Will your staffing firm close the 2022 recruitment season with a bang or a thud?
As 2022 winds down to a close, it is noteworthy to look back at the year it was and see the challenges that staffing firms faced in the hopes of welcoming 2023 with better preparation. To tackle and mitigate the challenges in the job market and the myriad changes in the behavior of job seekers.
The aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic brought tremendous changes in the behavior of job seekers. Pre-pandemic, the topmost priority of many job seekers in accepting a job offer would be compensation and benefits. However, this year’s insightful report revealed that 69 percent job candidates prioritize work/life balance over salary and benefits, which is now ranked second.
The study’s results made it clear that job candidates are still looking for a good-paying job in an organization with excellent company culture – but they are also looking for some room to breathe. They are still very much motivated to work but also give equal importance to time spent with their loved ones, their interests, and other pursuits outside work.
This paradigm shift towards work/life balance is causing significant disruption in the already challenging labor market – so much so that 2022 is becoming one big roller coaster ride for many recruitment agencies.
The Great Resignation
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that in 2021, some 47 million Americans resigned from their jobs. This massive departure from the workforce of a record number of employees has been called The Great Resignation.
This left a void in the labor market of 11 million vacancies up for grabs towards the beginning of 2022. Sadly, if your staffing firm hoped that 2022 would see the end of the Great Resignation, you were probably disappointed.
A survey of HR professionals revealed that 76 percent of them believe that the changes brought by the Great Resignation to the world of work are already permanent.
New work demands, such as flexible working hours and remote setups, are now mainstream, and workers have embraced these new norms wholeheartedly.
As a staffing firm, this leaves you no choice but to accommodate these new demands to keep recruiting top talent.
Quiet quitting is another phenomenon that proves that the post-pandemic disruption to the world of work is far from over.
With an increasing number of workers experiencing burnout in the workplace, issues revolving around mental well-being and work/life balance are now at the forefront. Employees begin to prioritize these factors and no longer go above and beyond at work.
How prevalent is quiet quitting in the workplace?
A survey from Gallup revealed that only 32 percent of U.S. workers remain actively engaged at work, while 18 percent stated they are actively disengaged.
Based on this data, you can infer that at least 50 percent of workers in the U.S. are already quiet quitters.
Employees who did not join the Great Resignation have now joined the quiet quitting bandwagon.
The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting: Why Are They Happening?
One of the top reasons for the Great Resignation and the prevalence of quiet quitting is the high labor shortage. This has resulted in employees and job candidates taking over the labor market.
Today more than ever, job seekers have come to realize and recognize their leverage in the job market and the value their talents offer. This realization and recognition have encouraged them to make demands, which hiring managers and staffing firms must accommodate to attract and retain top talent.
Additionally, with the shift of priorities of job candidates to work/life balance, more and more employees and job seekers find themselves unafraid to walk away from or turn down a toxic work culture.
Staffing firms must first and foremost accept that these new realities in the job market are here to stay. The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting are not simply phases or fads that will go away in time. They should be tackled and mitigated.
Moreover, the role of staffing firms has to evolve for you to keep up with all these changes and still manage to attract top talent to work for your partner companies.
Here are some actionable steps and strategies worth trying for your recruitment agency to remain relevant, efficient, and thriving despite the myriad challenges of this rapidly evolving job market.
1. Proactively Engage Passive Candidates.
The days of posting a job ad and waiting for applicants to respond to the ad are over. Because of the sheer number of vacancies and the changing preferences of job seekers, staffing firms must already meet job candidates where they are.
Today, you must proactively engage active and passive candidates in various ways.
At the forefront of your engagement strategy is your agency’s tech stack. Your tech stack should be able to give job candidates an enhanced experience.
However, to balance your tech stack, you must establish personalized candidate interactions in every hiring process. A recruiter is a marketer nowadays; your staffing firm represents your partner companies and their corresponding culture.
Initiate the connection and meet the job candidates where they are.
2. Understand the Needs of Gen Z’s and Millennials.
As a staffing firm, there is wisdom for you to finally accept that the preferences and values of Gen Z and millennial job candidates are radically different from those of Gen X and the baby boomers. The younger generation does not want the jobs of their parents and grandparents.
Studies show that most Gen Zs and millennials are looking for meaningful work. This means they are looking for a company with a defined social purpose. These generations are attracted to organizations with a great company culture where they can be appreciated and recognized.
What do these mean for hiring managers?
Creating a unique company culture means inclusivity, diversity, and teamwork are the cornerstones of your organization. Furthermore, develop programs where your top talent can be recognized and appreciated. This will also decrease the ratio of quiet quitters from within your organization.
There is no turning back. The pandemic ended the need for a physical office for many professions in the global economy.
Sixty-six percent of small and medium-sized companies in the U.S. have made hybrid work a staple in their respective companies. As a staffing firm, it partners with companies keen to offer flexible work arrangements to its new hires. This will put you in an excellent position to attract top talent, as most job candidates today strongly prefer companies with flexible work arrangements.
4. Encourage Upskilling to Mobilize Career Development.
As the job market continues to evolve, a study from the World Economic Forum mentions that 54 percent of employees and job candidates need reskilling and upskilling to prepare them for Industry 4.0.
As an organization, investing in the upskilling of your employees shows a strong commitment to their professional development. This also tells them that you believe in their potential and that they are long-term human assets in the company. This is an excellent antidote to fight off the twin tsunamis of the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting that have besieged the workplace in the last two years.
5. Expand Employee Benefits.
It has been said over and over again that work/life balance is the name of the game. Job candidates and your company’s top talents are looking for more flexibility.
This calls for a review of your existing benefits package. Consider adding a few more days of paid time off for your employees. Again, ramp up your employee recognition programs. Consider changing company policies that are already relics of a bygone era. Do your employees need to work at definite times and days on-site? How flexible can you go? These policies are all worth revisiting.
Now that recruiters are also marketers, partnering with marketing agencies is wise to bring out your staffing firm’s competitive advantage. Consider partnering with Allied Insight, a full-stack marketing agency specializing in purposeful, productive, and beneficial partnerships with staffing firms. Give us a call so, we can help you recruit top talent in this Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting era!!