Workers and Their Views on the Current Job Market
Today's job market looks shockingly different than it did just three years ago. Then, fewer companies offered remote or hybrid opportunities, and the labor force was much larger. Things have changed since facing the COVID-19 pandemic as companies were forced to shift to remote opportunities to ensure business continuity while battling record-high unemployment.
Now, the unemployment rate is finally steady at 3.6%. However, employers are struggling to find people to fill open jobs. The older workforce is opting for retirement, and other employees are shifting to new roles and industries that align with their changing wants and needs, such as higher pay and remote or hybrid work.
In 2022, there was excess labor market demand as the number of job openings outnumbered unemployed Americans by almost 2 to 1. As a result, companies compete against each other to find qualified candidates to fill open roles, and some even struggle to get applicants to show up for interviews. With the continued scarcity of workers despite the level of employment reaching a pre-pandemic high, we wanted to take a closer look at what workers and job seekers are looking for on the job market.
We surveyed workers ages 25 to 65 years old, ranging from new graduates to those in the senior part of their careers, with some even holding executive titles. We recently worked with these respondents at eHire to learn more about their insights, experiences, and attitudes about the current job market.
75% of these respondents work in the tech industry, which has seen several changes in recent years, including the acceleration of digital transformation, the rise of remote and hybrid work, the call for more sustainable practices, and evolving company cultures.
Outlook on the Job Market
When asked about their outlook on the job market, 34.7% said it's pretty good, 19.83% said it's okay, and 15.70% said it's the best they've seen since they've been working. On the other hand, 14.05% find the current outlook to be challenging.
40.68% of those surveyed know someone personally or professionally who has received a job in the past month. In addition, 38.14% know someone who's gotten one in the past two weeks, and 17.80% said they know someone who's received one in the past week.
Job Interests and Interview Methods
Respondents were asked about their current job interests, and 33.06% said they're actively seeking new roles, 23.14% are passively looking, and 25.63% aren't currently looking but would consider new opportunities if approached. 18.18% are happy in their current role.
We know the interview phase can be intimidating and challenging for some job seekers. So we surveyed respondents on a better way to interview with a company to learn more about the role and workplace environment. For example, 39.66% said a happy hour or an informal lunch would be a good option, 28.45% would like to see a log of the actual hours that current employees work, and 19.83% would like to peek at employees' Slack messages for additional insight.
Some things they'd hope to learn from these alternative interview methods would be:
Who everyone really is and what their personalities are like
What the actual work/life balance looks like, and what the actual hours worked are
The details of people's work and habits
The Rise of Remote Work
An Accenture report found that workers prefer a hybrid work model 83% of the time. We asked our respondents what the ideal hybrid work model looks like for them and their team to perform their best work. 21.92% said they'd prefer to be 100% remote, 53.42% find value in being half remote, half in the office, 8.22% would like to be in the office most of the week, and 13.70% would like to always be in the office.
Companies are always looking for exciting benefits and perks to draw in applicants. We asked workers if they could design the perfect job offer, what some must have, should have, and what nice-to-have elements or perks would be.
55.74% said must have in regard to healthcare benefits
47.54% responded must have to salaries in line with their expectations
40.32% expressed must have regarding flexible work hours
36.07% communicated must have to work from home or work from anywhere
In the current job market, employers need to find ways to attract potential candidates to their job openings. This includes ensuring that candidates have a thorough understanding of what the roles and companies they're considering have to offer. Our respondents said some of the most important things to learn about a role before they accept a position are:
Job responsibilities and expectations for the role
Team and company culture
Salary and benefits
What the working environment is like
Based on these survey responses, a few things are clear:
Most employees prefer a completely remote or hybrid model due to potential transportation savings, their ability to get more work done from home, a decreased commute time, and less upkeep regarding their appearance.
Workers want to know what they're getting into when seeking new roles. They value information about the expectations of the position, what the company culture is like, what types of personalities their coworkers will have, and most importantly, what the salary and benefits are for the role.
It's clear that finding candidates in this current job market isn't due to a lack of talent; it has more to do with job seekers' changing their expectations. They want more out of where and how they work––they desire better pay, benefits, and a better work/life balance. Therefore, it falls on companies to step up to meet job seekers where they are.
Employers should consider the benefits of offering remote or hybrid options at their company. They should also focus on making detailed job listings to ensure potential applicants have all the information they need regarding expectations, salary, benefits, and the company culture. It's essential that this information also be discussed during the interview process.
eHire is well-versed in finding amazing talent in the tech industry. Our team also collaborates with businesses to customize the hiring process for greater efficiency. We analyze hiring processes against industry best practices, business needs, and the skills desired to create the best hiring plans. Get in touch with one of our recruitment specialists HERE.