Monster Poll: What candidates are expecting in 2023

This could be a good year for companies seeking new talent: Nearly everyone (96%) in a new Monster poll said they’re currently looking or plan to look for a job in 2023.

Why jump jobs? Many are on the hunt because they need a higher income (40%), they’re unemployed (40%), or there’s no room for growth in their current role (34%).

“Everybody is thinking about making changes,” says Jill Santopietro Panall, owner and chief consultant of 21Oak HR Consulting. “It’s resolution time, and as we get into the fourth year of the pandemic, I think people are just worn out. If you’ve been in a job you feel didn’t support you along the way, you’re really jonesing to get out now.”

Here’s what Monster heard from 2023 job seekers:

Workers are ready for a change

The vast majority of employees want out — and experts aren’t surprised, particularly given the lack of mobility during the pandemic.

“A lot of companies have put all their training, learning and development on hold for the last couple of years,” says Todd Cherches, CEO and co-founder of executive coaching firm BigBlueGumball. “Even within companies, a lot of times people haven’t had promotions or raises in a long time. Everyone put their lives on hold for two years and all of a sudden, the floodgates have opened.”

Bad bosses are losing workers

Of respondents looking for a new career, a quarter (26%) want to make a move due to a toxic workplace. “I’m surprised it’s so low,” Cherches says. This is particularly true, he says, now that more people work remotely.

“If you’re working from home, that toxicity permeates your home,” he says. “And the whole hybrid thing is really challenging. When everyone was in the office that was one thing. Now there’s complete chaos.”

Panall also finds that number lower than expected. “I think there are a lot of places that are running off a very outdated model,” she says.

Job seekers are nervous about finding a new job

Monster found that two-thirds (66%) of respondents think it will be difficult to find a new job in 2023 due to the state of the economy. But job seeker struggles will likely vary by industry. Consider that Amazon recently announced it was laying off 18,000 workers, while a Seattle aircraft manufacturing plant made the news for its pivot to hire workers with criminal records due to a labor shortage.

“A lot of skills have become obsolete where there are new skills that are needed out there,” Cherches says. “The Great Reshuffling is a great analogy. The deck is being reshuffled.”

Workers are expecting more money

Not quite half (45%) of respondents expect a higher salary due to inflation and the increased cost of living. Experts think this may be optimism at work.

“I think it’s more hoping and wishing for a higher salary, but companies are being hit by inflation too,” Cherches says. “So even though prices are going up, it’s not like profits are universally going up. I think that might not be a realistic expectation.”

That said, with so many employees looking to leave because of salary concerns and so many companies looking for good talent, it’s smart for companies to find ways to make themselves attractive. “They shouldn’t get complacent,” says Monster career expert Vicki Salemi. “They still need to be prepared to be focused on their marketing. Because even though job seekers may feel they’re unemployed so they need to accept a job offer, as soon as the industry picks up hiring again, they may leave.”

Seekers worry about job hopping and resume gaps

When respondents were asked to identify resume red flags for recruiters, they pointed to job hopping (56%) and gaps on a resume (54%). In many cases though, the pandemic has made it easier for employers to make peace with both things.

“I’m not as concerned about job hopping as long as I can see the growth and progress I want to see,” Panall says. “I’m more concerned by someone who’s had a bunch of very short jobs of the same level for years in a row, versus someone who was like, ‘I was here for a couple of years and then I moved to another place where I had a higher title.’”

Salemi, a former corporate recruiter, concurs — neither item is a red flag as long as there’s a good explanation to go along with it. “Employers should not just skip over it,” she says. “That should be one of the first things they ask about.”

Monster Poll: Workers Want Pay Transparency

It used to be that salary negotiation was the last step in a lengthy application process. But state laws are putting salary disclosure front and center, with five states now requiring employers to share pay transparency, and two more states coming on board in 2023.

Employers take note. According to a new Monster poll, nearly all workers (98%) believe companies should put salary ranges in job postings, and more than half (53%) would decide not to apply for a job that doesn’t.

“People expect to see a salary range in a job posting, and it makes sense,” says Bryan Driscoll, a lawyer and HR consultant in Orlando, Fla. “If a company only wants to pay half of what I want, let’s not waste either of our time, right?”

