What Women at Work Need Post-Pandemic: 7 Tips For Employers

The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report revealed that while men have recouped all their labor force losses since the start of the pandemic, there are still over 1 million fewer women at work as of January 2022 as there were in February 2020, according to data analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC).

“The issues behind the ‘shecession’ are multifaceted and they have deep, deep roots in our culture,” says Liz Elting, founder of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping marginalized communities including women advance. “The workplace has never been geared toward the thriving of women. And the pandemic just made that worse, exposing the systemic bias wherein women with working husbands were assumed to be expandable, and women with children were assumed to not be career-focused.”

Considering that employers are facing a steep talent shortage, it seems like a win-win solution would be to attract some of those talented women back into the workforce. But either employers haven’t quite figured out how to do so, or women candidates are being much more selective and thoughtful about where and how they want to work in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Bringing women back is a mandate for most companies right now

“Women, and especially women of color, are realizing we’re more in demand than ever before,” says Deepa Purushothaman, author of THE FIRST, THE FEW, THE ONLY: How Women of Color Can Redefine Power in Corporate America.  “I have women who tell me that they get up to three or four calls a week for new opportunities at senior levels. And so I just think we’re being more choiceful in where we go and where we stay.”

Of course, not all women are being courted after dropping out or scaling back, says Elting – many companies are simply still not hiring enough women. “Women aren’t failing to apply for these jobs. The problem is that most of the areas where women are getting hired are in sectors like hospitality, retail, and food service, not long-term career or professional roles,” she says.

If you have roles to fill, and you want to fill them with talented women, here are some hiring and workplace strategies to embrace:

1. Strive to have more women in leadership roles

“The best way to support women at work is to have women in significant leadership positions who can ensure women’s voices are heard and women’s interests are considered,” says Elting.

If for no other reason, consider this: a 2021 Monster poll found that 58% of women would turn down a job at a company with no female leaders.

Yet, for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted, according to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2021 report. The pandemic, with women bearing the brunt of childcare and other caregiving, has only made it more likely for this gap to widen.

But even companies that are trying to do better and promote more women, says Purushothaman, don’t always set those women up for success. “It has to be more than just placing a woman, or a woman of color in particular, in a difficult or a toxic situation and telling her to thrive and survive. We are finding that doesn’t work; it has to be done differently.”

The bottom line: Employers who are serious about making improvements must not only commit to hiring women for leadership roles, but also nurture their careers, says Elting.

2. Reshape company culture, one hire at a time

“The entire corporate structure is based on this idea of conform, perform, produce,” says Purushothaman. And that’s what makes it so challenging for women who enter the workforce from a fundamentally different set of experiences and perspectives.

One of the key problems is bias against women at work, especially the motherhood penalty, says Elting. “It’s always been there, but the pandemic exacerbated its impact. Making it so these higher-level positions work well for women as they go through motherhood is the only way we’re going to retain women, get them to the highest level and then attack this problem and solve problem long term.”

Changing the culture starts with actively listening to the women on your team about their pain points, and inviting women leaders to the table to help engineer the solutions.

Finding out what women need at work can happen through:

  • One-on-one meetings
  • Employee surveys
  • Idea-sharing forums
  • Women-focused employee resource groups

“There is no easy fix and or easy answer or everyone would be doing it,” says Purushothaman, who is also the co-founder of nFormation, an organization that provides brave, safe, new space for professional women of color. But she’s optimistic that there is more effort and more energy around setting up Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and offering safe spaces where people can come together and speak their truth freely. “It’s part of why we created nFormation, to create almost that ERG experience with women across industries, outside of a company structure,” she says.

3. Create safe and inclusive workplaces for women at work

Between “Me, Too,” the social justice movements, and the pandemic, huge conversations have opened up for women and women of color around trauma at work, and what happens when there are microaggressions and racism and corporate cultures that don’t always make those groups feel like they belong.

But there’s more work to be done. “A lot of women still end up opting out when they tell their truth,” says Purushothaman. “The whole culture and processes have to be redesigned if we’re truly going to support women of color.”

She’s specifically referring to how companies handle women who report sexual harassment or racism. “Companies that are doing it well are really trying to be thoughtful about bringing in outside investigators and outside people to look at cases of inappropriate behavior. Or looking at their data in a really different way to be proactive, versus having an incident come up and then having to be reactive,” she says.

Employers need to be thinking of these things if they want to create a work environment where women truly feel welcomed, respected, and protected.

4. Acknowledge the challenges of hybrid work for women

Although hybrid and remote work has been a blessing for many women who have been clamoring for at-home workdays for years, there are some nuances for companies to work out if they want to make it a viable option going forward. “I think the challenge we’re going to see is there are going to be preferences for people who are in the office. There will be biases for women who may not be returning to the office in the same way as their male counterparts,” says Purushothaman.

What’s more, is that digital platforms can make it even harder for women to feel heard. “On Zoom, a lot of women of color have shared with me that they’re talked over more, and their ideas are passed over more. Those things that we thought would be better if we were not in person are just as bad, if not worse, online,” says Purushothaman.

The other aspect of hybrid or remote work is figuring out how to make employees feel like they belong, and that they are not passed over for opportunities. “It’s the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ that is very typical. Being seen is such an important part of corporate life,” says Purushothaman. The big question that employers must address is what does it mean to be seen in a hybrid workplace? And are we putting tools and resources in place to ensure that hybrid workers, who will likely skew female, are kept in the loop and treated the same as in-person staffers?

5. Reconcile flexibility with performance metrics

The pandemic showed a lot of employers that our lives aren’t as compartmentalized as we want to believe – especially for women. “What it did was blow open the idea that we have private lives and lives outside of work, and that it all bleeds together and it’s messy and uncomfortable,” says Purushothaman.

From a work perspective, as long as the work is getting done, companies should be thinking about creating new ways of evaluating people. That said, it’s important to also ensure that flexible work hours isn’t code language for working more. Many women experienced burnout during the pandemic, squeezing in work before breakfast, between helping their kids with remote learning, and late at night.

“That’s what a lot of the corporate women I work with suggested the pattern was. But they’re exhausted, and that day is extended to 14 or 16 hours long,” says Purushothaman.

Employers have to not only emphasize their flexible work structures, but also set realistic expectations and have a system of regular check-ins to make sure employees have the support they need.

6. Focus on holistic health and wellness

One positive to come out of the pandemic was an awareness that personal wellness – both mental and physical – is tied to success at work. “Health has to be part of the equation, and there’s an expanded definition of what it means to be healthy and what it means to be successful,” says Purushothaman.

In fact, in addition to salary and culture, she feels that wellness offerings could end up being a key differentiator for women candidates choosing a job, whether it’s stress-reducing tools and resources, mental health and other types of counseling, caretaking support, and/or professional coaching.

“Part of what has to change is this idea that you can lose yourself and be good at your job and be healthy. I think those things are all connected,” says Purushothaman. And the very nature of being a woman in the workplace does have a direct impact on physical and mental well-being. “The stress of not being seen and heard, the stress of conforming, the pressure of having all eyes on you as a woman or woman of color – these are real things that we have to talk about.”

