For those of us involved in recruiting/talent acquisition, we’re now entering uncharted waters, folks.  No GPS, no map, no directions. It’s a new world. We’ve sailed over the horizon into the unknown, those blank areas depicted on ancient nautical charts with a monster or two thrown in for good measure.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Tuesday an all-time high number of job openings in the United States – a whopping 6.6 million open positions! That data is for March, the latest available.

Guess how many Americans were looking for work? You guessed it: 6.6 million.

That means that the nation now has a job available for everyone looking for work – this is also a first since the U.S. Department of Labor began tracking these statistics in 2000. If the preliminary April data prove correct, it’s worse than that: there may actually be MORE jobs than people looking for work!

The national unemployment rate has also fallen to an all-time low of 3.9%, which is an amazing statistic on its own merits.

Still not impressed? The U.S. DOL reports (May 17) that the number of new unemployment claims has fallen to the lowest level since 1969 – nearly 50 years ago!

Taken together, this is great news for the U.S. economy and workforce as a whole! But it’s a reflection of the increasingly challenging conditions faced by companies who need to expand their workforce.

Think about this one: Since 96.1% (100% – 3.9%) of the workforce is employed, and there are available jobs for every unemployed worker, the odds that a company can fill most open positions through passive recruiting efforts (job posting) are exactly….not good.

This means that in order for ACME Inc. to fill a position that requires well-qualified candidates, that candidate will virtually have to be recruited from the company’s competitors! Don’t blame them for not catching your latest job posting – hey, they’re busy…working for your competitor.

The time for “post and pray” has long passed. We can’t wait for the fish to bite – we have to go hunting!

That means reaching out to a top-notch executive search firm is essential! That statement may have never been more true than today, as evidenced by the U.S. labor market statistics cited here.

Executive search firms can actively pursue your target candidate in any and all of your competitors, finding those most qualified to drive results in your team. Internal company HR departments are not typically empowered to aggressively contact a competitor’s workforce directly – but that’s exactly what executive search firms are going to do, and they’ll do it exceptionally well.

Welcome to the New World in hiring top talent, where job seekers are somewhere beyond the waves, out of reach of your company’s careers page.

Let’s partner in exploring this brave new world.  We can identify, source, and recruit the top talent you need, without a map or GPS to guide us.  Or, perhaps you’d rather find yourself in the company of those ancient monsters.