Using Labor Market Data to Gain a Competitive Edge

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The competitiveness of any company mainly depends on the quality of its workforce. Only when you have skilled, competent employees who can deliver excellent performance can you become a leader in your niche, attract leads, and stand out from the crowd. 

However, as any business owner can confirm, finding the right talent is often easier said than done. Over 87% of all US companies say they already have or expect to have a significant skill gap in the foreseeable future. 

If you want to avoid the problems associated with skills gaps, improve your recruitment processes, and ensure the greatest quality of hire, you need to start relying on comprehensive labor market data. 

Labor market data offers indispensable insights that can provide a range of benefits to your company. Learn what you stand to gain from it. 

What is labor market data? 

To understand what labor market data can do for you, you first need to know what it entails. In a nutshell, it’s a collection of qualitative and quantitative data about the workforce, market, and economy. 

It gives you detailed insights into the workforce demographics and average educational attainment, employment and unemployment rates by occupation or location, wages, job outlooks, labor supply and demand, and more. 

Depending on how you collect labor market data and which sources you use, you can go so far as to learn about job postings by specific employers, gaining insight into the kind of talent your competitors are looking for. 

How labor market data analysis benefits your company 

Collecting and analyzing detailed information about the workforce, market, and the economy as a whole offers unique benefits for your organization. It gives you a complete picture of your industry and allows you to prepare for expected and unexpected trends that can impact your company’s performance.

Understand candidate needs 

If you want to attract the right talent, you need to understand your potential candidates’ wants and needs, then respond to them. 

Collecting information from job boards, forums, employee-wanted ads, and even company review sites like Glassdoor allows you to understand exactly the kind of professional environment today’s workforce is looking for. 

You can then use the information to bring positive change to your company and create job ads that speak to your target audiences. 

Offer competitive terms 

Market and competitor data analysis is critical to enhancing your recruitment processes and finding the top talent. Otherwise, you won’t be able to offer competitive terms that attract quality applicants. 

Therefore, you need to rely on labor market data to collect information about the average salaries that your future employees can expect, for example. You need to understand what employment terms and conditions your competitors are offering, what kind of benefits they have, and even how they market their vacant positions

This data will help you figure out what you can do to ensure that your applicants choose you over the competitors. 

Assess skill gaps 

Industry-specific employment and workforce education attainment information can help you predict the potential skills gaps that your company could encounter. However, it could also help you prepare for them by either re-skilling your existing employees on time or hiring new, skilled recruits as quickly as possible. 

Discover quality applicants 

One of the main benefits of using labor market data is that it allows you to find quality applicants as quickly as possible. All you need is a list of applicant criteria, and you can start going through your labor market data and searching for candidates who meet your needs. 

You can even automate the process using HR recruitment tools equipped with applicant tracking systems.

Accelerate the hiring process 

Depending on your industry, the average time to hire can take over 40 days. During those 40 days, you would have spent time, money, and resources searching for candidates, conducting interviews and pre-assessments, eliminating candidates who don’t meet your criteria, etc. 

Once you finally made a hire, it would take ever more time for them to reach the expected level of productivity, especially if they weren’t the perfect fit for your company to begin with. 

With labor market data, on the other hand, you can exponentially accelerate your hiring process and fill your vacant positions without wasting any time or resources. 

Right at the start of the hiring process, you can skip over lower-quality applicants and immediately focus on those who have what it takes to work for you. 

Reduce turnover 

Finally, labor market data empowers you with valuable information you can use to improve the workplace environment for both new hires and your existing employees. 

By keeping an eye on the competitors and analyzing market trends, you can create a positive work environment that your employees enjoy. You can improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover rates. 

How you can collect labor market data 

You can collect labor market data in numerous ways. You can always start a manual search process and go through all the databases one by one. However, that’s neither efficient nor reliable. It wastes too much time and leaves too much room for human error. 

Instead, your best course of action is web scraping. It’s the process of deploying bots to crawl through online databases and automatically collect relevant data for your needs. 

When data scraping job descriptions, for instance, bots go through all available online resources to collect publicly-available data from web pages and present it to you in a manner that’s easy to understand. 

Web scraping allows you to seamlessly harvest a vast quantity of labor market data and start using it to your advantage as quickly as possible.

Final thoughts 

Collecting and analyzing labor market data offers you a unique competitive edge, allowing you to attract top talent and retain your best-performing employees. It’s a crucial process that future-proofs your company and helps you become the leader in your niche.