That said, companies aren’t necessarily racing to comply.

“Some companies believe that disclosing salaries will turn off potential candidates, as they may worry that the salary offered is too low or too high,” says Michelle Hague, HR manager at solar panel installer Solar Panels Network USA. “Ultimately, the answer depends on a number of factors, including industry trends and state laws.”

Here’s where the situation stands.

Pay Transparency Laws Vary by State

In the U.S., employers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and New York (New York City, specifically) are required to disclose base compensation to job seekers, says Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster. And Rhode Island and Washington will follow suit in January 2023. But the laws aren’t uniform across states.

“Requirements can be quite different between jurisdictions,” Salemi says. “For instance, in Colorado, employers are required to list the pay range and benefits for every job opening, whereas in Maryland, employers must provide pay ranges to candidates upon request.”

Differing state laws can make it difficult for companies located in multiple states to comply. “This is absolutely one issue that’s driving companies mad,” Driscoll says. “If a company is fully remote and they want to post a job online, how do they comply with the laws in states like California where they may not have any employees yet? It’s a constant juggle.”

Salary Is Important, but So Is Work-Life Balance

Monster found that six in ten workers (61%) say salary is their top consideration when looking for a new job. But other workers say they place things like work-life balance (16%) and benefits and perks (7%) at the top of their list.

For applicants looking for the full salary lowdown, pay transparency laws haven’t ironed out all of the wrinkles yet. “What I’ve noticed is that companies do not share the full compensation picture on their job postings,” says Brandon Bramley, founder of The Salary Negotiator, a salary negotiation coaching company. “They will usually only list the base salary range or a target compensation for the role. This confuses job seekers because they do not have visibility into the total compensation.”

Workers are Optimistic About the Future of Pay Transparency

More than half of workers (53%) think pay transparency will eventually result in salary equity and smaller or no pay gaps, according to Monster’s data, and 43% think it will lead to higher pay overall for workers.

In general, salary disclosure in job ads may lead to a better match, attracting candidates who are better suited for the role and more likely to be satisfied in their position, says Linda Shaffer, chief people and operations officer at background check company Checkr. “As such, it is an important issue that HR professionals need to carefully consider when crafting job postings and managing their recruitment process.”

Pay Transparency Gives Workers Leverage

Four in ten workers say that if they see a job posting for their position or a similar one from their employer with higher pay, they’d use it as leverage to get a raise, according to Monster’s poll. And if a company violates salary disclosure laws, more than three-quarters (77%) of workers would consider reporting them.

Then, of course, there’s the leverage that pay transparency lends to the job seeking process. “It’s another criteria for a job applicant to reject a company before going down the application rabbit hole,” Driscoll says. “It definitely puts a little more power in the applicant’s hands, but I think that levels the playing field.”

As more states enact laws, companies will have to learn to deal with pay transparency requirements. Employers posting jobs in states and cities with salary disclosure laws should include a salary range on job postings. (This includes remote jobs.)

Employers in states without laws (yet) might take this chance to get ahead of the curve and proactively post salary info. Monster, for instance, has published salaries for all U.S. based jobs at Monster.

“Ultimately, while some employers may continue to resist this trend, many others will likely embrace it in order to attract the best talent,” Hague says. “As a result, we can expect to see continued changes in hiring practices as employers adapt to the evolving landscape of salary disclosure.”

6 ways to support your working parent employees

In year three of the pandemic, working parents are still struggling. According to Pew Research, about half of them said the pandemic has made it harder to manage childcare responsibilities. Working mothers in particular, reported experiencing professional hurdles such as feeling like they couldn’t give 100% at work or needing to reduce their work hours due to parenting responsibilities.

Even as the country largely returns to pre-COVID protocols, working parents and employees with family responsibilities are still dealing with COVID complications, such as long absences from work and school when someone in the family gets COVID. This is in addition to everything else that parents and caregivers are juggling.

