Job seekers and employers have been caught off guard by the dramatic changes and shocks that have occurred in the job market since the global flu pandemic in 2020. Two years later, the job market changes brought about by the pandemic are still lingering. These changes are not only a challenge, but also an opportunity.
With severe inflation, rising interest rates, and persistent supply chain terminations and COVID-19 rebound, many worry that a recession is unavoidable. Contrary to current fears, however, the job market has shown great resilience.
U.S. job growth exceeded expectations in July. 22 million jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered. Workers are still changing jobs, with 4.2 million quitting their jobs in June, many of them with big pay rises and better career opportunities. Meanwhile, news of layoffs in the tech industry shook the confidence of the workers involved.
Many employers, eager to recruit the suitable workers after a wave of layoffs and resignations in the previous year, have made huge concessions. They lure workers with higher pay, attractive perks and more flexible office conditions. Information posted by employers on major online job boards shows new trends in the job market. Both job seekers and companies should be aware of these trends and adapt to meet the challenges and opportunities.
Job seeker’s pessimistic view of the economy
Job seekers are anxious to find work because they are not optimistic about the recession. Most job seekers think the United States economy will fall into recession next year, and half of the job seekers expect the job market to deteriorate in the next six months. As a result, many job seekers want to find jobs before the recession, pursuing higher wages to combat inflation.
Job seekers increasingly prefer remote work
Inflation has pushed up gas prices, putting more financial strain on many workers. Most commuters are taking steps to cope with rising gas prices, such as finding jobs that pay more or have a shorter commute or allowing them to work at home.
The global pandemic caused people to be locked down at home, which meant many people had to work at home. After that period of remote work, many people found themselves falling in love with it. They adapt to telecommuting and gain more flexible breaks time, boosting productivity and creativity. The development of teleconferencing and office software has laid the foundation for working from home. As a result, many job seekers have made working from home a goal of their job search.
People’s preferences for home and remote work will not disappear, especially with the emergence of coronavirus variants and prolonged lockdowns around the world. And the rapid growth of online part-time and freelancer platforms during the pandemic has made it easier for workers to own side businesses, helping them earn more flexibly. According to research from an online coupon site, CouponBirds, 40% of Americans have side jobs, up from 6% a year ago. And in the two years since the pandemic, searches for side hustle have gone up by more than 30%.
Employees want better benefits and a reputable company
People are increasingly concerned about their health and seeking better benefits after the worst pandemic period, such as improved mental health support, better parental leave, and more flexible working schedule. In addition, states with better welfare conditions will become the destination for talent, so choose such states to do business.
Word of mouth is also a consideration for job seekers. 92% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent corporate reputation. If a company has a dispute with its employees or is harsh with its employees and does not meet their demands on benefits and working hours, then job seekers will not submit their resumes to the company. Therefore, employers should first establish a humanized personnel system and strengthen their concern for employees.
Brand and vision building
The number one reason why employees quit is a lack of appreciation at their current job. 79% of employees who quit said it was the main reason for leaving. Therefore, in order to attract and retain employees, the company should not only provide a higher salary, better welfare and humanized personnel system, but also build its brand and vision.
Job seekers today are looking for companies that align with their ethics and values, so it’s important for companies to emphasize their mission and culture in the job description in 2022. To build a brand, the company needs work on public relations. For example, companies seek reports from journalists and provide assistance to nonprofit organizations, or enrich their websites with brand stories.
More flexible working patterns
Remote work is becoming the norm. Job seekers with multiple skills pursue personalized work patterns.
With the development of online platforms, more and more people are choosing freelancing. They run their own business and complete contract work or project work all over the Internet. More and more people are finding self-employment to be more beneficial to their career development. They are able to have flexible working schedules, and all the income comes directly to them without going through others. They take responsibility for themselves and improve their skills and values to attract more cooperation. What’s more, the gig economy is becoming more and more popular, and this trend will be a permanent shift.
In 2022, these unconventional jobs will continue to grow. In this case, companies will have to adapt to this change by offering diverse works to the job market.
You might think this is a market dominated by job seekers. In fact, employers and job seekers are equal. The needs and capabilities of both parties are constantly changing, and both parties can only achieve their goals if they satisfy each other. This trend will bring many changes, only adapting to it can do better business.