Industry News

Evolution of the Modern Job Seeker

With the rise of remote work and the changes to the traditional workplace setting, several trends are coming to the forefront of today’s workforce. A shift in priorities to a more even work/life balance and feeling more empowered by their role. Still, retention issues persist as The Great Resignation continues from earlier this year. As an executive search firm, we want to help curb this and ensure that you are getting people who are a perfect fit for your role. Here, we’ll discuss several possible root causes as to why employees are leaving their jobs as well as how job seeker’s priorities have shifted in what they’re looking for in new potential positions.  

According to the Harvard Business Review , the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4 million resignations in July after peaking in April and a record 10.9 million openings at the end of the month. Understanding why so many vacancies have occurred is vital in terms of addressing them. By first identifying some key contributing factors is necessary. Those between 30 and 45 years old have submitted the most resignations in the last two years, while two other key groups (20-25 year olds, 60-70 year olds) have experienced decreased resignations in the same time span. They also identify resignations decreasing in finance while increasing in the tech and health care industries. Fields that have experienced disproportionally high demand during the pandemic have faced increased numbers of resignations. They do suggest several solutions to this problem: 1) Quantify the problem 2) Identify root causes 3) Develop tailored retention programs. The author found that after adopting a data driven retention strategy, they saw a 10% reduction in resignations. 

Identifying what job seekers are looking for in this current era is crucial to quality placement and decreasing turnover. The Forbes Human Resources Council has listed some key details that candidates are looking for in today’s job market. Several of those factors include benefits that have been refocused to reflect today’s hybrid working environment, workplaces that prioritize outcomes over output, and jobs that grow along with the employee. Additionally, people are changing their philosophy about their relationship with their employer and how it is a reflection themselves. Jobs that speak to their personal values, have a positive impact in their community, as well as provide a sense of purpose have become more and more attractive to job seekers. Providing emphasis and speaking to these values have proven to be effective retention tools according to members of the council.  

To combat “The Great Resignation”, new tools and strategies are being developed to overcome record breaking job vacancies while also identifying quality people. One strategy being utilized is appealing to people’s sense of belonging. When you empower your employees, they’re more likely to voice opinions and feel as if they have a purpose. A finding by Aberdeen Strategy and Research that found 26% of best-in-class organizations are employing artificial intelligence during the recruiting process to select a more diverse array of candidates and are finding success through smart job matching. The article does note that hiring for belongingness may not be possible as a key performance indicator, but actions can be taken by mitigating biases, modelling healthy leadership behaviors, and fostering diversity in hiring practices. 

As we move forward, a more human-centric step to the hiring process should be considered by hiring managers. Speak authentically to the value of the candidate and how they’ll be treated as an asset in their role. Once the role is filled, ensuring that the new employee feels adequately involved and empowered by their role is vital in encouraging them that they’re in for the long-term as well. After all, what employee doesn’t want to feel like they matter and that their work is contributing to their company’s success?  

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