The Shape of Hiring in the Years to Come

 The Great Resignation: when workers used their power to demand changes; the shift to working from home during COVID-19; now a series of layoffs — most notably in the tech sector — which may be returning some power to employers. These have completely transformed the labor market over the past three years.

Understanding all that is going on and exactly what is happening can be a little challenging. However, a recent study by Indeed and Glassdoor sheds some light on what matters to workers and how businesses are adapting to these new demands.

The five major labor market trends that these organizations predict “will survive beyond the near-term changes in the business cycle, and likely withstand even a prospective global recession” were the focus of the Hiring & Workplace Trends Report.

Aging Population Equals Shrinking Workforce

The first trend the report identifies is a declining labor pool, primarily as a result of demographic shifts brought on by the aging populations of several western nations. For instance, by 2060, approximately one in four Americans in the United States will be 65 or older. Additionally, the number of Americans who are 85 or older will triple, and a half million more people would be at least 100 years old. In the UK, there are already around 11 million seniors, and in ten years, that number is projected to rise to 13 million seniors or 22% of the population.

Several nations are also experiencing dropping birth rates at the same time. The total fertility rate in Germany was 1.5–1.6 children per woman between 2015 and 2021; at the start of 2022, it had decreased to 1.3–1.4, a 10% drop. In 2020, Canada’s birth rate decreased to a record-low 1.40 children per woman.

All of this will result in a reduced workforce in the years ahead, which can be good for employees since they will be able to demand more from their potential employer since there won’t be as many candidates to pick from.

“Despite looming talks of recessions, Indeed and Glassdoor economists believe that hiring will remain challenging for years to come, driven by demographics and evolving preferences. Workers will continue to have the leverage to press for higher pay, stronger benefits, scheduling flexibility, and a variety of other perquisites,” it says in the report.

The Rise of Remote Work

One of the most noticeable changes brought about by COVID-19 was the increase in home-based employment. Prior to the pandemic, just 6% of employed persons and around 75% of workers never worked from home. More than one-third of employees were doing this by May 2020.

While conditions have now returned to normal and some well-known businesses are striving to resume business as usual by expecting their employees to return to work once again, the truth is that things will probably never be exactly the same again.

According to the survey, employers are posting more remote positions in addition to the fact that more individuals are looking for them. The largest growth in remote job ads occurred in Canada, rising by 275% between September 2019 and September 2022, while the majority of job seekers for these positions are located in the United States. Although “better money” is still by far the top motivator for both men and women, desiring a remote job is now the main reason that women want a new career. However, as the study points out, remote work may have a double-edged effect, benefiting some employees while potentially alienating others.

“Remote work could intensify economic inequality and gender roles (women seek remote jobs at higher rates than men). At the same time, remote work eliminates the commute, which has allowed workers with disabilities to find and maintain employment. In addition, remote work has the potential to create much more diversity in the workforce,” it says.

“Remote work at this scale is new territory for employers, and it is imperative they continue to monitor and adjust their policies to ensure the inclusivity, equity, and diversity of their workforce.”

Increased Focus on Benefits

Increased benefits, which companies are increasingly advertising, could persuade workers to come to a new place of employment or keep their current one in addition to the greater compensation that employees always want.

Since the start of 2019, just before the epidemic began, the proportion of job posts that include retirement plans paid time off, and, particularly, health insurance has increased. The majority of the people targeted by these job listings are lower-paid employees who, as the report states, “demand attendance at a worksite,” making it impossible for them to work remotely. It appears that employers are making up for this by providing them with more benefits.

Sectors like personal care and home health saw paid time off the increase from 21.3% to 38.8% between August 2019 and August 2022. Altogether, from 2019 to 2022, 34% more low-wage industries offered paid time off as a benefit, up from 17%. The provision of mental health services is one area where companies are upping their efforts; since 2017, the percentage of organizations giving these benefits has increased by 18 percentage points, and they are currently included in 63% of benefits reviews on Glassdoor.

Happiness and Wellbeing Matter.

The second most common reason for workers seeking new jobs was feeling disrespected at work, even though the Great Resignation was, once again, largely motivated by money. In other words, people want to be happy and less stressed at work, and business culture counts.

According to a recent Indeed report, 46% of respondents said their expectations for workplace happiness had grown in the previous year, and 86% said their feelings at work have an impact on those at home. Unsurprisingly, according to research from Glassdoor, people who are happier at their existing employees are less inclined to look for a new one. In the US, individuals who give their employers two stars out of five are twice as likely to apply for a new job on Glassdoor as those who give them five stars.

In fact, a modest improvement in employee satisfaction might deter employees from leaving: in the UK, a one-star gain in a company’s rating was associated with a 19% decrease in employees seeking new jobs, while the corresponding figure in France was 25%.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As older workers exit the workforce, there is a growing demand among the younger generation of workers for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

If they suspected that their manager (or potential manager) did not support DEI, 72% of employees ages 18 to 34 said they would think about refusing a job offer or leaving the company. Similarly, 67% said they would consider leaving if there was a gender imbalance in leadership, and 65% said they would think about leaving if there was a lack of ethnic diversity in leadership.

In each situation, as workers’ ages increased, fewer employees indicated they would resign or reject a job offer.

It’s interesting to discover that after significant improvements in benefit assessments on Glassdoor highlighting their diversity program in 2020 and 2021, these percentages declined in 2022 in the US and UK while continuing to rise in Canada. According to the study, this slowdown in DEI activities could negatively affect organizations’ capacity to attract and retain talent.

“The workforce of tomorrow will care deeply about DEI initiatives, and employers will use these programs to continue to differentiate themselves in a continuously competitive labor market. Plus, it’s not only good for workers — it’s good for business and for society,” it said.


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