Now with the world resuming seemingly normal function, our new problem is having millions of job openings and significantly less job seekers to fill them. Why?
Job market volatility is not necessarily a new concept, especially after something like a pandemic. We expected some degree of job loss, but when everything either shut down or went virtual we noticed a significant uptick. This rapid reduction of employment left many scars and realigned a lot of our current priorities. And now with the world resuming seemingly normal function, our new problem is having millions of job openings and significantly less job seekers to fill them. Or at least that is what we are all constantly hearing or being told.
The resounding question is, “Why?”
There is a lot of speculation as to why this is occurring and even more skepticism about its validity. However, a lot of statistics are pointing to more positions open than available workers. CNBC reported that there are 8.6 million people considered out of work in the U.S. and nearly 10 million job openings. Employers claim they are struggling to find applicants than previously reported. Some even say that the challenge is convincing people to move away from their currently accustomed “COVID lifestyle.” The message here is simple: People do not want to return to work for a various number of reasons, but moreover have adapted to joblessness or re-centered priorities such as staying home with family more. Other employers place blame squarely on unemployment benefits and supplemental programs.
To incentivize the job market, employers have reached new heights. This has a good side in that more companies are offering what people want. Employers are starting to offer flexible working environments, sign-on bonuses, and in certain cases even pet insurance. In fact, 19% say they are offering pet insurance, a perk that is expected to rise to 27% of companies in the next two years according to a survey from Gallagher. Take a look at some other benefits companies are providing:
- Extended healthcare benefits
- Pharmaceutical coverage
- Sign-on bonuses
- Gym memberships
- Discount programs
- Childcare assistance
- Legal services assistance
- Identity theft protection
It’s almost too good to be true.
If you ask those seeking employment, you’ll get the other side to this coin. Employers are taking much longer to hire today compared to before the pandemic. This could largely be due to old-fashioned corporate hiring practices. Either way, job seekers are finding that their applications are going unanswered, and many have received no response despite submitting multiple applications. Not to mention the vast majority of qualified candidates simply aren’t getting matched with jobs appropriately through career sites. Others on the job hunt say that positions are offering too little pay with unstable schedules and simply don’t see enough value. One major factor revolves around a candidate’s skill set. Employers’ job listings now often require certain skills that weren’t as much of a necessity pre-pandemic. The gap between candidate skills and what employers desire needs to be addressed.
Companies across the nation have started tailoring their job postings to include certain skills. If you have them, you have great hiring potential. If you lack them, a rejection letter could be on its way. In fact, a study by McKinsey Global Institute states that a 2017 analysis estimated that 14% of the global workforce will need to be reskilled entirely, and 40% will need partial reskilling to continue with their current occupations. Take notice of the date: 2017. That’s a couple years before the pandemic. This trend has obviously continued before becoming exponentially relevant mid-pandemic.
So what skills are these companies demanding anyway? One highly sought-after skill is the ability to adapt to a remote work environment entirely. That means mastering Zoom, Microsoft Outlook, calendar syncing, and project management among many other applications depending on the company. Here is a list of in-demand skills:
- MS Suite
- Project management
- Knowledge of cloud platforms
- Programming languages
- Sales and helpdesk platforms
- Remote desktop fluency
- Resiliency and stress-tolerance
- Leadership and communication
The good news is that learning these skills will take a lot of effort but in a relatively short time frame compared to traditional education. Futurelink has featured courses featuring the aforementioned skills and many more. You can opt to utilize course-style material, lasting roughly six weeks or go the workshop format route. Click here to browse our courses and workshops.
No matter which one you choose, it will undoubtedly assist in your job search or impress your current employer. Click here to get started with a career assessment and start closing the skill gap.