With the new year approaching quickly, employers are typically preparing for what lies ahead. When it comes to recruitment and hiring, understanding the employment trends in Connecticut is a critical part of that equation.
Knowing how the job and labor markets are moving makes it easier for companies to position themselves as employers of choice. Additionally, it creates opportunities to prepare for potential challenges that changing economic conditions may produce. Being trend-aware also ensures organizations can adapt to shifting industry dynamics and emerging skill requirements.
While specific emerging patterns are more impactful to certain employers or industries, others will shape the upcoming year practically across the board. If you want to know what to expect, here’s a look at the 2024 employment trends in Connecticut to watch.
2024 Employment Trends in Connecticut
New Minimum Wage
On January 1, 2024, Connecticut’s minimum wage will rise to $15.69 per hour. This is the first economic indicator adjustment to the minimum wage, which is based on employment cost index data.
For employers, this may prove a bit challenging, as the minimum wage went up by $1.00 per hour in June 2023. However, any subsequent minimum wage increases will occur annually, so companies won’t need to update wages after January 1, 2024, increase until January 1, 2025.
While the impact of a new minimum wage is primarily on companies with a significant number of minimum-wage workers, the pay rate change will have a broader effect. Minimum wage increases often alter salary expectations held by other professionals, particularly those who earned close to the minimum wage prior to or immediately following the change. As a result, employers may need to re-evaluate their salary schedules to see if more pay rate adjustments are necessary to meet expectations. Otherwise, recruitment, retention, and engagement may all become challenging.
From the Great Resignation to the Big Stay
During the Great Resignation, professionals left positions to seek out greener pastures without much concern about their ability to find work. There was a significant amount of shifting, and the economic conditions at the time made such movements highly plausible.
Today, the situation is different. While some in-demand professionals can still leverage their skills in a similar manner, many employees are becoming increasingly cautious. Opportunities aren’t as plentiful as they were in the past few years. Additionally, because of the Great Resignation, many companies strived to offer a better employee experience, giving workers an incentive to remain in place.
When taken together, the new landscape is leading to what’s being dubbed the Big Stay (or Great Stay). Essentially, experts are expecting a period of far less movement in the labor force. For employers, that may signal significantly less turnover, particularly for companies that remain diligent about meeting or exceeding employee expectations.
Flexibility in the Workplace
Today, many companies are striving to return to a more traditional approach to work, particularly when it comes to employees being on-site. While the job market doesn’t favor candidates as strongly as it has in the past few years, labor shortages are still pervasive in some sectors. In industries where securing talent is difficult, offering flexibility could be the key to recruitment success.
Generally, candidates continue to favor employers that support flexible work arrangements like adjustable schedules or telecommuting. Additionally, employees who are part of a workplace that offers flexibility are more inclined to stay, even if they could get a higher-paying job that requires working on-site. Overall, that means flexibility can prove to be a critical benefit to offer in 2024.
During 2024, artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to impact the worlds of hiring and employment to an even higher degree. Companies are increasingly using AI tools to manage recruitment, and candidates are using the technology to navigate job searches, create resumes, and prepare for interviews more effectively.
In some ways, these uses of AI are a boon, as the technology makes otherwise cumbersome processes more efficient. However, while AI can help personalize experiences, it may also make hiring and recruitment less people-centric, functionally removing the human touch from much of the process. Additionally, candidates’ use of AI when completing applications or preparing for interviews may make it more difficult for employers to gauge what a candidate brings to the table, as part of their presentation may be based on AI-generated content.
Another way AI is shaping employment in Connecticut relates to the skills employers want to find. Candidates with AI-related experience – including capabilities connected to creating solutions or using various AI-based tools – are increasingly in demand. For employers seeking candidates with AI skills, the landscape is becoming far more competitive, and that could make achieving specific goals difficult.
Focus on Early Career Hiring
Currently, there’s still a degree of economic uncertainty, which is causing Connecticut employers to be more cautious when it comes to hiring. One strategy many are using is to concentrate on early career-level positions. Often, entry-level roles are less expensive to fill, so some companies are focusing there as a means of managing costs.
Additionally, companies are becoming more flexible regarding what’s necessary to qualify for entry-level positions, as the approach helps them broaden their candidate pool. For example, skills-based over experience or credentials-based hiring is increasingly common. Similarly, non-traditional educational paths are viewed as far more acceptable.
Hiring for potential is another trend in this arena. By finding entry-level professionals with a willingness to learn and the ability to grow, companies can mold their ideal workforce through training after hire. Often, this path is seen as a go-to strategy for addressing skill gaps, as well as meeting employee expectations regarding professional development.
Do You Need to Hire Top Talent in 2024?
If you need to find skilled professionals to fill your vacant positions in 2024, A.R. Mazzotta wants to hear from you. A.R. Mazzotta offers comprehensive and flexible hiring solutions to support the needs of companies operating in practically any industry, all while simultaneously streamlining recruitment processes and reducing hiring costs. Request an employee from A.R. Mazzotta today.