21 Apr A War For Talent Is Starting – Spoiler Alert: Workers Will Win
It’s incredulous to see the economy and job market heating up, when only a few months ago, we were mired in misery. In a dramatic comeback, Americans are finding new jobs.
Over 7 million jobs have recently been posted online. In March, nearly one million people found new jobs. According to the largest human resources membership organization, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), “the tide is about to turn.” SHRM cites a study that shows that “more than half of employees surveyed in North America plan to look for a new job in 2021.” We are seeing the beginning of the shift in power away from companies toward the workers.
The federal government has flooded the economy with massive multitrillion-dollar stimulus programs, stabilizing and improving the economy. Millions of Americans are receiving vaccinations, making them feel more confident. Restrictions have been loosened—or even lifted—in many states, allowing business to resume operations and hire people.
As the majority of people worked from home and sheltered in place, they didn’t spend money like they used to. The result is that a significant number of white-collar workers, who collected a nice paycheck, saved their money. Many people invested in the stock market, cryptocurrencies and bought real estate. These assets appreciated in value creating a wealth effect.
These factors created more confidence in the future. It’s also caused a big pent-up demand to go out and enjoy life once the restrictions are lifted. Bloomberg reported, “The U.S. economy is set for a hiring boom in the months ahead, as the coronavirus pandemic recedes. There are signs it’s already underway.” Bloomberg points out that the hardest-hit sectors, which accounted for a huge part of the downsizing, will particularly benefit from the Great Reopening. Gyms, hotels, airlines, nail salons, mom-and-pop shops, shopping malls and other businesses will see an influx of customers. This will prompt companies to bring back furloughed workers and hire additional staff to meet the new demand.
It’s hard for corporate executives to wrap their heads around this abrupt change in fortune. They’ve been used to putting on hiring freezes, downsizing staff and taking advantage of the employees’ fear of losing their jobs by pushing them to work longer hours and weekends while at home. Well, the game has changed.
Here’s Why We’ll Soon See A Boom In Hiring
In light of the sudden need for talent, workers and job seekers will have the upper hand. You will be able to find more jobs compared to six months or a year ago. Instead of ghosting candidates, they’ll have to cater to them. Hiring managers will need to roll out the red carpet and concede to the demands of those on the job hunt. If companies don’t appease the job applicants, they’ll go elsewhere, as there will be more opportunities.
It’s not a coincidence that large leading tech companies, such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, have been building, buying or rehabbing office spaces to make them attractive and appealing to workers. The amenities are meant to entice people to get out of their homes and into the office, as it’s as nice or even better than being stuck in a small cramped apartment with glitchy internet connectivity.
Smart, forward-thinking executives will notice the tide change and immediately take action. They’ll put in place plans to attract and retain talent. The companies that prioritize their employees and do everything in their power to make them happy and motivated will be the winners in this new upcoming era.
The large financial services company, Prudential, conducted a study that found “one in three American workers would not want to work for an employer that required them to be onsite full time.” The survey also indicated, “A quarter of workers plan on looking for a new job when the threat of the pandemic decreases, signaling a looming ‘war for talent.’” Prudential vice chair Rob Falzon admitted, “If there’s one thing that keeps me up at night, it’s the talent flight risk.”
ZipRecruiter labor economist Julia Pollack pointed out that employers “are aggressively competing for talent by increasing their compensation.” She added, “Nearly 9% of employers on ZipRecruiter are explicitly advertising flexible work schedules.” Also, many candidates won’t accept a job if it’s not a remote position.
Job seekers and workers will now have the power to make demands. They could require that in order to return to an office setting, there must be high standards of health and safety put into place.
If you are searching for a job, it’s fair to ask for a flexible work schedule and a choice of remote, in-office or a hybrid combination of options. Ask for mental health days off, if needed, and empathy when dealing with childcare or health-related matters.
We’ve already seen big investment banks offer Peloton Bikes, mental health days off from work, additional vacation days, raises and bonuses to keep their young bankers motivated and happy. Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser informed her 210,000 employees that she is banning internal video calls on Fridays, as part of a program to help her staff have a healthier work-life balance. Fraser also called for a new companywide holiday, called “Citi Reset Day”—a day for decompressing, as the year-long pandemic has taken a toll on the psyche of workers.
If you’ve put your job search on hold, now is the time to reengage. For those who’ve had a hard time, take heart—there will be more opportunities opening up.
Source: Jack Kelly via Forbes.com