If you’re looking for ways to retain and support your talented parent and caregiver employees, here are some benefits you might consider:

Flexibility

It can’t be stated enough: flexibility is crucial for anyone managing responsibilities outside of work, whether that’s children, aging parents, or even a pet. Unless you’re a business that requires dealing with customers or on-site work, giving employees the freedom to complete their work on a schedule that works for them is a key benefit.

“Offering things like flexible hours, telecommuting, and condensed work weeks can make a big difference,” says Linda Shaffer, chief people and operations officer at Checkr, an HR technology platform. “At Checkr, we offer flexible start and end times, allowing people to work around their children’s schedules. We also have a remote work policy, which allows parents to work from home when needed.”

A Remote Work Stipend

A stipend that allows your workers to purchase supplies that make it easier for them to work remotely can increase their efficiency at home and make things easier. For instance, a parent working from home could benefit from things like a divider, noise-canceling headphones, a good microphone, or even a seat cushion that makes their chair more comfortable.

“I love when I see companies saying, ‘Find a quiet place in your home to work,’” says Jill Santopietro Panall, a human resources consultant at 21Oak HR Consulting. “If you have three or four children, that’s not a thing. What does that person need?”

Flexible Sick Time or COVID Days

COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and with COVID absences requiring at least five days at home, workers can go through their sick days in record time. For instance, an employee may have to leave work just to pick up a child from school who’s tested positive for COVID.

“In some cases, companies are adding a little time that’s only for COVID,” Panall says. “It’s not extra time — it’s so they’re not getting killed on using their sick time when COVID keeps popping back up.”

A Working Parents ERG

Employee resource groups help different sets of people at a company feel connected and can strengthen employee engagement. An ERG for working parents can go a long way toward creating a supportive culture at your company. Monster, for instance, recently introduced a Parents and Caregivers ERG.

“Providing a safe space where employees can be their authentic selves and discuss how to better support and educate their workplace is highly effective,” says Adam Selita, CEO and cofounder of The Debt Relief Company. “ERGs have also been proven to help improve workplace satisfaction, as well as improve workplace conditions for employees who might feel marginalized.”

Child Care Support

Child care is a challenge for many working parents. Still, as recently as January 2020, only 6% of firms offered any child care benefits, according to a survey by B2B ratings platform Clutch. There are various ways to do this, including offering child care subsidies, backup child care assistance, or flexible child care spending accounts.

“Daycare is a big issue,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y. “Is there an option to put a daycare center in your organization? As a perk or incentive? All those things are opportunities.”

Money Toward Education

If you have the means, offering benefits that can be used to pay for education can go a long way. According to data from Willis Towers Watson, an increasing number of companies are considering offering benefits like tuition reimbursement, student loan refinancing or 529 contributions this year or next.

“I just reviewed an offer letter from a friend who’s going to a company that had monthly deposits you can use toward your own student loans or your college student’s tuition,” Panall says. “That really says, ‘We’re digging deep.’ That’s for companies with bigger, deeper pockets, but that’s such a hot topic right now.”

Showing You Value Your Parent and Caregiver Employees

The more you can show that you value your parent and caregiver employees, the better your chances of hiring and retaining great talent. “I think there’s been an evolution, and people’s expectations and demands are going to change,” Burr says. “If you’re not offering me what I need, I’m going to get on the Internet and find something different.”

Is It Time to Call Remote Employees Back to the Office?

Remote work has been the name of the work game since early 2020. According to a data analysis from the Society of Human Resource Management, four in ten employers offer at least some remote work — up from 22% before the pandemic.

But as home life returns to something that looks more normal, some experts are recommending a return to full-time office life, particularly for Millennials and Gen Z. These are workers who could benefit from in-person work interaction and instruction to advance their careers.

But these are also generations that value flexibility. About two-thirds of Millennials (67%) and Gen Z (63%) workers believe remote work leads to a better work/life balance, according to a survey from Deloitte. And about six in ten said that after the pandemic ended, they’d like the option to work from a remote location more frequently.

While fully in-person work has its benefits, many employers plan to stick with some form of flexible work. Here’s the lay of the office land:

Most employers who went remote are happy with it

Some industries don’t have the option of remote work — think food services, retail, warehousing — but during the pandemic, about a third of private sector companies increased remote work opportunities for their employees, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those, six in ten plan to keep the telework policies they put in place.

