At last posting, the Bureau of Labor Statistics posted a whopping 10.3 million jobs available, but companies report that they are having trouble finding quality candidates. The “quits” number offers a little insight–four million people left their jobs in October. Simply put, candidates are getting specific about the kinds of jobs they are looking for, and picky about the ones they’ll accept.
What are potential hires looking for?
COVID changed the kinds of jobs people are seeking. As opposed to the Great Recession, workers now are chasing a whole lot more than a paycheck, and we expect this to continue even if the country continues through an economic downturn into a recession. They want to work for a company with empathy and flexibility that is invested in their employees’ health and well-being. With the rise of remote work, mental health support, and investments in helpful tech that happened during the pandemic, many companies are offering more of what workers are looking for. However, if companies want to appeal to the majority of job seekers who put benefits and flexibility right next to salary in terms of importance, they need to take care to continue to offer those benefits post-pandemic.
The pandemic highlighted how demoralizing and scary uncertainty and instability can be, and workers want support in case of and through trying times. It also highlighted how work schedules are often too rigid and having the option to work remotely sometimes can be an enormous help–and something that many job seekers are looking for (we explored that more in this article.)
What should job posters and recruiters do?
One key moving forward for employers and recruiters alike is to highlight what makes that company great. Beyond the specifications for the job and the traditional benefits like insurance and a 401(k), what else can potential job seekers expect when they come to work for that company?
Can they expect support if they have a sick child or an ailing parent or spouse? Can they be sure that if they have to leave early occasionally to make it to a child’s soccer game or a friend’s retirement party that they won’t be penalized? What about if they need mental health support or a completely quiet place to work?
More and more we are going to see job seekers making distinctions between companies that offer the minimum and companies going further for their employees–and the companies will see greater returns, loyalty, and satisfaction if they are in the latter group.
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