7. Make an unwavering commitment to equal pay

At the end of the day, one of the most important things women want is to be treated with respect, and equal pay is at the heart of that. In 2021, women were still earning just 82 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earned. One reason could be that women and men do not start off their careers on an even playing field: The average post-college salaries for the Class of 2020 was $64,022 for men, and $52,266 for women, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

“Companies should look at their entire employee population, and make sure that women are being paid the same for the same job,” says Elting. But also, when they do hire women, the pay offer should not be based on what the person was making in their previous job. “Often the woman wasn’t paid as much somewhere else as the man was for the same job. And then the new employer that is hiring bases the woman’s pay on what she was making rather than what others at that level at the company are making.” And thus the cycle continues.

After committing to an assessment of current employee pay, providing as much salary transparency as possible can help women feel confident that they are being paid fairly.

Become an employer who knows what women at work need to thrive

As employers navigate post-pandemic hiring in a tight labor market, it’s crucial to recognize that what women need is largely the same as what they needed all along:

  • Flexibility
  • A viable career path
  • Equal pay
  • Respect in the workplace

Arm yourself with strategies and tools to support women at work. By showcasing the ways in which you are committed to supporting women – and promoting more women to leadership roles – you can achieve a more balanced and inclusive culture.

Launching Your Diversity Initiative: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

There’s no doubt that many companies see diversity initiatives as a top concern for 2022. Nearly 4 in 10 employers cite the need to build a diverse workforce as their top DEI priority in 2022, according to Monster’s most recent Future of Work survey.

It’s on candidates’ minds as well: Nearly half (47%) of Gen Z recruiters say that more than ever before, job seekers expect to learn about a company’s DEI efforts. And a third (32%) of Gen Z candidates placed an employer’s DEI initiatives, gender pay equity and proactive responses to social issues at the top of the list of things that are increasingly important to them.

But planning a diversity initiative and implementing one are two different processes, and some companies are struggling to put their plans into action. Read on to see our list of 5 mistakes to avoid when you’re hoping to create diversity initiatives that stick.

1. Your DEI Promise Doesn’t Match Your Culture (Yet)

Some candidates are surprised to find, after rounds of interviews with a company hyping diversity, that the company’s culture doesn’t live up to the promise. This can make a new employee feel like they were sold a false bill of goods.

In some cases, this is because a company has adjusted its materials and its marketing but not its inner workings. In other cases, it may be that promised diversity initiatives are coming — but change isn’t instant. And it may be a matter of communicating honestly about where you are in the process.

“Some companies are very much at the start of it, and they really want to attract people, but the people they attract now are the first people building the diversity culture,” says Evan Pellett, a recruiter and author of Cracking the Code to a Successful Interview. “The people that are hired in those companies really are the trailblazers in many ways.”

2. There Are No Role Models in Your Top Ranks

It’s a chicken-and-egg problem: Like attracts like, but companies often don’t have diversity at their top levels to act as role models and mentors. And it can be a challenge to track down candidates who are different from the company standard.

“What recruiters and staffing people need to do is be more innovative in terms of where and how they locate this untapped talent,” says Todd Cherches, CEO and co-founder of executive coaching firm BigBlueGumball. In other words, hiring diversity is about spending less time focusing on finding someone who “fits” the culture and the job description, and being more open to identifying potential.

“Very often, what diversity candidates need is simply an opportunity to learn and to grow and to show what they can do, and a shot at the proverbial ‘seat at the table,’” Cherches says. “When given a chance, along with training, mentoring and coaching, there is no telling what a smart and committed person can accomplish and achieve.”

3. You’re Relying on Stale Recruiting Methods

“Using the same old recruiting methods — like simply posting job ads — may no longer be the most effective way of getting the word out about job openings,” Cherches says.

Recruiting for diversity means using a variety of different ways to reach people — including making better use of technology and social media. It also means making efforts to reach out to diverse communities rather than waiting for diverse candidates to respond to your job postings.

“A lot of senior HR leaders are insistent upon making sure that in every interview process, there’s diversity talent in it,” Pellett says. “Companies obviously will hire the best person they can for the role, but they’re making sure that they’re talking to everybody, so no one is missing out.”

4. You Aren’t Using Training to Close the Skills Gap

Getting talent can be difficult, and looking for someone who’s perfect for the role may box you into a corner. Giving opportunities to people may mean offering the chance to train up to a role.

“Companies that are living diversity as opposed to just talking about it are developing training programs that will close the gap,” Pellett says. “They’re so insistent on diversity hiring that if they see someone with 3/4 of what they need, they can close that last quarter of a gap. You’re seeing that more in digital and very deep tech companies.”

5. Your Company Hasn’t Fully Embraced DEI

Hiring diverse employees is just one step in a series of diversity-minded changes a company might make. A true diversity initiative includes more than recruiting and hiring.

“It’s not just about inviting people to the party, but making them feel welcomed and appreciated and valued when they get there,” Cherches says. “It’s about creating a psychologically safe climate and culture, not of ‘tolerance,’ but of acceptance and in an environment of empathy, compassion and understanding where people can bring their true, authentic selves to the workplace.”

Ready to Implement Your Diversity Initiative?

As with most things, the transition from planning to implementation is always easier said than done. When it comes to your diversity plan, you want to make sure that you get it right, which is where we can help. With Monster’s latest diversity hiring guide, you’ll get free access to the latest data and strategies to help you ensure greater workforce diversity.

The Future of Work: Recruitment Tips for 2022

Though we all wished we’d be in a post-pandemic frame of mind in 2022, we’re not quite there yet. However, despite economic stops and starts, there are hints of optimism — that is if employers and job seekers can get on the same page.

Those were some of the key themes to come out of Monster’s just released Future of Work 2022 Report. The results of the report’s two global surveys of both recruiters and workers also revealed that employers are facing an extremely competitive talent environment. But despite the ongoing pandemic challenges, they are poised to forge forward with larger staffs and new ways of working.

“The marketplace is infinitely more competitive, and employers are willing to spend more money to attract talent,” says Monster CEO Scott Gutz. “Plus, we’ve got this situation where there are not as many candidates and they’re moving around so quickly, so we’re not only concerned about the ability to acquire, were also concerned about the ability to retain.”

Here are some of the top takeaways from the report that reveal what the coming year may have in store, along with recruitment tips that will keep hiring managers, staffing agencies, and recruiters ahead of the curve.

Hiring Needs Are Up, But Talent is Harder To Come By

The 2022 hiring outlook is much improved from last year. In fact, 93% of employers plan to hire this year — including 50% who will be looking to replace or backfill staff, and 43% who plan to hire for new positions.

The problem is that thanks to fewer active job seekers, the “great resignation,” and a persistent skills gap, good talent is getting harder to find – and costing more to attract. Hence why just 58% of U.S. recruiters call themselves “very confident” that they will be able to find the right fit candidates for open positions, and are eager for recruitment tips to help improve their chances.