“We’ve been able to hire a wider variety of talent across the country, and despite being remote, we have high engagement, employee satisfaction, and virtually no turnover,” says Lauren Schneider, senior public relations manager for HR tech company Compt, which went fully remote at the start of the pandemic.

For Millennials and Gen Z workers, fully remote work gives them, among other things, the opportunity to work for high-profile companies while living in lower-cost areas. “Providing employees with the flexibility to work when, where, and how they want, shows them that you value their input and respect their time management skills,” says Kirill Sajaev, executive director and founder of digital marketing firm Auq.io.

Hybrid models are trending 

Employers understand that work flexibility drives worker retention — but many would still like to see their employees’ smiling faces now and then. Those are the companies asking workers to report to an office on at least a part-time basis. That meshes with a 2021 survey by McKinsey that found that nine out of ten companies planned to be hybrid post-pandemic.

“Personally, I think a hybrid model has the best of both worlds,” says John Frigo, eCommerce manager with Bestpricenutrition.com, which is bringing remote employees back to the office a few days a week. “It gives employees more flexibility and takes away some of the burdens of commuting, packing lunches, having work clothes ready to go, while also having the benefits of in-office work, such as people having relationships with one another and building rapport.”

Hybrid models allow workers to meet and collaborate as needed, but also to avoid some of the expense of full-time commuting, particularly as prices continue to climb, and allow companies to save on office expenses.

Fidelity Investments reports that a quarter of the company’s associates are participating in voluntary re-entry programs across all offices. During the next phase of re-entry, the company is asking teams to come to the office one week a month. And last fall, American Express introduced Amex Flex, a new work model allowing workers to choose a hybrid or remote work schedule.

“The majority of our colleagues in the U.S. have chosen a hybrid schedule, which means they come into the office an average of two days per week and work virtually for the rest,” says Claire Hogan, vice president and head of global talent acquisition at American Express. “More than 40% have opted to be fully virtual, a percentage that has doubled since before the pandemic.”

Remote work doesn’t work for everyone

Remote work isn’t a miracle setup for all companies, and some see the benefit of bringing everyone back to a central spot, particularly for new employees. For one thing, when you’re working remotely, you can’t pop your head into the partner’s office for a quick discussion or interrupt a manager near you with a question.

“Companies have found it difficult to reproduce this online,” says Rahul Vij, CEO of WebSpero Solutions, a digital marketing agency that is calling all its employees back to the office. “Clients and management notice the difference since new employees aren’t learning many essential aspects of the job, such as how to ask follow-up questions, or people skills in general.”

Other companies see the benefit of in-person camaraderie — something that requires real creativity to reproduce in a virtual workplace.

“We gain something when we interact with someone in person,” says Marcus Hutsen, business development manager of Patriot Coolers, which is returning to a full-time in-person model. “[It’s] something that can’t be duplicated by other modes of communication. If we need to go remote again sometime, we will, but for me, the default is to be working together in an office, as a team.”

The bottom line

It may be true that full-time, in-person work is beneficial to robust career development, but after two years of flexible work options, remote work may be a tough knot to unravel from company benefits.

“Flexible work schedules support the mental and physical health of employees, which in turn encourages and bolsters productivity,” says Sarah Hawk, COO of software firm Discourse. “If businesses recognized that the benefits of trust-based relationships outweigh the archaic need to micro-manage, productivity and health would soar.”

Are Extra Company Perks Disappearing?

During the pandemic, companies had to rethink worker benefits. The nature of work changed, the workplace changed, and the things that workers found valuable shifted. Nearly all (98%) of companies reported plans for at least one form of benefit expansion, according to a 2021 Care.com survey.

It’s been a time of intense competition for talent and one of the most stressful work environments many people have ever experienced. Employers started offering extras like company-wide mental health days, work-from-home stipends, and flexible hours to accommodate caregiving.

But with inflation at 9% in June and some big companies announcing layoffs, experts are watching to see whether employers keep their benefits extras.

