For human resources professionals, the job market is an ever-changing landscape. From monitoring current and future employees to being the point person for all inter-personnel issues, the list of challenges and trends constantly increases. Since 2020, businesses and their HR departments alike have had to become even more adaptable, and at a faster rate, to retain their employees and keep their companies going. 

Since “The Great Resignation” began toward the end of 2021, there have been more candidates in the job pool, as well as more positions opening up. The challenge now is how to recruit and retain the top talent that all companies, both big and small, desperately need. 

We spoke with Jaymee Nusbaum, a Senior Manager with Michael Page, to discuss exactly what is happening in the current job market and what human resource trends she anticipates seeing as we continue into 2022.

The Talent Shortage

One contributing factor to the talent shortage is that employers are not giving their current employees what they want and need, prompting those top candidates to search for employment elsewhere. There is also a moment of repose, as a lot of candidates have the time to be home and focus on what their true passions are in work and in life. 

It’s because of this change of pace that employers are seeing the shortage of candidates across the job market. The issue isn’t just job seekers being unwilling to accept jobs, but an unwillingness to compromise what they want in a job. The right job is out there to match the needs of both the employer and employee, and candidates know that. Employers and recruiters have to re-prioritize their benefits package and salary expectations to keep their job alive and fillable in the market. 

Counteroffers and Retention

One big hurdle to get over is the amount of counteroffers across the market. Nusbaum mentioned that “candidates have a million offers on the table,” which is one of the many things that make it difficult for employers to acquire a top candidate. It’s very common for candidates to be recruited, then sent new job postings that may offer more than what their current role does, in more than just a monetary sense. 

To combat this growing challenge, it’s critical to keep current and future employees motivated and engaged in their roles. Businesses need to re-think what they offer to employees – otherwise, their precious as gold current employees will soon be top tier candidates for other employers. The work/life balance offered by remote working is a huge benefit for potential new jobs to offer. 

“We have some companies that are back in the office five days a week and it’s incredibly challenging recruiting for those companies because a lot of candidates just don’t want that anymore,” says Nusbaum. Candidates are leaning more and more towards improvements in pay, benefits, and work location flexibility when choosing their next professional adventure. 

Salary Inflation

As the job market continues to climb, so are the salary expectations of qualified professionals. “The salary inflation is more drastic than I’ve ever seen before,” says Nusbaum. “Junior level candidates are seeking astronomical salaries one year out of college because that’s what they are seeing in the market.” 

The demand for qualified talent is forcing the hand of a lot of employers to increase their salary caps so that they can hire the most qualified person for the job. 

 Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI)

“DEI has always been part of the conversation,” Nusbaum tells us. With so many candidates in the job pool, being inclusive is going to allow companies to find exactly what they need and more. Inclusion of all backgrounds from race, language, gender, and so on can build a more engaged and satisfied workforce.

Being a company that prides itself on supporting DEI ventures also unlocks innovation and new ways of thinking. A big advantage of DEI is that a more diverse workforce is likely to deliver more diverse solutions to complex problems. As people from different backgrounds and experiences will bring those advantages to the table, innovation will naturally follow.  

Changing Regulations

From vaccination status to clear salary disclosure, the regulations surrounding the workforce right now are constantly changing and updating. With the monitoring of COVID outbreaks in local areas, HR departments have a new task in navigating local and state mandates. 

Currently, starting in May in New York City, the salary for any advertised position needs to be noted in the job postings. The new law states that it is “an unlawful discriminatory practice to not include in job listings the minimum and maximum salary offered for any position located within New York City.” This can pose a challenge for HR departments trying to work with their companies and candidates. If the employer is not be as competitive as others, they may be disadvantaged when recruiting, because someone may pass up the job before learning about the role’s benefits, or more about what the job entails.

As the job market continues to sway with the times, HR departments and recruiters continue to adapt and evolve. The goal across the board is always to find the right candidate and position. 

Reach out to one of our expert  recruiters with any questions, and they will be able to help. When it comes to expectations around compensation, review our salary guides to really get some insight for your next role. 

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