Job Seekers Want Money And Purpose

Candidate priorities are shifting away from flexibility and towards higher pay and career satisfaction, according to FOW Report. Interestingly, 43% of respondents listed meaningful work as one of the most important factors driving their career choice – above flexible work schedules. Also on the rise is a desire for skills training and career development.

With 28% of candidates also saying they are seeking a caring work environment, employers have an opportunity to reach prospective hires by emphasizing workplace culture. One of our top recruitment tips this year is to re-examine your employer brand strategy and make sure you’re communicating what makes your company such an ideal workplace.

Recruiters Must Get Creative to Source Talent

You’ll want to get on board with recruiting candidates from new or unexpected sources. Here’s an indication of some avenues to explore: globally, 67% of Gen Z recruiters told us they are increasing outreach to outside organizations with diverse talent pipelines, while 70% of U.S. recruiters said they’d be open to hiring candidates with transferable skills that they can train. Others are experimenting with new recruitment strategies. For example:

  • 28% are increasing their job ads (this climbs to 40% for tech employers).
  • 26% are expanding their location search.
  • 38% are increasing outreach to organizations with diverse talent pipelines.

The Future of Recruiting is More Digital

Gen Z and Millennial recruiters – who make up a majority of today’s active recruiters – embrace texting, and are also more likely to leverage a broader set of tools that includes job board matches, email campaigns, social ads, and more. In fact, 61% of global Gen Z recruiters think virtual recruiting is better than in-person (vs. 26% of millennials and 6% of Boomers who said the same).

There’s No Consensus on Return-to-Work Plans

U.S. employers are split with 43% saying they are transitioning to a hybrid work model, 35% returning to full-time onsite, and 19% going fully virtual/remote . Worth noting: 57% of actively looking job seekers say they would prefer to work fully remote.

DEI Policies Are No Longer Wishlist Items – They’re Being Implemented

Nearly 4 in 10 employers cited the need to build a diverse workforce as their top DEI priority for 2022. This aligns with 32% of younger candidates (ages 18-24) ranked an employer’s DEI initiatives, gender pay equity, and proactive response to social issues as becoming increasingly more important.

So what does all of this mean for recruiters in this new year? It’s more important than ever to try new DEI hiring approaches while getting to the heart of what candidates and employees want. This will not only help you attract right-fit talent, but also create a work environment that allows them to do their best work.

Want More Recruitment Tips To Improve Your 2022 Hiring?

In an ever changing job market, you want to make sure that your hiring decisions are based on the right data points and economic forecasts from the experts. Monster has had a window into the job market for decades and has built relationships with an ever-growing community of candidates and employers. With our latest Future of Work Report, you’ll get free access to our latest insights, including our updated survey results, recruitment tips, and more.

5 Remote Work Tips for Employers

The world of remote work has been going through a revolution over the past few years. Many companies that never thought they’d be able to function with out-of-office workers found that remote work was a good solution – and in some cases more efficient and productive than they’d imagined.

It’s also changed the way that companies think about the workplace. In Monster’s Future of Work report, 43% of employers reported that hybrid work is the way of the future. Many employers also say they think flexible work options give them a recruiting advantage and help them retain talent.

That said, remote work isn’t as simple as sending everyone home and subscribing to Zoom. When it comes to where the workplace is heading, here are five remote work tips from hiring experts for you to consider as you shape your future workforce strategies.

1. Review Your Location Needs

Who hasn’t heard about a friend or coworker relocating because their job has gone remote and they no longer have to live within driving distance? For companies considering remote arrangements, that means they can look for talent beyond the candidates who live nearby.

“Our hiring managers are seeing that we can get more qualified candidates for them to consider instead of just candidates in one particular area,” says Malinda Gain, strategic sourcer at Gilead Sciences. “Or they can consider someone who’s close to one of our offices in the U.S. and have that person do something kind of hybrid. It’s definitely opened their eyes, now that they’ve seen that remote can work.”

2. Rethink The Ways in Which Employees Connect

While many jobs can be performed efficiently and effectively off-site, work is about more than just job tasks. According to Monster’s data, 35% of remote workers miss work-related small talk with their coworkers. And 23% miss face-time with leadership as a result of working remotely.

Companies must put some thought into new ways to build culture and camaraderie when employees are no longer passing each other’s cubicles during the day or interacting in the work kitchen.

“Gilead had a holiday party but it was virtual, since we were all remote,” Gain says. “Everyone came with their Christmas sweater on, and they had some fun things for us to do and talk about.”

As a remote work tip, Jason Patel, founder of Transizion, a college- and career-prep company, suggests creating daily and weekly touchpoints to mimic some of the casual interactions of an in-person office. “You can have more in-depth check-ins, you can provide status updates on the company during the week, and you can have weekly all-hands meetings,” he says. “Don’t try to directly imitate what the in-office folks do, but at the same time, try to recreate the magic of what an office offers.”

3. Keep an Eye on Work/Life Balance Needs

Because remote work allows employees to work from any place at any time, it’s possible to log more hours than ever. “If people are working all the time, if you never unplug from the technology, there’s a burnout impact,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, NY.

Employers must be cognizant of their workers’ time and make sure there isn’t scope creep into off hours. Set boundaries on meetings, work communication and contact during vacation to ensure that workers feel they have some down time. “There’s got to be a balance, and I think we have yet to see what that looks like, because we’re so new to remote work,” Burr says.

In general, employers are more open to negotiating schedules, Monster finds: 53% will allow workdays from home, 41% would let people choose and change work hours, and 35% may let employees choose their schedule, so long as it’s consistent.

4. Understand What Workers Want

Although many employers are game to go hybrid, candidates aren’t 100% enthusiastic. Only 24% of job candidates say they want remote flexibility, according to Monster’s numbers. In fact, more than half (57%) of candidates say they’d prefer either full remote or full on-site work. The focus of this remote work tip — understand workers’ needs and make sure the changes you make don’t do more harm than good.

“If a company truly has a mixed workforce, make sure you’re making an effort to make those remote workers feel like they’re part of the team,” Patel says. “You don’t need to choose a side if it works for the business. Don’t be afraid of new solutions. But if you do go hybrid, make sure the people who are remote still feel like they’re a part of things.”

5. Be Transparent

When it comes to attracting and keeping talent, it’s going to be crucial that employers clearly communicate their expectations for workers. Will employees have to report to an office a few days a week? A few days a month? Never? What hours will they be working remotely? “People need to truly understand what is going to be expected of them,” Burr says.

Malinda Gain adds that being clear about vaccination requirements is also a key remote work tip in the current economy. “It’s a question I never had to ask before,” she says. “That’s something new.”

All that said, some amount of uncertainty may be understandable as the U.S. continues to struggle with pandemic swings. “I think when it’s unclear, I don’t think it’s out of malicious intent,” Patel says. “I think it’s out of not knowing what the future looks like.”