“I think it depends on what type of company it is and what its goals are when it comes to human resources,” says Caitlyn Parish, CEO, and founder of retail company Cicinia. “If they value a happy, mentally healthy employee, I don’t think they’ll take away such perks.”

Here are some factors affecting these decisions:

Companies are desperate for workers

While the economy has made things tight in some sectors, employers still need people to do the work. “The clients that I manage are not scaling back their benefits to employees based on inflation,” says Heather Summers, senior manager of human resources at Flex HR. “In fact, they are making their benefits more attractive to fill their open positions.”

That sentiment is echoed by Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, N.Y.: “I think compensation is actually higher,” Burr says. “They’re still paying people more money because they’re trying to get people to come to work. Labor still has the upper hand.”

Even if a company’s bottom line is suffering, employers may choose to keep benefits and subtract from other expenses. “They may be cutting in other areas, but from my experience, they’re still desperate to get their pipelines filled from an employment perspective,” says Jenna Squires, president of World Payroll & HR. “They’re still dangling all the carrots.”

Employee retention is key

Employee benefits aren’t just about attracting great hires — they’re also about keeping the great talent you have. Sixty percent of workers said their companies’ retirement benefits were a big reason they stayed at that company, according to the 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey by consultancy WTW. In a competitive landscape, shrinking benefits can lead workers to jump ship for companies offering better packages.

“We have concluded that pulling back such offers would diminish our bonds with our workforce, and ultimately reduce employee satisfaction rates,” says Lorie Carson, founder and marketing manager of search site Real People Finder.

Moreover, in some companies, benefits managers are still debating about how to boost perks to meet employee needs.

“A lot of my clients are still looking to add stuff,” says Jill Santopietro Panall, owner and chief consultant of 21Oak HR Consulting. “I’m frequently reaching out to them and hearing, ‘Can I have a corporate wellness person come in to talk about stress in the workplace?’ ‘How do I get an EAP?’”

The bottom line

Jobs growth was still strong in July, but the fact is, the future is uncertain. Higher prices will affect some businesses and require some pullback to stay afloat.

In the meantime, though, many companies are still talking a big benefits game. “I’ve seen an addition of a lot of mental health days or flex days off,” Squires says. “There’s still an uptick in trying to figure out those things for work-life balance. I definitely haven’t seen where those trends are stopping.”

Four Reasons Candidates Are Ghosting You

About three-quarters of recruiters say they’ve been ghosted by a candidate, and nearly half (47%) of candidates admit to ghosting potential employers, according to a recent Monster survey. That means that at some point during the recruiting or interviewing process, nearly half of the candidates disappeared without a trace or an explanation.

“I’ve seen people literally set up an interview and just not show up for it,” says Matthew Burr, a human resources consultant in Elmira, NY. “Labor is in such demand that people have options. They’re going to pick and choose and probably put in a number of resumes with organizations.”

Candidates have a variety of reasons for ghosting. Monster’s latest survey of 1,000 Gen Z job candidates found the top four reasons they gave for ghosting. Below are their responses and expert tips on what companies can do to keep Gen Z talent on board.

#1 Employers were rude or misleading

About a third (31%) of job candidates say they disappeared because the recruiter or the hiring manager was rude, or lied to them about the position, according to Monster data. In the war for talent, mistreating job seekers is risky business.

“I’ve had that happen to me before, where I took a job that promised 25% travel or less,” Burr says. “I got into the job, and it was 99% travel. I resigned after six months.”

For best results, recruiters must be transparent about job responsibilities and company culture. If you gloss over the less glamorous parts of the position or any company issues you’re having, you leave yourself open to a poor hiring experience. Recent Monster data revealed that nearly a quarter of candidates are skeptical of what is promised in a job ad. “You’ve got to be completely honest with people in the job ad and in the interview to make sure it’s a fit,” Burr says. “If you hire the wrong person, it’s not going to last.”

#2 Recruiters took too long

In 29% of cases, candidates say they ghosted because the recruiter or hiring manager took too long to get back to them. Gen Z is a generation that expects and values immediacy, so leaving them on the hook can backfire.

“Recruiters and business owners are slow at times in picking up the phone and calling a candidate,” Burr says. “In my opinion, if you get someone decent to apply, you’ve got to get someone on the phone in 24 to 48 hours setting up an interview.”

