit for both Colombia and the USA and I have to admit that the USA is light years ahead when it comes to respecting and encouraging diversity. Imagine putting an ad on the paper where you are allowed to specify gender, age, or even stature? How would you feel?

I remember when I was searching for a job as a teacher and most companies would only want women for the position and would not even consider my skills or my background. That feeling is something I would not wish upon anyone and now that I recruit here in the United States, I make sure that no one does.

The USA has to keep leading by example, doing this we will make sure that with time and patience other countries understand the value of having a diverse workforce.

Do You Speak the Language?

The world is a lot smaller than it used to be. Computers, smart phones, drones, etc., are part of what we are calling now “the age of technology” and this makes it a lot easier and faster to get new customers and new employees from all over the world. Even if you have a small local business, the chances are the demographics around you are changing and adaptation is vital to allowing your company to flourish.

workplace-diversityTake our wonderful company (Your Employment Solutions) into consideration. We are a local company in what I would say not the most diverse state in the country. Are we still required to adapt to this rapidly diversifying world? The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. It's part of what gives us a competitive edge among all the other staffing agencies in the state.

Picture yourself a new immigrant in a new country where you don’t know anyone, anything and you don’t even speak the language. You have to start working to provide for yourself and your family. What do you do when you try to find work and someone tells you, “You live in America, learn the language.” Pretty discouraging don’t you think?

This is where having a diverse and friendly staff comes into play for us. We can not only speak to most of them in their native language but we can find them work while they learn and adapt to their new surroundings. That to me is a one of a kind experience that I know people will cherish forever.

I’m glad I have had the chance to work for such a diverse company, not only diverse in our staff but in our temps as well. Being able to find jobs for people regardless of their age, race, gender, etcetera has given me hope. Hope that someday not too far in the future we will all be looked as for what we are:

Human Beings.

Santiago Isaza
Account Manager | Ogden, Utah
Your Employment Solutions

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