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Hiring Market Outlook for 2022

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the labor market over the past few years, it’s to expect the unexpected. There’s no concrete way to predict what will happen in 2022, but we have some insights into what will likely impact the hiring market this year. Here are three trends to watch for regarding the hiring market outlook in 2022.

Labor Supply May Stabilize

In 2021, the demand for workers absolutely skyrocketed and significantly outpaced the number of available candidates. A record 4.53 million workers quit their jobs in November alone. Due to increased mobility in the labor market, job openings continually outnumbered those looking for work. This year, we hope to see the labor supply stabilize. As vaccination rates rise, COVID-19 risk may continue to fade. Additional factors such as increasing childcare options and decreasing financial cushion could also contribute to the stabilization of candidates on the market.

Remote Work Demand Will Continue To Increase

One of the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that will undoubtedly continue into 2022 is that of remote work. While the number of remote workers decreased throughout the year in 2021 from 23.2% in January to 11.3% in November, job postings for remote positions continue to rise. Employers are catching on to the benefits of remote and hybrid work environments, including better work-life balance, increased productivity, and lower overhead costs. Additionally, it expands the talent pool significantly, allowing you to better compete in a highly competitive hiring market.

Candidates Will Be In The Driver’s Seat

The candidates of 2022 are not the same as candidates of years previous. In past interviews, candidates tread lightly and avoided hard-hitting questions regarding salary, diversity, and paid time off. However, those days are long gone! No longer afraid to rock the boat, candidates are now in the driver’s seat and want answers. Don’t be surprised if these heavy questions arise early in the interview process. Job seekers will be juggling multiple hiring processes at once, and they’ll want to eliminate non-matches early on.

So, while there’s no surefire way to know what this year’s hiring market will hold, preparation will be key. Partner with JSG to tackle your staffing and consulting needs, and you’ll be ready for anything!

Why the Holidays Are an Excellent Time to Find a New Job

Searching for a new job can be a long and arduous process. And with all of the chaos that the holiday season can bring, it may seem like a terrible time to kick off your job search. However, this is one of the biggest job search rumors out there. Now is an excellent time to find a new job, and here are a few reasons why.

You may already be using PTO

During the holiday season, you are probably already using some PTO. Whether it’s a week-long break from work or just a long weekend, most of us take a few days off this time of year. Now, it might not seem ideal to use this much-needed time off to schedule interviews. But, with most companies moving to a virtual hiring process, it’s not too much of a burden to take an hour or two to jump on a video interview. By scheduling interviews during the holidays, you can sneak in an interview without having to take additional time away from work or raise suspicion from your current employer.

There is less competition

There are so many job seekers that take a break during the holiday season. Between family time, job search burnout, and the fear of hiring slowing down, many people take a step back from their job search this time of year. So, while others kick their feet up and relax, you should take advantage of the diminished competition. If you keep grinding this time of year, you will improve your odds of finding a new job before the end of the year.

Employers are wrapping up budgets

As hiring managers wrap up budgets and prepare for the new year, they are looking for gaps or areas to grow their teams. If there is a set budget set aside for the salaries of new employees, they are actively looking to find new talent. If they don’t utilize that money, their department often loses it in next year’s budget. Therefore, hiring managers are still actively searching for candidates before the year’s-end.

Companies are still in desperate need of candidates

Today’s labor market is not typical by any means. We’ve had candidate-driven markets in the past, but the pandemic has changed how employers hire for good. This year and in the foreseeable future, candidates are in the driver’s seat, and hiring managers are in desperate need to attract new talent. Many employers have vacancies that need to be filled, and thus, now is a great time to find a new job! Employers are offering competitive salaries and getting creative to entice job seekers. If you slow down on your job search now, you might be missing out on a great opportunity!

If you are still going strong with your job search but need a new avenue for exciting job opportunities, check out our Talent Network! We have hundreds of job openings across North America with some of the best companies out there.

How to Navigate Awkward Holiday Job Conversations

We all have a relative or two that don’t know how to read a room. Whether it’s asking questions about your dating life, politics, or work, many of us are preparing to deal with uncomfortable questions from our relatives. After all, this may be the first time seeing some of your friends or family members since the pandemic! So, if you are dreading seeing that provoking relative over the coming weeks, here’s how to navigate awkward holiday job conversations.

Prepare your answer ahead of time

Thousands of people throughout the country are still struggling to find work after the pandemic ruptured the labor market. Thus, this can be a sensitive subject for some, especially if you are struggling to land a new job. But like a job interview, it can be helpful to prepare answers to tricky questions ahead of time. If you are anxious about awkward holiday job conversations, prepare your responses before your family gatherings. Think about how you want to answer these questions beforehand and rehearse them so you can keep your responses short and sweet. Preparing an answer to these uncomfortable questions can make you feel a little less apprehensive about this time of the year.