In a labor market where entry-level talent is in high demand, taking too long at any stage of the hiring process can lead a candidate to jump on another job offer. The more companies can streamline their processes and make sure they’re being responsive to candidates, the better their chances of getting job seekers to the finish line.

#3 The process felt impersonal

Twenty-three percent of candidates say they ghosted because the job process felt impersonal. The combination of many companies relying on artificial intelligence for parts of the process and, in many cases, not responding at all to applications leaves Gen Z feeling like they aren’t connecting with real human beings.

“Gen Z are the feedback generation,” says Todd Cherches, CEO and co-founder of executive coaching firm BigBlueGumball. “It’s not necessarily about money, it’s about feeling validated and feeling special and feeling chosen. If you treat people like cogs in a machine, they’re going to feel that way and act that way.”

That means staying in touch with candidates throughout the process, letting them know when you’ve received applications and other materials, and telling them when/if you hire someone else for the role. “One of the most important pieces is to send that rejection note so people know they’re not an applicant and they know you appreciate them applying for the job,” Burr says.

#4 Employers are asking for too much

Forty percent of college grads say that employers asking for multiple years of experience for an entry-level position is the most frustrating part of the job search.

“If it’s an entry-level hire, a lot of what we have to do is educate our clients as to what that means,” says Bill Nichols, practice director for Robert Half. “If you want an entry-level hire, we’re really recruiting around expectations, and a lot of it is soft skills. Sure, do they have some internship experience? But part of taking a chance on a hire is what that person could be.”

Companies that are more understanding of what it means to invest in the right talent and have good training in place will have an easier time recruiting the Gen Z crowd.

“At some point, the pendulum will swing back in favor of companies,” Cherches says. “But until then — and hopefully beyond — recruiters, HR people, and hiring managers will realize that in today’s post-pandemic hybrid workplace, they need to take a more personalized and interpersonal approach to dealing with people if they want to be treated that way in return.”

Find the Right Candidates

Looking for signs that candidates are worth your time? Learn more from the experts at Monster. We can send you free advice, trend reports, and insights to help you grow your business

Tackling Mental Health and Wellness At Work

The last two years have been incredibly stressful, by anyone’s standards. Anxiety and depression are up worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And maybe not surprisingly, nine in 10 (91%) Gen Z candidates say it’s important for them to be comfortable discussing mental wellness at work, according to Monster’s latest Gen Z Survey.

It’s also worth noting that 47% of employees say they’re more stressed since the pandemic and need to make changes with their life, according to Randstad’s Workmonitor survey. Thirty-four percent of candidates want a job with manageable stress levels, and 40% of Gen Z candidates would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job.

“We might say that the impact on our mental health is the second act of the pandemic, and that’s not going away anytime soon,” says Laura Putnam, CEO and founder of well-being consulting firm Motion Infusion, and author of Workplace Wellness that Works. “In fact, there’s often a delayed effect.”

With that in mind, it’s more important than ever for companies to make employee mental health a priority. Here’s how employers can make sure they’re offering what candidates and employees need:

Encourage movement

Research has found that when people move, not only do they get healthier, they get happier. Movement can prevent and even treat anxiety.

“When we move, it is as effective as Zoloft for treating depression,” Putnam says. “But another study found that movement actually primes us to connect with others. So there’s a lot of power in very simple rituals, like converting a Zoom meeting to a walking meeting.”

Organize a lunchtime walking club, or create annual or recurring step challenges. Urge employees to take the stairs. “When individuals move physically and exercise, their bodies produce endorphins,” says Awstin Gregg, a therapist and CEO at Connections Wellness Group, a Texas company offering psychiatry, counseling and therapy. “These are the body’s ‘feel good’ chemicals, which help to directly offset the consequences that stress can have on the body.”

Help employees make connections

When people feel connected at work, everyone benefits. Studies show that there’s a link between having a best friend at work, for example, and an employee’s level of effort and engagement.