Need More Remote Work Tips and Insights?

As companies and workers continue to adjust to the remote work environment and an ever-changing economy, it’s important for you to have the latest insights from the field. At Monster we connect with job candidates and employers every day and have learnings to share. Check out our latest Future of Work Report for free cutting-edge analysis on job market trends, and more, to keep your business ahead of the curve.

Top 5 Hiring Trends for 2022

It’s hard to know for sure what hiring will look like throughout 2022, given all the unknowns with the economy and the pandemic. Yet, despite the supply chain and labor shortages suffered in 2021 and the ongoing variants of the COVID-19 virus, employers are feeling rather optimistic about hiring trends in 2022.

According to Monster’s 2022 Future of Work Report, 93% of employers said they are planning to hire throughout 2022, up 11% from 2021.

“Employers’ failure to hire in 2021 is putting more pressure on hiring in 2022,” says Fordham University economist Giacomo Santangelo. “We can’t have output without workers, and firms ran into that brick wall in 2020. Firms are having difficulty bringing those people back, and so the pressure is on them to get things up and running again.”

While we’ve come a long way since the early days of the pandemic, HR leaders and recruiters need to continue to adapt and adjust in 2022. Using Monster data and expert insights, here are five key hiring trends to anticipate, along with tips on how to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Candidates Will Return To The Labor Market

When it comes to recruitment and retention, employers had their work cut out for them in 2021 amid the labor shortages and the Great Resignation. With more companies planning to hire in 2022, it’s not surprising that increased competition remains a top concern.

However, there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Experts are anticipating more candidates to not only return to the labor market throughout 2022, but then also stay put in their respective jobs.

From a recruitment standpoint, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the tight labor market may be loosening. For example, the BLS November jobs report showed that the unemployment rate continued to decline to 4.2%, while the labor force participation rate increased to 61.8%—the highest level since March 2020.

Santangelo believes this hiring trend will likely continue throughout 2022 for a number of reasons. He says, “Firms in 2022 are going to see workers desperate to return. Inflation is going to force them to go back to work as benefits run out, as the monies that the federal government has been distributing runs out, and as the value of that money deteriorates. I think all of these things are playing into where firms’ heads are at right now.”

TIP: Despite this anticipated return to work, Beth Herman, Monster Regional Sales Director, says employers will have to make more of an effort to attract and retain talent during 2022. She says, “Companies have to learn how to be far better at selling their company and their opportunity and really showing what’s in it for the candidate. Most people still put up the same dull, boring job ads—they just cut and paste the description. Instead, they need to think: how do I sell this opportunity at this company to the type of people I want to hire?

2. Flexibility In The Workplace Will Continue

According to the Future of Work Report, 62% of companies are planning to make the shift to hybrid or remote work during 2022. Many have found that flexible work options help retain talent, give them a recruiting edge, and have worked well amid the ongoing pandemic. This is good news because the report also shows that, among hiring trends, workplace flexibility is one of the top priorities for candidates when looking for jobs.

“I think it’s pretty clear in the short- to mid-term that we can be just as effective remotely as being in the office in terms of productivity and accountability,” says Scott Blumsack, Monster Senior Vice President and Global Head of Strategy.

“Employees have really come to value, and in many cases, expect flexibility and this shift to remote work. Both of these trends lead to an evolution in 2022, where yes, most likely we will go back to the office in some way, shape, or form as the year continues.”

One aspect to keep in mind when considering industries like manufacturing and retail, however, is that not every job can be done remotely. This has presented some challenges for recruiters who have struggled over the past year to find candidates willing to work onsite, where work schedules tend to be more rigid.

Blumsack says business leaders will need to find flexible solutions throughout 2022 in order to win candidates in those industries. “Really thinking creatively about what solutions you can provide, whether it is subsidies for childcare, onsite childcare, or having a flexible offering that aligns to the candidate’s needs is going to be critical,” he says.

TIP: Workers value flexibility in the workplace. Find ways to accommodate more workers’ schedules through flexible hours, remote or hybrid work, and child care solutions.

3. Candidates Will Continue To Prioritize Pay

When it comes to jobs, it’s no secret that money talks. With more and more workers realizing their worth and demanding fair wages, the topic of pay is one that has come up a lot over the past several months.

As a result, we’ve seen wages move up, up, up amid the ongoing labor shortages. According to the BLS November job report, average hourly earnings have increased by $1.07 since April 2021. Similarly, a November 2021 report by Paychex and IHS Markit showed that small businesses have increased hourly wages by $1.17 over a 12-month period.

Pay will still be top of mind for many during 2022. When it comes to attracting more candidates to your workforce, Ashraf believes increased pay transparency will be key.

“We encourage all of our customers to put a salary range or hourly wage range on their job postings at the very top of the job,” he says. “We actually ran a pilot program, and the company found that when they added a salary or an hourly wage at the top of their job description, they had a 30% increase in conversions from job views to applies.”

Keep in mind that wages alone won’t cut it. Monster’s Future of Work Report showed that other forms of compensation like healthcare and paid time off will also be necessary to attract and retain workers in today’s labor market.

“Companies are having to increase pay rates, offer better perks and benefits, and sometimes even offer signing bonuses,” says Danny Ashraf, Monster’s Director of Sales. “They’re having to do much more to attract and retain that type of talent.”

TIP: Candidates look for fair compensation, healthcare benefits, flexible work schedules, and paid time off when evaluating a company. Focus on those key elements in job descriptions and interviews to keep up with hiring trends and attract more candidates to your workforce.

4. Skills Will Matter More Than Experience

Between mass layoffs and the Great Resignation, today’s candidate likely doesn’t have a “perfect” resume with advanced degrees and five to 10 years of experience at the same company—and that’s OK. Given the current market conditions, we are seeing things that were once considered red flags like job-hopping and resume gaps becoming more acceptable.

This can, however, present some challenges for recruiters with laundry lists of expectations to fulfill. According to Monster’s Future of Work Report, finding qualified candidates is the most anticipated hiring challenge during 2022.

Herman believes that a better focus on skills will help recruiters source the right candidates. “Instead of looking for the perfect resume, let’s look for the skills and competencies that are needed to be successful in our environment,” she says.

“I think the majority of companies out there can and should be doing a much better job of interviewing candidates to really understand their skills, their competencies, and their expectations, and not just focus on the resume and what you did or didn’t do in the last job and how long you stayed there.”

Especially as certain industries continue to struggle after the mass layoffs suffered in 2020, Ashraf says that a better understanding of a candidate’s transferable skills, or skills that can be used in multiple career fields, will be key throughout 2022.

“The candidate pool and profile has changed, but the work hasn’t,” Ashraf says. “For instance, we most recently were on a call yesterday with a staffing firm that asked us to expand our search from just traditional warehousing candidates to retail and restaurant workers. They’re casting a broader net and going beyond just typical warehousing and logistics candidates.”

