Latest figures show that the US unemployment rate stands at a 49-year low – falling to just 3.6%.

Hiring gains were seen in virtually all sectors including professional and business services which added 76,000 new jobs in April, healthcare adding 27,000 and financial services 12,000.

It is a remarkable turnaround from 2010 when the jobless rate stood at more than 10%.

While good news for the wider US economy, such high rates of employment present significant challenges for companies looking to recruit the best possible senior talent to their organizations, whatever the sector.

Talent Acquisition teams therefore need to be able to steal a march on their competitors as never before – requiring additional and innovative solutions to attract, recruit and onboard candidates who are in high demand.

We have seen a huge increase in demand from our US client base for focused insights into specific candidate pools whether in function, region or diversity set, providing crucial insights to better understand how to initiate conversations to create a wider and deeper pipeline of candidates and ensuring a much-improved conversion rate into confirmed, senior candidates.

We can give our clients insights into different areas that are critical in enabling them to take a strategic approach to their senior leadership talent acquisition.

The extensive information we provide includes data on talent demographics, career aspirations, drivers, motivations and barriers, job seeking habits, mobility, perception of the client and their competition and insights into remuneration and reward structures.

I am aware of several instances, notably in finance, where the client was expecting to find a highly qualified senior level candidate, perhaps from the Big Four or with IPO experience, but had no idea what compensation ranges the candidate market was commanding and fell significantly short.

Such a lack of understanding of the talent market can often result in a candidate being lost to a competitor who has a greater appreciation of their expectations.

There is also huge demand for insights to support organizations undergoing digital transformation programs.

This is a comparatively new way of working and there are still few benchmarks or real market leaders in terms of traditional companies which have undergone such a transformation. 

Companies are increasingly looking at how competitor organizations are doing this and looking to learn the positives and negatives from each.

Nowhere is the ‘war for talent’ greater currently than in the US. It means that employers must dig deeper to find the best talent – not just those seeking new opportunities but also, critically, the more passive, harder to reach talent.

While compensation will almost always be integral to any insights project, there are other important findings that can strengthen an employer’s talent attraction strategy.

This includes learning and career development and whether talent is willing to cross over into a new sector.

Alongside this, it is also crucial that organizations build awareness of their brand and ensure that potential candidates’ perceptions are favourable.

Insights are giving talent acquisition teams a significant competitive advantage in identifying and, subsequently, attracting the highest quality candidates.

Given the unprecedented employment rates in the US, the need to harness such rigorous processes has never been greater.