Share where you are going vs. where you’re at

Another easy way to navigate awkward holiday job conversations is to focus on where you’re going instead of where you are currently at. Rather than focusing on the negative (unemployment, no offers, bad interviews, terrible hiring process, etc.), share where you are going. Don’t center these conversations about all the negative aspects of your job search and discuss where you want to be. For example, describe to your relative the type of job or company you are looking to join. Talk about your career goals and what you’d like to achieve. Essentially, emphasize the positive, the end-goal rather than the negative parts of your job search.

Don’t stop searching!

In the past, the holidays have been a time when hiring slows down for many employers as people take time off. However, not this year! With 10.4 million job openings and a record-breaking quit rate, hiring won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Thus, this time of year is your chance to take advantage of all the job seekers taking this time off or slowing down their searches. With fewer people actively looking because of this busy time of year, you will have less competition to beat out to land a new job. The best way to avoid awkward holiday job conversations is to keep your head up high and don’t slow down.

If you are still looking for your next career move, check out our job board! We have hundreds of job opportunities across North America, with employers looking for top talent like you.

Here’s What Candidates Expect Post-COVID-19

In 2020, life as we know it was completely turned upside down. Everything we knew about our careers, hiring, and job searching changed on a dime. Now that things are finally stabilizing, we realize how much we’ve been permanently affected. The job market is picking back up and becoming increasingly competitive for highly qualified candidates. And these candidates come with some lofty post-COVID-19 expectations. Here’s how the Coronavirus has shifted candidate perspectives and changed their priorities.

Job Flexibility

Job flexibility is the number one thing candidates will be looking for in a post-COVID-19 workforce. In fact, according to a Workforce Confidence survey from LinkedIn, 50% of respondents say that flexibility of hours or location has become more important to them. This change is notable because as recently as 2017, flexibility wasn’t even on the candidate’s radar. The shift in 2020 showed workers and managers alike that work flexibility could be an asset rather than an obstacle. Because although people are working longer, more productive hours, they are simultaneously reporting higher happiness and productivity levels.

Work-Life Balance  

Tying in with job flexibility is a work-life balance. Generally, a more flexible work schedule and environment have allowed for a better work-life balance, so it makes sense that 45% of people will be prioritizing this in their job search. Over the past year, people have discovered the freedom of balancing their family and home life with work. We have proved that it is possible and that it contributes to a more productive workforce overall. However, this is not new information. A 2009 survey found that people who are happy with their work-life benefits work 21% harder and are 33% more likely to plan to stay at that organization. Therefore, in the post-Covid-19 job market, most employees expect this work-life balance to continue in the form of a hybrid work schedule.

Health Coverage  

It’s no surprise that a global pandemic has made people reconsider their medical benefits. Now, 41% of respondents list health coverage as important to them, whereas a few years ago, it didn’t even break the top five priorities of workers. Moving forward, companies can attract top candidates by offering competitive health coverage that puts employees’ needs first.

Pay  

One priority that stands the test of time is pay. Most recently, 36% of people cited pay as an essential job factor. A fair and competitive wage will always be crucial and should be a primary consideration for hiring managers. Even in a candidate-saturated market, it’s a guaranteed way to build a solid, loyal workforce.

Workforce Culture  

Workforce culture has been on the rise of candidate priorities over the last few years. However, due to recent diversity initiatives and the prioritization of an inclusive workforce, it has changed a lot recently. 36% of survey respondents listed it as necessary, but what does that mean? Where “culture fit” used to be cited in reference to excluding candidates, it has now pivoted to be inclusive. Candidates are looking for companies that prioritize building a diverse team that values all opinions and backgrounds. Additionally, companies that go above and beyond to bolster marginalized communities and professionals will garner the attention they deserve.

These post-Covid-19 perspectives are permanent

There is no arguing that the pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Priorities for companies and candidates are shifting, but for the better. As we work to establish our “new normal,” the workforce will look different as we continue experimenting and learning.

Are you interested in more workforce insights and hiring advice? Get a peek into our client resources here.

The Most In-Demand Jobs This Summer

Last weekend was the official start to summer, and as the weather continues to heat up, so does the labor market. According to LinkedIn, financial advisory roles as we as in-person services are scorching hot as the economy gets closer to its pre-covid state. Here are the most in-demand jobs this summer and how your team can attract these candidates.

