CareerCloud Identifies Best, Worst States to Hire

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported last month that there were 10.7 million unfilled jobs in the United States while unemployment is at 3.7 percent. Simply put, employers are hiring from the smallest pool of unemployed job candidates than at any time in the 21st century. Many job seekers are holding out for jobs they are more passionate about.

For comparison, there were 1.5 unemployed Americans for every job opening in September 2007, prior to the Great Recession, a number that grew to 6.5 in July 2009 coming out of it.

The hiring crisis facing business owners is based on myriad factors, including:

  • The Great Resignation – remains a major factor with quit rates at 2.7 percent, the highest level relative to unemployment in three decades. This means employers have more chances to poach talent, it also leaves them vulnerable to getting two-week notices of their own. In response, companies are implementing changes to boost retention rates, including increasing salary and benefits and offering more flexibility to workers.
  • Quiet Quitting – is a trend that refers to employees doing their bare minimum job and no longer going above and beyond at the workplace. Workers have become less engaged at work since the second half of 2021, according to a Gallup report, and quiet quitters comprise at least half of the U.S. workforce. Engagement is falling fastest among younger workers. Such a trend can have a material impact on companies. Gallup estimates a lack of engagement costs global employers $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

The long-term impact these trends will have on bottom lines remains to be seen but it puts a greater emphasis on recruiting top talent committed to the success of the organization. Ultimately, half of all small business owners say it was harder to hire in the third quarter than it was a year ago, according to a recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.

Amid concerns about a potential recession, however, workers may be losing some advantages gained in the past several years. The ability of employers to find and retain the best workers depends on many factors, including geography, as the economic situation and the talent pool vary from state to state.

To find the best states for hiring workers, CareerCloud analyzed federal data in five categories including job openings, population growth, education levels, diversity, and the business tax climate. Here are some of our key findings:

  • Top States: Florida is the best state for hiring, followed by Washington, Delaware, Nevada, and Arizona.
  • Bottom States: West Virginia is the worst state for hiring, because of poor scores on population growth, education levels, diversity and the job openings rate. Louisiana and Ohio are the second and third worst states for hiring, respectively.
  • Migration Matters: Eight of the top 10 states on CareerCloud’s list are in the top quartile for population growth.

CareerCloud’s report also provided tips on minimizing the impact of labor shortages. They include:

Use contractors – Hiring freelancers has several advantages, including more flexibility to ramp up and down your headcount depending on your needs. Since you don’t have to pay contractors benefits, this may also be a more cost-effective option.

Tap into social networks – Using networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter is a great resource for connecting with talent. You can use such platforms to build your brand and enhance your position as a thought leader, and you can use it to find potential employees for open roles. You can also use free job posting sites to find candidates.

Leverage recruiters – A good recruiter can be a competitive advantage since they often have personal relationships with potential candidates. Recruiters can save you the time spent vetting applicants, presenting you with only those who’ve passed a first-round screening.

Poach from the competition – Enticing employees away from another company to join yours can be a net benefit, bringing in new workers who have experience in your industry. Keep an eye out for potential recruits who may not be actively looking for a new job but might be open to the right role.

Company culture – If you’re following all the steps above and still unable to attract or retain new employees, it may be time to look within. If there are outdated or undesirable aspects of your company’s culture, making internal changes could result in more recruiting wins.