The same goes for teams. “On a team where there’s a high level of trust, they are 12 times more likely to be a high performing, highly engaged team,” Putnam says. “So I often encourage organizations to think beyond programs and challenges, and to think more about how they can implement rituals, particularly team by team, led by the manager, that start to embed well-being as a way of life.”

Offer flexibility

“A large Harvard study found that as we move up in an organization, while our responsibility levels go up, our stress levels actually go down,” Putnam says. “The reason: We have a greater perceived sense of control over how we spend our time.”

In other words, flexibility is a key mental health support. This meshes with Monster’s finding that job candidates — 34% of college graduates and 28% of non-college grads — say that flexible schedule options are the job perk they’re most interested in.

“If we want to meaningfully help employees better manage their stress, one of the most powerful ways is to provide more opportunities for flexibility in how the work gets done,” Putnam says.

Create follow-through

For leaders advocating for wellness in the workplace, actions speak volumes. Celebrate when people use their PTO, for instance, instead of implying that it’s preferable for employees to show up every day. Laud C-suite employees who are taking vacations and sabbaticals, and follow up with employees who aren’t using their time off.

Another method: Incentivize healthy behaviors and create employee programs designed to praise healthy habits. “For an organization to turn the corner with follow-through, it will require some intentionally altered perspectives on the ‘way things have always been,’” Gregg says. “The truth is that mental health challenges are becoming more common than the common cold.”

Hold up a mirror

If employees are suffering from stress and burnout, an employer may need to take a hard look at their organization to determine the root cause. Is it the employee? Or is it the workplace itself?

“If we look at something like healthcare, one of the biggest drivers of burnout is patient overload,” Putnam says. “And a lot of these healthcare organizations, seeking to maximize their profits, have increased the patient load even before COVID hit. So this naturally creates a scenario in which, just because of workload, no matter how much yoga or mindfulness these individuals may be practicing, they’re going to be burned out.”

Encourage basic self-care

On the heels of pandemic stress, a large majority (83%) of workers are worried that the situation in Ukraine will impact the U.S. economy, according to Monster’s data. This kind of worry and anxiety can be overwhelming.

One thing employers can do is acknowledge that these are stressful times. And then urge workers to take care of themselves in general. “Eat, move, sleep,” Putnam says. “I love the quote that ‘The bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.’ We cannot overestimate the importance of the basics right now.”

While there are existential threats to fear, Putnam says, people can control their reactions to them: “While we may have little or not control over the circumstances in our lives, we have infinite power as to how we respond to those circumstances.”

Be ready to talk about mental health and more at work

The new generation of workers are saying loud and clear that they want to be able to talk about mental health and wellness at work, but they also want more salary transparency, a more flexible workplace and career stability. Learn what else they’re looking for in Monster’s latest Gen Z Report.

 

Hiring Gen Z Candidates: Why They Ghost, How They Find Jobs, and What They Want from Employers

Listen up, employers: Gen Z is the generation that will dominate the workforce by 2030. As the first truly digitally native and most diverse generation ever, you need to be doing all you can to tap into their talents – now!

Even before the labor market was turned on its head by COVID, hiring Gen Z candidates had its challenges. But in a pandemic bounce-back year with a tight labor market, it’s imperative for employers with aggressive hiring to figure out how to attract and retain Gen Z workers.

According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 report, employers plan to hire 26.6% more new graduates from the Class of 2022 than they did from the Class of 2021. In addition, sectors seeking candidates with particular skill sets but not necessarily degrees are also desperate to fill their roles.

The good news is that Gen Z is ready and eager to go to work. The challenge is getting them to choose your organization over the many others that are hiring. Monster recently surveyed this emerging workforce as well as employers to gain some insights into the current hiring landscape. These are a few of the key findings.

Neither Group Feels Like They’re Holding All The Cards

The majority of employers (57%) say job seekers have the upper hand in today’s entry-level job market. In fact, 72% of employers say they’ve increased salary for entry-level jobs (above inflation-based increases) in the last 12 months to attract candidates.

Yet, more than half (58%) of recent and impending grads didn’t get the memo, citing that it’s actually the employers who have the leverage in today’s entry-level job market. Fewer non-college grads (45%) said the same, though, possibly reflecting their awareness of publicized worker shortages in sectors like retail, hospitality, and manufacturing.