People are seeking advice from financial professionals

There is a massive surge in demand for financial professionals in the post-pandemic job market. The pandemic has brought significant financial hardships for many workers. People lost their jobs, were furloughed or had to voluntarily quit their jobs to be home with their families or pursue other opportunities. On the other hand, many workers who stayed employed throughout the pandemic are seeking advice from financial advisors with growing concerns regarding their retirement plans, college expenses, and other investments. In fact, financial advisors are currently the job with the fastest-growing demand (+249%).

In-person positions are on the rise

As our economy opens back up, in-person positions are some of the most in-demand jobs this summer. Retail sales specialists (+170%), store associates (+167%), customer assistants (+152%), and bank tellers (+78%) are all in huge demand. Therefore, in-person business returns, demand for these roles will keep climbing this summer.

Other jobs in high demand this summer

Nurses have been in great demand since the beginning of the pandemic, and there appears to be no end in sight. As non-emergency services return to hospitals and the population continues to age, the demand for nurses will be here for some time. Additionally, engineering and web development professionals are in great need as companies shift their digital presence to accommodate consumers’ online shopping habits better. Also, drivers are a hot commodity this summer as workers return to their offices and truck drivers work hard to transport goods as production levels increase across the board.

How to attract these candidates

If you are an employer looking to attract one of these candidates, you will have stiff competition. Job seekers in these roles (and in many others) are beginning to have options again. As we continue to heal from the aftermath of COVID-19, employers will struggle to attract talent. Hiring managers must act fast to secure the candidates they need, or their competition will snatch up the best applicants. Thus, you must have an efficient hiring process and make competitive job offers to attract the candidates your team needs.

If your hiring team is struggling to do this, you are not alone. If you need assistance navigating this challenging hiring market, reach out to us today. Our recruiting team at JSG is here to help you secure the talent you need to keep operations running smoothly. So, let’s have a conversation and see how a professional recruiting firm can reduce aid your search. Our team can reduce your time to fill rates and help you find the right candidates for your job openings.

How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

The unemployment rate is currently sitting at a pandemic low of 6% and the U.S. economy added nearly 1 million jobs in March. The result is the candidate-saturated market is quickly transforming into a competitive one. So how can your hiring team attract qualified candidates that fit your company dynamic? Here are a few suggestions to source the best candidates in a competitive job market.

Refresh your employee benefits

One of the best ways to attract applicants in a competitive job market is to refresh your employee benefits. Is your company currently offering a traditional vacation and sick time policy? If so, it’s time to review and revise it to fit our current climate better. If you are still offering sick time and vacation time, you should start thinking about offering a paid time off (PTO) pool. Updating to a PTO policy will give your employees more flexibility and control of the time they earned, and it will let them utilize it as they need.

Flexibility is key

Last year, employers were forced to quickly shift their gears to remain operational. Companies that wouldn’t have even batted an eye at supporting remote work suddenly found themselves knee-deep in Zoom meetings. Thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. However, if your team wants to attract applicants in this competitive market, you must remain flexible. What if you find the perfect candidate, but they need the flexibility to work from home twice a week because their kids have virtual learning. Are you going to turn away this top-tier candidate because you want them working from the office 9-5 every day? When possible, offer flexibility that the best candidates have grown to love over the last year, and you will instantly see a boost in your applicant pool (and retention rates!).

Offer employee referrals

To encourage your current employees to get involved in the recruitment process, offer a referral program. Whether that’s a cash bonus, gift card, or some company swag, your employers are more likely to submit an employee referral if they have an incentive. Creating an employee referral program is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to receive qualified candidates that will fit your company’s culture. Typically, your employees won’t stick their necks out for just anyone. Plus, you can establish your referral program, so a bonus is only available for a successful hire. You can even place a time restriction on it. For example, employees only get a bonus if the referral is hired and stays on the team for at least 30 days.

If you think that offering a referral reward for an employee recommendation is expensive, keep in mind the average cost of a vacancy. Having a vacancy open for weeks or even months can be much more costly than a $200 Amazon gift card.

Partner with a recruiting firm

If you are serious about attracting applicants in a competitive job market, working with a professional is a wise decision. Recruiters that specialize in your industry are great resources to have on hand. We have pipelines of talented candidates that are ready to make a career transition. If you are ready to tackle this competitive market head-on, reach out to us today. At JSG, we have offices across North America that are ready to source the best candidates on the market.

3 Ways To Effectively Narrow Down Your Job Applicants

In a candidate-saturated job market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of applicants you receive for a job opening. However, there are a few things you can do to narrow down your job applicants effectively. Doing so will create a better application experience for candidates and a smoother hiring process for your team.

