Thanks to the Great Resignation (or the Great Reshuffle as some are now calling it), 2021 has been a crazy year for businesses, recruiters, and talent acquisition professionals.
Turnover rates are up as well, as we find ourselves in an employee market for the first time in a long time. Employees are approaching the current job market differently.
“Over the past few months, our Recruiter Index has shown that employees are prioritizing nontangibles more than ever. We saw a five percentage point increase in the number of employees who valued new experiences in the last month alone. The employees’ market is here to stay, and it’s time the employers start listening,” Recruiter.com CEO Evan Sohn explained.
If you’re like most companies, you may have wanted to throw your hands up on more than one occasion during 2021. Some of these unprecedented market conditions will carry over into 2022, but what are they, and how can you prepare for them?
Keep reading to find out.
1. It will be an employee’s job market through at least the first half of 2022.
In November 2021, there were 6.9 million unemployed people. The story of companies struggling to fill open positions will continue at least through the first half of 2022. Because of this, much of the hiring will be competitive as well.
As more and more employees demand better pay, more flexibility, and good benefits, the Great Resignation will continue as significant numbers of people flood the job market looking for an opportunity that will better suit their needs.
That means that companies will also need to increase their compensation offers to attract the best talent. Many employees will look for the highest bidder, and your competition could easily win.
Because of all these people searching for jobs, the demand for recruiters will rise as they race to fill the open positions these employees leave behind. Companies are also trying to quickly grow after putting their hiring on hold at the start of the pandemic, meaning that recruiters are under more stress and pressure than ever before.
Data from Revelio Labs reveals that recruiter roles have been in more demand and outpaced other positions at public companies. Companies are also looking for specialized recruiters with experience in a specific niche or industry to find the best talent to find these new candidates.
This information is no surprise to Recruiter.com’s CEO, Evan Sohn.
He explained another reason why recruiters are in high demand: “It’s no surprise that the demand for recruiters has increased. We are currently transitioning into the job hopper economy, and I believe it’s here to stay. This means employees will be leaving their companies quicker and more frequently than ever before – in fact, 60% of millennials are willing to leave their job within the first year.”
2. Remote work is the new normal.
One factor people consider when looking for a new job is flexibility in working conditions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees now realize the benefits of flexible remote work and prioritize that when searching for new jobs.
As more and more companies offer remote positions, remote work is here to stay. However, some employees still want a hybrid or an entirely in-office role. If companies want to attract the best talent, they’ll need to listen to what their employees want and align their culture with their working styles.
There will likely be three different categories of employees in the future: those who want to work fully remote, those who want to be fully in the office, and those who want a hybrid mix of both. Employees will decide which arrangement works best for their lifestyle and personal preference, and then they will apply for jobs at companies that offer that lifestyle.
“It’s a candidate’s market. The talented candidates are in high demand. And if they’re demanding hybrid or remote workforces, the companies have to adjust to those workforces,” said Sohn.
According to one survey, 50% of surveyed US workers said they would take a 5% salary pay cut to keep working from home. If companies don’t listen to what employees or candidates want, they may lose out on top talent.
Having remote work be the new normal will also encourage companies to have more flexible working hours, rather than a standard 9 to 5.
3. Work-from-anywhere will morph to hire-from-anywhere.
Now, employees will be spread out through different time zones and countries as companies realize they have access to the top talent anywhere. Instead of hiring in New York, companies can now hire someone in Florida, Texas, or even from a different country.
This can be helpful for any company, especially ones that feel like they have exhausted all the talent in the immediate area of their office. However, now they can cast a wider net and find talented employees regardless of where they are.
Now that some candidates won’t have to worry about a commute, employees are moving to all sorts of new places. Rather than relocating based on a unique job opportunity, remote employees can move somewhere that suits their lifestyle.
This will cause an interesting shift in salary requirements based on location and have more employees spread out across the country, potentially even the globe.
4. Employees will continue to demand more of a work-life balance.
While remote work can help increase a work-life balance for employees, it’s not enough.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people took it as a wake-up call to refocus on what was important to them. With many companies sending their workforces to work remotely, many people realized that they were able to sleep more without hour-long commutes.
Instead of a forced lunch break, many could get their laundry done. Many parents could now spend time with their children or focus on their hobbies now that they had a better work-life balance.
Because of this, people started realizing that their company didn’t care about them as much as the employees wanted. Companies need to recognize that what makes employees happy is now focusing on personal growth rather than achievements at work.
Employees are also looking for perks to help them balance their work and personal life stress. Many employees are also looking for companies that will promote initiatives on assisting employees’ mental health.
Some initiatives to help with work-life balance include things like:
- A generous PTO package
- An encouraging culture when people do need time off
- Ensuring that employees aren’t overloaded
- Continuous check-ins with employees
5. Diversity will continue to be a focus.
Another factor fueling the Great Resignation is employees wanting a company that focuses on diversity. According to one survey, 75% of executives said they would leave their company to find a company with diversity initiatives.
This will affect companies in a few different ways. Companies will have to focus on implementing diversity initiatives and practicing them to help retain employees.
However, recruiters will also be responsible for hiring a diverse range of talent to have a truly diverse workforce. Recruiters will do this using new tools that will help remove bias and easily find a wide range of candidates.
Having a remote workforce could also help recruiters and companies diversify their workforce. In 2022, making DEI a priority across all levels of your business will be one factor that separates you from the rest of your competition.
With one in four American employees working remotely, the way employees connect at work will take on new forms.
Scheduled coffee dates will take the place of casual water cooler talk. Instead of walking over to a coworker’s desk and asking for an update, we’ll be scheduling calls. Instead of having someone sit at your desk and lean over to see your screen, we’ll be asking, “Can everyone see my screen?”
Companies will have to find creative ways to maintain a company culture and engage their employees while also giving them the flexibility to have that good work-life balance.
With many companies switching to a remote workforce in 2019 due to COVID-19, there are close to two years’ worth of college graduates who have never worked in a traditional office setting. As more companies work remotely, more people from the younger generation will only know remote work as the new normal. Because of this, many businesses and managers will have to find ways to mentor their young employees.
Without seeing each other in the office, there will need to be ways to ensure that employees are still learning and training because 94% of employees are willing to stay if they’re getting training and learning something new.