“It’s also a matter of perspective,” according to Monster economist Giacomo Santangelo. “The group that’s always in power is the one that’s more in demand. So in this case, firms looking to hire workers with a specific skill set need that skill set, and workers who have it are the ones with the power. In this case, it’s more likely to be the older subset of the 18-24 year old Gen Zers, because they’re more likely to have those skills,” he says.

Takeaway: Regardless of which group has the upper hand, the goal for recruiters should always be to meet somewhere in the middle so that both parties are bringing value to the table, and getting value in return.

Learn The Secret Behind Ghosting

Ghosting on both sides is prevalent (though many won’t admit it), and many are misinformed as to why it happens. For example, just 4 in 10 candidates confessed to ghosting recruiters, but 74% of recruiters say they were ghosted. And while just over one-third of recruiters said they ghosted a job seeker during the hiring process, a much higher percentage (55% of grads and 42% of non-grads) say they were victims of ghosting.

Employers’ top theories as to why they think candidates ghosted them include that they already accepted a different position (61%), they were no longer interested in the position (58%), or they didn’t think they had a chance to get hired (34%).

But Gen Z candidates aren’t letting recruiters off the hook that easily. More than a third who did the ghosting said it was because the recruiter was rude to them or lied about the position. Among candidates without a degree, the number one reason they gave for cutting ties with recruiters is because they took too long to respond.

Gen Z Might Have Unrealistic Expectations

Another thing to consider, says Santangelo, is that the younger candidates have a different outlook of online job searches than older generations might.

“People entering the labor market for their first job have unrealistic expectations built upon years of being able to get instant feedback on their thoughts (Twitter), their meals (Instagram), their dancing (TikTok), even ordering food (GrubHub),” says Santangelo.

“When they apply for a job, they have to wait. They may feel they are being ghosted, but only because no one told them how to manage their expectations.”

For recruiters and hiring managers hiring Gen Z candidates, a few words on the job description forecasting a timeline of next steps could help ease the tensions between candidate expectations and recruiting realities.

Takeaway: Recruiting etiquette goes a long way. By simply being professional, transparent, and keeping candidates in the loop, you can stand out from your competitors, while cultivating goodwill with prospective hires.

The Job Search Journey is Dominated by Digital

Among the top tools identified as most important by Gen Z job seekers were job boards (24%) and career networking platforms (15%), beating out college career services and social media.

Non-college grads lean more heavily on local job boards, and 29% of them said social media platforms like Tik Tok and YouTube have been very helpful to their job searches.
Takeaway: Employer branding is more important than ever. From your own career site to job postings to being consistent on social media and networking platforms, sharing your employer value proposition and company values in an authentic way is crucial for any company intent on hiring Gen Z candidates.

Gen Z Cares About Wellness and Diversity

Gen Z is looking beyond salary and benefits to seek out companies that also care about their values and wellbeing. Near and dear to their hearts? Diversity and personal wellness.

Three in 10 college grads said they need to see a company’s commitment to diversity in a job posting or they won’t even bother to apply. Likewise, they want to see diversity in leadership (26%), and women in leadership roles (24%).

This generation of college grads is also more interested in holistic wellness, ranking healthcare benefits and 401(k) match more important than perks like unlimited vacation time or free food.

Speaking of healthcare, Gen Z puts a high priority on mental wellness in particular. In fact, 91% of college grads and 83% of non-college candidates say it’s important to them to feel comfortable discussing mental wellness at work.

Takeaway: Though competitive salary offers are important, Gen Z candidates are looking at a much fuller picture when evaluating job offers. Be sure to highlight your inclusive culture and wellness support offerings when meeting with younger applicants.

Want More Intel On Hiring Gen Z Candidates?

If you’re still reeling from the Great Resignation and trying to fill roles left vacant during the pandemic, finding those right-fit candidates involves a lot of detective work. Who are they? What are their dealbreakers? How can I get them to commit? Luckily, we’ve got fresh data and insights to help you understand and reach today’s job seekers. Our 2022 Future of Work Report is a great place to start. Download this free report today.

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.