At The Application Stage

One of the most powerful ways to narrow your candidate pool is during the application stage. This helps save you, your recruiters, and your applicants time. There are a few effective strategies to weed out candidates who may not be qualified. First, make sure your job description is specific. Include any and all must-haves, including qualifications, location, and experience. Next, don’t be afraid to ask for additional materials. Whether that’s a cover letter, portfolio, or writing sample, supplemental materials can significantly deter unqualified candidates from applying. We recommend asking for something that will add value to your decision-making process and take the time to factor those documents into your consideration process.

During The Interview Stage

Another great time to narrow down your job applicants is during the interview process. You can do this by asking well-crafted and intentional questions. Skip the usual “what are your weaknesses” and dig deeper to actually imagine candidates in your position. (To get you started, here are some of our favorite questions.) Additionally, aim to give interviewees a realistic view of what it’s like to work at your company and on your team. Yes, this includes the good, the bad, and the ugly! Cover challenges, expectations, and celebrations. This will help to weed any candidates out that won’t be a culture fit or are looking for something different.

When It Comes Time To Offer

Once you’ve made it through the entire hiring process, you may face a tough decision in this candidate-saturated market. To narrow down your choices, picture your top candidate in the position. How would they get along with the rest of your team? What does their long-term growth trajectory look like? Would they go above and beyond to push your team to the next level?

Additionally, don’t forget to factor in diversity initiatives, budgets, and future goals. When it comes time to offer, make a decision quickly and put your best offer on the table. While many people are currently looking, the job market is rapidly changing, and the best candidates are getting swept up swiftly.

These are just a few of the options you have when it comes to effectively narrowing down your job applicants. Doing so as you move through the hiring process will result in a better application experience and a more productive employee in the end. Looking for more hiring advice? Explore our client resources here.

How to Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of hype about the hidden job market. No, this is not an underground job market where employers list their jobs in secrecy. This market is all of the jobs that employers are not publicly promoting on their websites. These are jobs that can be executive-level roles, jobs for internal candidates, openings to replace a current employee or jobs that are private for other reasons. It’s hard to pin down the total number of jobs in this “hidden” market; however, a survey from Jobvites reveals that 35% found job postings on social media, 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, and 37% say they also learn about jobs from professional networks.

In other word’s there are tens of thousands of jobs on this market, and we are going to help you tap into it to find your next career opportunity.

How can you tap into the hidden job market?

There are a few different ways job seekers can access these hidden jobs.

Reach out to your professional network

The first thing you should do to access the hidden job market is leverage your professional network. Head to LinkedIn and let recruiters know that you are open to new job opportunities. You can turn on a setting that signals to recruiters looking for candidates that you are interested in new positions. Once that game-changing setting is active, start reaching out to your network. Have conversations with your current connections, reach out to new people at your dream companies, and engage with others on LinkedIn. Actively post on LinkedIn as well as comment on other’s posts. Join professional groups on LinkedIn and other social media sites to meet professionals in your industry.

Once you start connecting with new people and re-engage with your connections, you will quickly discover some of these “hidden” jobs that you can only find through networking and social media.

Do your due diligence

Besides networking, you can uncover jobs on the hidden job market by doing a little research. Start following companies you are interested in working at on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, and introduce yourself to people at these companies. Employers often share they are hiring on their social media sites and newsletters to help get the word out about new openings. If you are following companies that fit your career goals, you can quickly identify brand new jobs. These aren’t advertised on traditional job boards because they are costly and take time to publish.

Also, once you find a job that sparks your interest, do some research on the hiring manager or others on that team and reach out to them. Send them a personalized LinkedIn request or email and briefly introduce yourself. If you go straight to the horse’s mouth, you can bypass an ATS and get your resume in the hands of those that matter most.

Work with a recruiting firm

Probably the most effective way to tap into the hidden job market is working with a recruiting firm. Recruiters often have exclusive job opportunities – jobs that are not available anywhere else. Employers work with a select group of recruiters that they trust to fill their positions with excellent candidates. Partnering with a recruiter is a sure-fire way to learn about opportunities that are hidden to the public.

At JSG, our recruiters have cultivated strong relationships with our clients. We pride ourselves on our industry expertise and our emphasis on customer service. So, if you are ready to take the plunge, reach out to us today or take a peek at our job board. We want to partner with job seekers like you and help you find the next step in your career.

Areas Prospering in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

It’s been just over a year since the pandemic flipped the job market (and our lives) upside down. Some industries navigated these challenging times better than others, and some are still on the road to recovery. However, as of March 2021, a dozen different industries are hiring above pre-COVID levels, according to LinkedIn. Here are the areas prospering during the post-pandemic job market and locations where job creation is blossoming.

