At this point in the pandemic, it’s hard to say which words are more overused in the workplace: pivot or unprecedented. Yet, that’s the reality for hundreds of thousands of laid-off or furloughed Americans forced to change professions to pay the bills. The same is true for companies struggling to cope with the perfect storm nobody predicted: how to shift business models that aren’t pandemic-proof, with fewer employees and amid constant health and safety concerns.
There is a glimmer of hope, though: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports unemployment in the U.S. fell again in July – down 4.5% from April’s record high – to 10.2%. Kansas and Missouri, at 7.2% and 6.9%, mirror the national trend.
As businesses begin to reopen and hire more workers, we’re closely watching some top hiring trends:
Supply & Demand
Technical professionals are still very much in demand, despite the fact more people are looking for fewer available jobs. The HR Daily Advisor reports an “uptick in demand for technical and business operations roles,” citing the following positions as leading the pack:
- Software developers
- Network & computer systems administrators
- Business operations specialists
- Financial managers
It seems the battle for top tech talent is only growing larger. Now that employees have proven they can be productive working remotely, hiring managers are competing with everyone—not just other local employers. Some Silicon Valley employers, like Facebook, who already have full-time WFH policies are paying people based on where they live, regardless of location, rather than just paying them traditionally high Bay-area salaries. If this trend continues to spread, the competition for talent is only going to get that much more vicious.
Health & Safety
Whether you’re a job seeker or a hiring manager, the threat of COVID is inescapable. As the economy continues to reopen, the workplace is very different than it was pre-pandemic. Here’s what Monster.com discovered about its job seekers:
- The keyword candidates search for the most is “work from home” (WFH).
- 72% of job seekers say they’ll be reluctant to return to the office.
- 5% of job seekers intend to work from home more frequently than they did before the pandemic hit, and a significant number of them – 42% – are looking into permanent WFH positions.
Monster.com also took stock of employers’ responses to these concerns, noting the majority plan to accommodate those employees who elect to continue working from home. Close to 40% said they were committed to both decreasing the number of workers in the office at once and continuing to conduct meetings via videoconferencing tools like Teams or Zoom.
In addition to where we work, we also foresee long-term changes to when we work. Henry Ford’s traditional Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work week is out; flexibility is in. And rest assured it’s already a key decision point for many job seekers. If you expect your software engineer to show up by 8 a.m., take an hour for lunch and pack up to go home at 5 p.m., you’d better get comfortable with training a revolving door of talented technologists who are bound to ghost you within a couple of years.
The rules of staffing and recruiting have changed for good. Candidates are more concerned about their health, safety and job security than ever before, and smart hiring managers are listening and taking great care to showcase how they’re addressing those fears.
Dave Templeman serves as AG’s Director of Staffing Services, bringing nearly 20 years of helping candidates through career transitions and helping companies find the right fit for their team. Surprisingly different, obsessed with innovation and creators of deliberate impact. We are the real deal. AG is a technology services firm where trust, transparency and collaboration matter. By investing in our people and community, we bring our partners the best talent and strategic solutions. We are proud to be a certified Woman-Owned Business (WBE). We love Kansas City, and we have a lot of fun supporting our partners. We are AG.