TIP: When it comes to talent acquisition, employers and recruiters should place greater emphasis on skills given recent hiring trends. Blumsack says, “One pivot that may benefit employers in 2022 is focusing on the skills that are really needed to do the job effectively and focusing less on those rigid requirements, whether they be past work experiences from a specific job title or specific education requirements.”

5. Next Gen Recruiters Will Embrace HR Tech and Diversity

It’s out with the old, and in with the new—Baby Boomers are retiring, and Millennials and Gen Z are taking up a larger share of the labor market. According to Gallup, these two generations combined make up 46% of the full-time workforce. As these younger digital natives, who, for the most part, grew up with a cellphone in their hand and the Internet at their fingertips, continue to permeate the labor market in 2022, methods of recruiting and job searching will become much more digitally savvy.

On the candidate side, we can expect to see more job searches being conducted on mobile devices. According to Monster’s Future of Work Report, about one in four candidates say they do most of their job searches on a mobile device and/or mobile app.

From the recruiter side, gone are the days of finding a single partner solution for all of your HR needs. Instead, we’re seeing a similar digital transformation in HR departments, along with greater usage of digital recruitment tools—especially with younger recruiters. Compared to Boomers, Monster’s Future of Work Report found that Millennial recruiters are more likely to leverage a broader set of tools, such as resume database search, social media, employer branding, and online candidate profiles.

Blumsack says, “I think this next generation of recruiters may operate more like marketers and really embrace a lot of the digital tools that are used in marketing to connect consumers to goods and services and take them to the next level by translating them into the world of recruiting to create better matches between candidates and employers and support the overall hiring process,” he says.

Having started their careers in the midst of a pandemic, we’re beginning to see Gen Z put more weight on skills and less emphasis on things like a candidate’s interview presence. Ashraf believes this hiring trend will ultimately lead to a more inclusive generation of recruiters. “The next generation is being more inclusive; they are being less discriminatory. They want to make decisions based on facts and not ‘gut feel,’” Ashraf says. “They’re basing decisions on actual skills, not based on what a candidate looks like, how they sound, or how they present themselves.”

TIP: Invest in digital recruitment tools like artificial intelligence, resume database search, social media job ads, and online candidate profiles to streamline the process of finding right-fit candidates.

Keep On Top of Hiring Trends Throughout 2022

Hiring the best candidates for your company can dramatically improve your productivity, employee engagement and retention, and ultimately, your success. Monster can help you navigate the job market’s many hiring trends, and much more, with our current Future of Work report. With free access to the analysis and resources you’ll need this year and next, you can make sure you’re getting the most from your hiring strategy.

Should You Build a Hybrid Workplace?

For many occupations, it’s possible to work from anywhere there’s an internet connection. More workplaces have gone 100 percent remote, but some have resisted this shift and maintain a more traditional office setting. Meanwhile, the hybrid workplace combines the best of both worlds.

Advances in collaboration and productivity software, along with employees’ demands for more flexibility, have prompted companies to ditch the office. Still, not everyone prefers telecommuting and the value of in-person human connections cannot be dismissed.

In the interest of accommodating all types of workers, employers are increasingly exploring that third option: a hybrid of both remote and office work. We’ll help you decide whether it’s the right model for your business.

What Is a Hybrid Workplace?

A hybrid work model generally gives employees the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own home as well as the ability to go into the office. Remote workers also may prefer a third location, such as a coffee shop.

It isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept, as “hybrid” can mean different things to different organizations, and you can tailor it to best fit your company’s needs. Learning from other employers that have successfully transitioned to either a fully remote or hybrid model can be extremely helpful.

Some businesses, for example, require employees to come into the office three days a week, with two “flex days” where they have the option to work from home or commute to the office. These may be set days, allowing the company to allocate office resources more efficiently.

Other workplaces give employees the option to work remotely or on-site whenever they choose. This means that a company’s headquarters could be based in Dallas, for instance, but their employees can live in another city, state, or maybe even another country, depending on how flexible the policy is.

Many employers have found that productivity, collaboration, and all-around performance among remote workers are comparable to that of employees who commute to the office each day. In fact, some employers have seen upticks in performance due to less-stressed workers and say the option to work remotely broadens their ability to recruit from a much larger pool of candidates. Also, reducing your office footprint can save your company on operating expenses.

Is a Hybrid Workplace Right for Your Company?

While an increasing number of employers have warmed up to the idea of implementing some sort of hybrid work model, it’s important to consider both the pros and cons of doing so for your organization. Again, it’s not well-suited for every occupation, business, or work culture.

On one hand, hybrid work can greatly reduce the costs of paying for office space and supplies. It can also widen your talent pool and improve the diversity of your workforce, as previously mentioned. Also, top job candidates may desire remote or hybrid work and use it as a bargaining chip during negotiations—not offering these options could be a deal-breaker.

However, with some employees in the office and others at home, hybrid work can make it difficult when promoting team members—will in-office employees be favored over those working remotely? A lack of continuity can also make things like communication, onboarding, and training more challenging as well.

Whether a hybrid model makes sense for your workplace depends on a number of factors, including:

  • The size of your organization
  • The location of your business (and the talent)
  • Employee fit
  • The nature of the work performed

Size Matters

Whether you’re a small business owner or a key stakeholder within a large corporation, the size of your company may impact your decision-making when considering a hybrid workplace. For instance, a small business may be better positioned to offer a working environment best suited for each of their employees. You could even try polling your employees to see which work option they prefer best.

That becomes a bit trickier for companies that employ hundreds, if not thousands, of workers. A hybrid work situation can provide a happy medium, but larger corporations will need to find ways to consistently check in on their employees and their satisfaction levels. They may also have substantial office space investments and thus less flexibility for scaling down their physical footprint.

Location, Location, Location

Moving to Silicon Valley, New York City, or other business epicenters was once the thing to do if you were an up-and-coming professional. However, now that remote work is widespread, highly talented professionals can live nearly anywhere and find a good job. Offering a remote work option can help you round out your team without having to compete for local talent.

However, you’ll want to be cognizant of any issues a changing work arrangement may present. When it’s time to implement a hybrid workplace or anything in-person, for example, it could have the effect of isolating those employees who live too far away to reasonably make an appearance and could raise issues with salary adjustments based on location.

Determine What’s Best for Your Employees

The age and experience of your workforce should also be factored into your hybrid work model (with the caveat that you want to avoid anything remotely discriminatory). Seasoned professionals who don’t need close supervision or extensive training may enjoy the flexibility to work from home and avoid the commute.

Younger professionals just entering the workforce, however, may crave networking opportunities and a company culture, which can be challenging to accomplish when you’ve never met your coworkers in person. If done right, a hybrid approach should help you cater to a wide spectrum of ages and experience levels.

Consider How Work Gets Done

While many employees can work just as productively at home as they can in-office, it’s also important to consider the nature of the work performed and how in-person collaboration may actually be preferred in some situations. But, if the bulk of your company’s work is done on computers, you need to consider the benefits of a hybrid workplace.

