The job market has been wild. We went from firing and furloughs during the early days of the pandemic to fighting a war to find talent. With the new Omicron variant, we now have another curveball to worry about.
To gain a sense of the job market, GoCo, a leading provider of flexible software solutions for HR, benefits and payroll, conducted a survey of human resources professionals, asking them about the “current state of retention, hiring and pressures on HR to fill vacant positions.”
Spoiler alert: the study shows that companies that hesitate to increase wages, enhance benefit choices or offer retention bonuses to attract and keep good workers will have a hard time recruiting and retaining top talent.
Nir Leibovich, CEO of GoCo, said about the findings, “HR is under tremendous pressure to fill job positions in one of the most brutal job markets of our time.” Leibovich continued, “It will be critical for companies to listen to HR professionals and leaders about what is working and not working in talent acquisition right now. This survey reveals some critical insights into how companies can retain top talent and bring in new people despite the current challenges.”
Here are some highlights of the survey:
- Roughly 75% of HR professionals say the job is harder than ever. Almost 100% of the people responding to the survey said the current hiring environment is mild to “highly competitive” and around 33% replied that “hiring will not get easier for at least a year.”
- Fifty-seven percent of HR professionals say voluntary resignations are higher than previous years.
- Sales and customer service are seeing the highest resignation rates at 35% and 31%, respectively.
- Fifty-two percent of resignations are by entry-level employees and another 37% for mid-level (non-management) employees.
- Seventy-four percent of HR professionals say they feel more pressure from leadership when it comes to hiring and retention, but that drops to 64% at companies that are increasing wages, offering benefits and retention bonuses or expanding engagement programs.
- About 74% of respondents said they are struggling to hire qualified talent. Eighty percent of respondents said their companies are doing everything they can do to hire new people, though that confidence drops to 50% at companies that are doing nothing to respond to the tight job market.
When asked about making changes to improve the situation, the responses are as follows:
- Sixty percent are increasing wages.
- Fifty-nine percent are adding benefits or perks.
- Forty percent are offering retention bonuses.
- Thirty-one percent are expanding culture/engagement initiatives.
- Only 7% are doing nothing.
“There will be distinct winners and losers in this war for talent and the companies that support the recommendations of their HR professionals and leaders will be the companies that grow and thrive,” Leibovich said.
It seems clear that some companies are stuck in the past. The new and future world of work requires leadership to pay rapt attention to their employees. Management must increase wages, offer better benefits, provide the flexibility to choose when and where they work and offer accommodations, such as child care assistance.
HR is particularly feeling the pressure. It would make sense for business leaders to hire more people in this space and deploy technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to help them out.
Shared Content Forbes Jack Kellly