Today’s jobs market is in a rapid state of flux and shows no sign of slowing down. According to polls cited by Quartz at Work, “…workers around the world are going to launch an epic game of musical chairs once offices open again and mass vaccinations bring the pandemic under control.” In this fast-paced market, people are changing jobs at a higher rate than before. Quartz cites a study by Prudential in which they “…found that 25% of US employees expect to look for a new employer once the threat of the pandemic has decreased.” This scenario presents opportunities for recruiters to significantly increase their placements. So be aware of this trend and position yourself to take advantage and better serve your clients.
Remote working is one of the factors driving this scenario. For some, remote working is a blessing in that it gives them more flexibility and freedom, allows them to avoid onerous commutes, and generally improves their lifestyle. This pool of employees, having tasted the joys of remote work, may not want to return to the office and may be driven to find a new position. Opportunity! For others, the social interaction, human bonding, and camaraderie of the workplace is sorely missed. They may also wish to escape the feeling of being cooped up at home and are ready to get back with the Team in the office. With many employers realizing that they can significantly reduce their overhead burdens by minimizing the costs of maintaining office space, there will be pressure on employees to stay with remote working. This group of employees may choose to change jobs. Again, opportunity!
Another driver of the present flux in the market is the effect of Federal government supplemental unemployment benefits programs ($300/week extra). For many people, this provides a disincentive to return to work. With many states plagued by labor shortages, there is movement to stop participating in these supplemental plans and encourage people to go back to work. At the time of this writing, about 21 states are set to stop participating in the near term. As the work disincentives are reduced, the tide of people who want to reenter the work force will continue to rise. In many cases these people may not be able to return to their previous employer because their old job has been filled, or because the work does not meet their new expectations (remote vs. office).
Yet another factor is that companies are re-adjusting their staff to reduce operating costs by releasing people that don’t fit in with the team or lack the proper skill set. They are also adding new staff where necessary. According to ASA Staffing, new starts expanded an average of 9.3% over last year, with half of staffing firms reporting gains in new assignments. In the face of this high demand for skilled people companies rely even more on recruiters to find qualified people. Where companies have had contract workers who proved to be a good fit, conversions from contract to direct hire are also increasing. Recruiters should note that placing contract workers who ultimately go direct is an excellent means of building your business. You can earn an income stream while the employee is under contract and then collect a conversion fee when, or if, the employee is converted to direct hire. Regardless, you make your full fee.
Stay in close touch with your clients and learn how they intend to address the challenges cited above. Make sure they understand that you are here to help them with their labor needs. You can tailor your efforts to fit their needs. Screen your applicants to determine if they would be interested in a contract position and if they are interested in remote or office-based work. Finding the optimal direct hire often takes significant time. Temp and contract placements can fill the void and may even result in a good fit for a direct hire. You will develop an inventory of potential temp or contract candidates as you screen for direct hires. Keep these candidates in mind and propose them when they represent the best fit for a client.
Partner with a back-office provider to give you the flexibility of responding immediately to your client’s needs and relieve you of the headaches of handling temp and contract placements. Back-office providers keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulations issued by the federal, state, and local jurisdictions. These services can be provided immediately if you are set up in advance. You can keep up with the rapid changes in the market if you MOVE INTO THE FAST LANE.