You’ll also need to think about how your company fosters creativity and innovation. If you’ve built a culture around sharing ideas in-person or collaborative brainstorming sessions with tactile elements like dioramas and mixed media, for example, it can be difficult to change that culture right away. Make sure you contemplate how that could translate to a remote work environment, if at all.

Check and Refine Your Strategy

Once you roll out your plan to go hybrid, understand that it’s not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. After all, hybrid work is still uncharted territory for a lot of companies, and it may take some trial and error before knowing what the right balance is for you and your team.

If you choose to go this route, set it up with intention, make sure it’s clear, and then monitor, iterate, optimize, making improvements as needed.

Stay up to Date on the Hybrid Workforce and Beyond

Every business must find the methods and strategies that fit best, including the decision of where your employees work. There’s no one right answer, but it’s always important to stay on top of the latest trends. Monster can help you make informed decisions with the latest recruitment and management news and insights, delivered straight to your inbox.

When Will The Labor Shortage End?

Bars and restaurants are unable to open to full capacity despite restrictions being lifted. Manufacturers are struggling to find specialized and entry-level workers to keep up with high production demand. Overwhelmed builders are turning away projects in a booming housing market. Trucking companies are unable to keep supply chains moving, while ride-hailing services are leaving people stranded on the sidewalk. The labor shortage is becoming a real issue, and it’s affecting businesses in a number of industries. Here’s what employers need to know.

Why is it so hard to find workers right now?

Thanks to widespread vaccine distribution, easing lockdown restrictions and federal stimulus aid, people are beginning to venture out and spend more on goods and services—which easily translates into more jobs. Monster data found that four in 10 employers are feeling a sense of urgency when it comes to hiring right now due to growing business demands, high turnover and the need to stabilize staffing after so much uncertainty. Since last year, the number of job openings in the U.S. have nearly doubled, reaching a record level of 8.1 million in March 2021. And this is only the beginning—according to Monster’s 2021 Future of Work survey, 82% of respondents said they plan to hire sometime this year.

With so many people out of work—9.8 million people, to be exact—it would be easy to assume that there would be an abundance of candidates, rather than a shortage…right? Quite the opposite, actually. Monster data found that about one in four (26%) employers hiring are currently having trouble filling roles. Here’s why some people can’t or won’t go back to work.

Health and safety remain top of mind

Despite more vaccine shots going into arms, it’s important to remember that we are still in the middle of a pandemic. To date, more than 600,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19. With this figure in mind, it’s not surprising that the possibility of contracting or spreading a deadly disease would discourage people from going back to work. Employers told Monster that health and safety concerns from candidates have been one of the top factors impacting their hiring processes over the past couple weeks.

Working parents are struggling

It almost goes without saying that the pandemic has been tough on working parents. With daycare and school schedules still in flux, parents have been left to figure out how to balance childcare and education with their own return back to the office. As antiquated as it may sound, the result is more working parents, primarily working moms, being forced to put a hold on their careers to stay at home and look after the kids.

The skills gap is widening

Another challenge affecting recruiters and hiring managers right now is finding qualified candidates with the skills necessary to get the job done. A third of U.S. employers say the skills gap has increased compared to last year, with 80% of employers having difficulty filling openings due to skills gaps as opposed to a year ago. This is particularly true in the manufacturing industry and other blue-collar jobs where the pool of workers pursuing trades is rapidly shrinking.

Unemployment benefits have never been better

Still, there’s an argument to be made about unemployment benefits. Right now, the federal government is giving unemployed workers an extra $300 per week on top of state benefits. That’s more money than many people would earn in the jobs that are available right now. Whether the extra money from unemployment is disincentivizing people from working or it’s giving them the financial security to be pickier about the job they want and hold out for better pay is a topic that’s currently up for debate.

How to attract more candidates right now

Of course, no one knows for certain exactly when the worker shortage will end. One estimate by Bank of America economists shows that the labor shortage will fade by early 2022 as stimulus expires and more Americans are vaccinated. But unless employers make some real changes—we’re talking more than just free apps with your job app—then there’s no reason not to believe that the shortage may last even longer. Just look at the workers who have already ditched their former careers to pursue new jobs where they feel more safe and valued. Here are a few ways you can widen your talent pool and attract more candidates right now.

Increase workers’ pay

Typically, a tight labor market goes hand-in-hand with wage growth as companies compete for workers. After all, when it comes to jobs, it’s no secret that money talks—even in the midst of a pandemic. Monster’s 2020 State of the Candidate Report found that, compared to two years ago, a growing majority of candidates rank salary as the ultimate deciding factor when considering a job change. And in this case, a job change can even mean a change from collecting unemployment to collecting a paycheck.

As the reality of the worker shortage sets in, we’re already beginning to see wages build. In April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that average hourly earnings increased to $30.17. Even more recently, Costco raised its minimum wage to $16 an hour and Target and Amazon raised their wages to $15 an hour in an effort to attract more workers.

Provide opportunities for advancement

Employers looking to hire should make a point to look at Gen Z, the youngest generation hitting the job market. Right now, Gen Z represents more than a quarter of the population, and there are already plenty of new grads from the class of 2021 who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Don’t know much about this young and trendy generation? If one thing’s for certain it’s that Gen Z wants more than a dead-end job. According to a Monster survey, Gen Z wants to see a career path—78% of new grads want to get a promotion in the first year, while 86% of non-college grads say the same. Word of advice: market your job as one with job training and growth potential (maybe for manager position and a raise).

Cross-train your employees

The answer to your labor shortage problems may be right in front of you, or you know, already on your payroll. As the skills gap widens, investing in learning and development programs for your employees may be the ticket to getting the talent you need.

Cross-training is a great way to maintain productivity and mitigate risk, even when you’re short on staff. Walmart, for example, has already started to cross-train employees as a way to create more flexibility in the workforce and allow for more predictable schedules.

Post a job for free on Monster

Especially in these tough economic times, it’s never been more important to get the qualified candidates you need quickly and on budget. That’s why we’ve made posting your jobs as easy as possible, and now you can post a job on Monster for free. All you have to do is sign up for a free, 4-day trial for one of our monthly value plans.

As a global leader in connecting people and jobs, Monster will help ensure your free job posting gets more exposure from the right people. We’ll help candidates know whether they’re qualified for the position—and allow you to see their match potential—giving you a better pool of qualified candidates to choose from. In addition, we’ll give you a broad view of each candidate with data-driven profiles and show you things you won’t find on resumes like soft skills, personal interests and more. And let’s not forget: all of this won’t cost you a dime.

So, what are you waiting for? Start finding the candidates you need today on Monster.

 

Can employers mandate in-person work?

While the pandemic had companies shifting to remote work almost overnight, the task of transitioning remote employees back to their cubicles is fraught with major challenges. Companies need to decide whether remote or in-person is the best way forward. For those that know in-person is the answer, you can bet some staff won’t be so keen on coming back to the office, So, can employers mandate that workers give up remote and work in-person?