Industries with the largest year-over-year hiring growth

Hiring in the U.S. was up 15.2% last month from March 2020, a strong indication that we are well on the path to recovery. In the March 2021 Jobs Report, the BLS reported that the U.S. economy added an impressive 916,000 jobs last month as the unemployment rate fell to 6%. This growth is excellent news as we are only a million jobs below pre-pandemic hiring levels.

Here are the industries with the most significant year-over-year hiring growth:

  • Healthcare +20.1%
  • Wellness & Fitness +29.5%
  • Transportation & Logistics +28.4%
  • Consumer Goods +19.9%
  • Education +18.4%
  • Software & IT Services +16.4%
  • Recreational & Travel +26.2%

Locations on a hiring spree

Last month, there were only two metro areas at or above pre-COVID hiring levels. The month before that, there were zero metro areas. However, as of this month, seven different metro areas are at or above their pre-pandemic hiring levels, according to LinkedIn’s Workforce Report. These cities include Atlanta (3.3%), Austin (6.0%), Boston (0.5%), Denver (1.5%), Miami (1.7%), Nashville (1.3%), Phoenix (1.4%).

Those are just some of the significant metro areas that LinkedIn regularly tracks for hiring figures. But which states have a strong job market? Several notable states have more confidence in job availability than the number of active job seekers. These states are South Carolina, Idaho, New Hampshire, Alabama, and Iowa. The five states above all have more jobs available than people actively searching for new roles.

States with more competitive job markets

As some states have a surplus of job opportunities instead of active job seekers, other states are much more competitive. The states with the most challenging job markets (based on the same metrics above) are Maryland, Washington, New York, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.

As a result of these more competitive job markets, people are starting to flock to states and metro markets with more opportunities (and fewer restrictions). Austin, Nashville, Tampa-St Petersburg, Charlotte, and Denver have the highest population gain, according to LinkedIn. So, even as we near the light at the end of the tunnel, workers are still migrating to chase better opportunities, more favorable work-life balances, and fewer COVID restrictions.

Need help navigating the post-pandemic job market?

We are so close to overcoming this virus that flipped our world upside down. Whether you are ready to get back to work or looking to make a career transition, we are here to help. JSG has hundreds of opportunities across North America with clients looking to hire great candidates like you. If you need help tackling the post-pandemic job market, reach out today. Or, if you are more passively searching for a new role, take a look at our job board!

How to Vet Candidates in the Post-Pandemic Job Market

The unemployment rate has slowly been ticking downward as employers continue to rebound from the pandemic. Some industries are thriving, while others are preparing to ramp up their hiring efforts for the spring. But with a job market flooded with job seekers and workers looking to enter into pandemic-proof career paths, hiring managers have a ton of resumes to sift through. Ideally, these new additions to your team will stick around for the long haul and make a significant impact on your team. Thus, assessing a candidate’s fit is essential. If you are struggling to pin down the best talent this year, here is how to vet candidates in the post-pandemic job market.

Use a skills test

With an influx of job applications, utilizing skill assessments will help you identify candidates that will excel in the position. Although hard skills aren’t everything, your hiring team needs to know if a candidate can perform the basic functions of the job. These tests are not new, but they are an excellent method of highlighting each of your open positions’ best applicants. Skill assessments will help you weed out the least suitable candidates and streamline your hiring process. These tests are also helpful at discouraging the applicants that are spamming their resume in the post-pandemic job market.

Culture compatibility is crucial

Identifying candidates with the right skill sets is imperative, but culture compatibility is crucial for long-term success. You can teach almost any employee hard skills, new processes, and other details important for a particular role. However, you cannot train a new employee to fit your team dynamic. Behavioral interview questions can help your hiring team identify the candidates with the energy, passion, and work ethic that will make them successful. These questions will penetrate the surface-level assumptions you can make when initially interviewing candidates; they will also help you look beyond a candidate’s skills. These exercises are even more critical if you have a hybrid workforce with employees working both on-site and remotely.

Partner with a recruiting firm

Hiring suitable candidates for your team is no simple feat, and vetting candidates in the post-pandemic job market is even more challenging. Analyzing a candidate’s hard skills and culture compatibility will be essential moving forward. Although, performing these exercises can be time-consuming and difficult. If you need these job openings filled immediately, consider partnering with an external recruiting firm. The best recruiters will thoroughly vet candidates for their aptitude and fit before their resume even reaches your desk. At JSG, we meticulously vet each of our candidates to ensure they will mesh well with your team and make an immediate impact on your organization. Reach out to us today, and let’s work together to navigate the post-pandemic job market.