The post-COVID world is complicated, different, and challenging. And nowhere are these conditions more evident than in the recruiting and hiring world. First, it was record-setting unemployment that brought many industries to a halt. Then, massive labor shortages rocked numerous sectors creating an across-the-board candidate’s market with employers struggling to fill positions and maintain an adequate workforce.
This new dynamic continues to be driven by a population challenged to rethink their attitude toward work as they process a COVID-initiated realignment of their priorities. There’s no denying that perspectives have changed. We look at things through a different lens now, after spending nearly two years battling COVID-19. This resulting shift in priorities can’t help but significantly impact the labor market.
It’s important to note that, long before the coronavirus outbreak made pandemic a household word, a talent shortage had already been making waves. A 2018 survey revealed that 45% of employers struggled to fill roles in their organizations. Fast forward to 2022, where the struggle has intensified. Now, 95% of business leaders say it’s “very or somewhat challenging for their company to find skilled professionals.”
All of this begs the question, what are candidates seeking? What factors will influence a candidate to act on one job offer over multiple other opportunities?
A frustration-free experience
The hard truth: a frustrating candidate experience will be a deal-breaker. Today’s job seekers have many options, so it makes sense that they will back away from those encounters that come with frustrating components, such as—
- Poor or non-existent communication
- Misleading or vague job descriptions
- A lengthy, tedious application process
- Interviews that lack substance
- Anything throughout the recruiting and hiring process that sends a vibe of dishonesty
With multiple opportunities on the table, you can be sure that the “frustration factor” will play a key role in determining which offer(s) get a second look. Frustration-free will have a definite advantage.
A genuine focus on health and safety
COVID seems to have extended our antenna for all things health-related. And those antennas are not likely to go down anytime soon. Understandably, candidates have genuine concerns about a workplace’s measures to mitigate risk to their employees. They want to see a well-developed, consistently executed plan that:
- Clearly states vaccination and testing protocols
- Incorporates remote work and flexible scheduling
- Promotes a safe work environment
- Demonstrates an interest in employees as people.
Wise employers will give their health and safety protocol center stage in their recruitment strategy.
Flexible scheduling that improves life-work balance
Even before the pandemic, flexible scheduling was gaining in popularity. And then, the concept soared to become one of today’s most sought-after perks. While setting one’s work schedule to accommodate family responsibilities and personal preference isn’t feasible for every position, offering as much flexibility as possible will be to an employer’s advantage. Employment opportunities that allow adjustments to the time and place that work happens will lure job candidates looking for a less rigid schedule. When employers shift their mindset from the traditional where and when of the workplace and focus on timely completion of tasks, their hiring efforts will boost.
The A.R. Mazzotta team understands the intricacies of these challenging times, and they want to be your staffing partner. Whether you need assistance with direct hire or temporary workers, our expert staffing solutions will get the job done.