Yes. Even if workers want to work from home, they don’t control that decision. The company does, for the most part. Workers have a very limited right under the law to refuse work even if they consider the job to be hazardous to their health.

There is no law that allows workers to stay home with job protection or to collect pay simply because they’re delivering just fine from the safety of their couch or they fear being exposed to the virus without any sort of underlying health condition that increases vulnerability to COVID-19.

Aim for a slow and reasoned approach

With the vaccine rollout slow and school re-openings disjointed, expect getting back to business as usual to be gradual and bumpy. Aim for a slow and reasoned approach to whom should be asked to return to the office and when, recommends Amy E. Feldman, a lawyer specializing in employment issues at The Judge Group, Inc.

“For employers who want to throw open the doors and herd everyone back into the office, it’s a good time to be reminded that while that goal seems close, it is not wise to snatch defeat from the jaws of success by requiring people back before it is safe to do so,” Feldman says.

Employers have a right to set policies on when employees must return to the office, and it is up to an employer to decide how best to run the office. Even for jobs in which an employee can perform services remotely—unlike people who stock shelves, are cashiers, bus drivers, or do other jobs that simply must be performed at the worksite—it still remains the employer’s decision when to require employees to return.

Provide accommodations for high-risk employees

That said, employers do not have completely free reign when telling workers to return, Feldman says. They must abide at all times with the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires that covered employers provide reasonable accommodations to employees whose health condition prevents them from coming into the office.

In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act says that covered employers must allow up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees to deal with the family or their own medical needs. There are also state laws on paid sick time that would necessitate pay and allow absences under certain circumstances.

Resistance is to be expected: A Gallup poll found that two-thirds of employees who have worked remotely during the pandemic would like to continue to do so. And a survey by Mercer, an HR consulting firm, reports that 94% of employers said productivity was the same or higher than before the pandemic, even with staff working from home.

Expect resistance from some employees

If you are a manager proposing to return your workforce to their workspaces, you would do well to plan carefully and take your time. “It is a delicate time, and one for employees and employers alike to assess what is working for them and what isn’t.”

Challenges will arise in navigating an in-person return, says Feldman, including when employees who think they can do their jobs from home face resistance from bosses who say that while the work may be getting done, it required a redistribution of job duties. That leaves those who have returned to the office unfairly forced to pick up the slack for workers who had to turn over some duties while they remained at home.

“In that situation, companies are allowed to require workers to come back to the office, so long as they provide accommodations to those whose medical conditions or the medical or care requirements of their family members make it unsafe to do so,” she says.

Listen to employee concerns

Companies that consider the needs of the business and employees position themselves for a smoother transition. Teams work best when every person considers not just his own position but the position of everyone on the team. Empathy and listening drive connection, collaboration and performance.

“Employers who listen to the concerns and needs of their employees and accept feedback about how they can contribute remotely or in-person and make decisions with that in mind, together with employees who think through the company’s and their coworkers’ needs and expectations when performing their job, will be able to create an environment in which everyone feels valued individually and as a part of the team,” she adds. 

*Amy E. Feldman is the General Counsel of the Judge Group, Inc., an international business solutions company, and she is also a nationally-syndicated legal correspondent with experience in employment law and sexual harassment defense.

New grad survey: anxiety, desperation and salary woes revealed

COVID-19 has cast a longer shadow on the job market than anyone expected, and new grads are still feeling the pinch. Almost a year past their graduation, a surprising 45% of the class of 2020 are still looking for work, according to a survey of 1,000 recent and impending U.S. college graduates conducted by Monster. And this year’s class expects to spend five months searching for the right job.

That’s not the only interesting finding. Monster asked this emerging Gen Z workforce about their expectations for entry-level jobs, salaries, gig work and job fit. Here’s where they stand:

Covid has set them back

Graduating from college is a hopeful time of life, but recent and impending grads are feeling the COVID slowdown. Not only is nearly half of last year’s class still looking for work, but 85% of new grads say their career goals have been set back by a month or more, and 29% expect a delay of over six months. Another 66% of grads are not very optimistic that they’ll get a job that fits their career goals.

In fact, desperation drove about three-quarters of grads (73%) and 63% of non-college Gen Zers to take a job that didn’t fit their career goals. Why the desperation? Money and experience topped the list:

Why take a job that didn’t fit your career goals?GradsNon-college
Needed money45%39%
Needed experience25%16%
Pay off student loans20%NA
Sick of searching16%14%
Parental pressure14%13%
Afraid they’d get no other offers14%14%

Grads—especially POC—are feeling pessimistic about salary potential

It’s not just lost time: College grads expect to be paying for the COVID-19 pandemic. A surprising 69% of recent and impending grads expect lower salaries as a result of COVID-19.

And the pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on communities of color. More than three in four grads of color (77%) expect a lower starting salary as the result of COVID-19, significantly more than the 65% of their white peers who say the same. The gap is even starker among Hispanic grads (85%) to non-Hispanic grads (66%).

They’re worried about their resumes

With millions still unemployed, it’s a tough time to be a job seeker. And Gen Z has some concerns about putting their best foot forward: Sixty-three percent of college grads and 52% of non-college Gen Zers worry that their resumes don’t accurately represent what they bring to the table.

Grads of color (70%) are more likely than white grads (61%) to have these resume worries. Nearly three in four Hispanic grads (73%) say the same, compared to 62% of non-Hispanic grads.

More than two-thirds (68%) of college grads also believe employers will judge COVID-related resume gaps. Interestingly, 38% of employers say resume gaps aren’t the red flags they were before COVID-19, according to Monster’s Future of Work report. Despite a glut of job seekers, employers are still working to find qualified candidates with the right skills, and many more people have resume gaps now due to the pandemic.

On a positive note, Gen Z feels prepared: 79% of grads feel their degree is equal to or more valuable than real job experience. (But both non-college and college seekers know that training is the path to their company of choice.)

They have first-job fears

Gone are the days when college grads expected to start at the very bottom of the ladder. About seven out of 10 Gen Z grads say they’re overqualified for entry-level work. And 68% of graduates and 66% of non-college Gen Zers say entry-level work should last less than six months, before either getting promoted or moving to a different job.

(Conversely, 39% of recruiters say finding candidates with the right skills will be .)

Another 85% worry they’ll miss out on positive job experiences because they started work during the pandemic. When asked what they’ll miss most, they point to:

  • In-person coworker connection (40%)
  • On-site perks (36%)
  • Mentorship (34%)
  • An office setting (33%)

They’re flexible about how they find work

Job hunting doesn’t have to be the formal, buttoned-up affair it used to be. In fact, both grads (68%) and non-college Gen Zers (60%) would do an entire job search and interview by text, the survey found.

They’re also willing to go to the job, if the job doesn’t want to come to them. The majority of grad (72%) and non-college Gen Zers (58%) would relocate for a job if the search took too long.

They’re keeping their options open

Gig work is here to stay, and both college and non-college grads are into it. Nearly a third (30%) of college grads intend to take on gig, freelance or temp work until they get a full-time job—and 23% intend to keep at it even after finding a full-time job. Similar numbers of non-college grads (26%) plan to freelance until they find full-time work, and 24% will keep freelancing after that.

Refine your new grad hiring strategy

Dig into the details of Monster’s latest survey and get strategies for landing talented new grads. Download our free new grad hiring guide to learn more.

Monthly Jobs Report: Monster’s Hiring Snapshot

All eyes are on the tightening labor market as the cost of living continues to increase at its fastest pace in 40 years. The latest job numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly jobs report show that hiring continued to grow by 428,000 last month, while unemployment remained near pre-pandemic levels at 3.6%.

Monster’s Economist Giacomo Santangelo weighs in: “The labor market has almost reached the pre-pandemic level,” he says. “This is the moment, I think, everyone has been waiting for. So many people seemed to be banking that if we could get unemployment down to 1st quarter 2020 levels, everything would be fine. What we are finding now is while the unemployment situation has improved on a macroeconomic scale, individuals are facing rising prices that are threatening their standard of living.”

As concerns over money heighten, Monster data shows changes in behavior from job seekers over the past month with searches for “part time” work increasing 14%. Here’s a breakdown of the latest job numbers along with key takeaways to help employers plan for the months ahead.

The Full Scoop on Part-Time Jobs and Unemployment

The unemployment rate remained unchanged in April, just slightly above its pre-pandemic level at 3.6%. Meanwhile, another measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons edged higher to 7%. Amid high inflation, it’s possible that both of these job numbers may increase in the months to come.

“When unemployment is high, inflation is low,” Santangelo told Monster in a recent blog post. “The problem that this creates is that in order to fight inflation, unemployment has to go up.” While this doesn’t necessarily mean hiring will stop altogether, it could mean that employers and candidates will change the way they approach hiring and the job search amid inflation.

For employers, hiring part-time, contract, or gig workers can be more cost-effective than hiring full-time help. Over the past month, part-time job postings were up 2% on Monster, with the biggest monthly increases for:

  • Cashiers (+27%)
  • Security guards (+27%)
  • Cooks (+21%)

For candidates, a part-time job may help supplement an income in order to afford the rising cost of goods. “Part time” was the #2 most searched keyword by candidates over the past month, with 14% more searches conducted on Monster.

Wages and Interest Rates Rise Amid Inflation

Amid inflation, the cost of goods has risen 7.9% over the past year, the sharpest spike since 1982. As prices go up, up, up, a ripple effect has occurred. Employers have had to raise wages, with average hourly earnings up 5.5% over the past year—nearly double the pre-pandemic average of 3%. Interest rates have gone up as well, with the Federal Reserve raising its federal fund rate by a half-percent, its largest hike since 2000.

“As the cost of living increases, the Federal Reserve is ratcheting-up interest rates,” Santangelo says. “This increase in rates is expected to adversely affect the labor market. As firms face higher borrowing costs, it is expected that they will hire less. As consumers face higher rates, it is expected that they will more desperately need money, meaning they will be less picky about the jobs they take.”

The Great Disconnect on Return-to-Office Plans

It’s like oil and water. Companies are telling workers to come back on site. Employees say otherwise. On Monster, candidate searches for “remote” were up 22% and “work from home” up 9% over the past month. Not to mention, the Monster Future of Work report found that workplace flexibility is one of the top five priorities for candidates when looking for jobs.

Yet despite workers’ wishes, employers are moving further away from remote work with every passing month. Over the past month, the number of remote jobs hiring on Monster decreased by 3%, a sign that employers are becoming less open to the idea of working from home. Likewise, the BLS monthly jobs report showed that the number of remote workers continued to drop from 10% to 7.7% in April.

With this “great disconnect” between employers and candidates, businesses may be finding themselves in a bend-or-break situation. Employers will need to weigh their options to determine which type of work model—remote, hybrid, or in-person—is right for them.

Hiring Slows in Leisure and Hospitality

With summer on the horizon, it’s not surprising that the leisure and hospitality sector continued to lead the way in the BLS monthly jobs report. But with gains of only 78,000 jobs in April, hiring in restaurants, bars, and hotels was slower than in recent months. It’s almost as if the industry is holding its breath to see if summer travel plans will actually transpire.

Santangelo says, “Leisure and hospitality are affected by three things: gas prices, inflation, and Covid. Provided these three issues are under control, the summer should see upticks in hiring.”

While Covid cases continue to decline, Monster data suggests that we may see an uptick in hiring here in May. With the number of active job postings in leisure and hospitality increasing by 3% over the past month on Monster, some of the top jobs hiring include:

  • Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food
  • Maids and housekeeping cleaners
  • Waiters and waitresses
  • Baggage porters and bellhops
  • Cooks
  • Concierges

Candidates also seem eager to shake up some cocktails, whip up some delicious meals, and get back to work. The top keywords being searched by candidates in this field right now include:

  • Bartender
  • Cook
  • Server

Auto Manufacturers Fuel Job Growth Amid Chip Shortage

Manufacturing transportation equipment and machinery has proven difficult amid microchip shortages. Ford reported a 10.5% drop in sales in April, while 33,000 vehicles were recently cut from automakers’ global production plans.

Yet despite these challenges, BLS job numbers show that employment in manufacturing grew by 55,000 last month. Monster data also shows that employers are continuing to hire for a variety of positions, including:

  • Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing
  • First line supervisors of production and operating workers
  • Machinists
  • Production workers, all other

Looking ahead, Santangelo says, “With supply chain issues, all firms must look to what is reasonable when it comes to hiring.” But for manufacturers that are ready to hire, Monster data shows that there are candidates looking for work. In fact, “manufacturing” was in the top 10 overall keyword searches by candidates last month. Other top job searches in manufacturing include:

  • Welder
  • Machinist

Hiring Still Full Speed Ahead in Transportation and Warehousing

Month after month, employment in transportation and warehousing has grown as a result of the supply chain bubble being resolved as well as from an uptick in consumer demand. Last month was no different, with the BLS monthly jobs report showing steady gains of 52,000 in transportation and warehousing in April.

So, can we expect similar growth next month? Santangelo says, “We can hope it will continue; however, its pace is determined by inflation, rising interest rates, and Covid.”

At least for now, Monster data shows that employers are still looking for people to help get things where they need to go. Some of the top active job postings this month in transportation and warehousing include:

  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
  • Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
  • Light truck or delivery services drivers
  • Motor vehicle operators
  • Material moving workers, all other

From the candidate side, some of the top transportation and warehousing positions being searched on Monster include:

  • Warehouse worker
  • Truck driver
  • Driver

Stay Tuned for the Next Monthly Jobs Report

Monster aims to provide employers with the insight needed to move forward. As you plan your hiring strategy over the next month, check out Monster Intelligence for a deeper dive into data and what it will mean for your business

We’ll see you again in June when we’ll release our next take on the monthly jobs report.