Although the long-term outlook of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain and unprecedented challenges continue to shape the labor market landscape, both employers and employees alike are beginning to take steps towards recovery and anticipating the Great Rehire of 2021.
Outlined in the October 2020 Employment Situation News Release published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate declined continuously for 6 months to 6.9% and the number of unemployed persons dropped to 11.1 million. Furthermore, the number of persons on furlough fell to 3.2 million. Even though each statistic is considerably higher than pre-corona figures, a silver lining is beginning to shine through the uncertainty in the economy and the anxiety of daily life in the new norm.
Despite the persistence of COVID-19, people are beginning to reenter the economy and the business climate is expected to greatly improve in Q1 2021. According to the Personal Income and Outlays report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Personal Saving as a Percentage of Disposable Personal Income skyrocketed to a record 33.7% in April of 2020 as individuals spent less on vacations, entertainment, and other leisurely activities. By October 2020, however, the rate dropped to 13.6% suggesting that there are positive signs of growth.
Now, organizations have shifted to new working styles and HR departments have begun laying out their plans to hire the millions of workers who are open to new opportunities and ready to return. Such professionals may have remained hunkered down during the pandemic, but a vibrant landscape filled with opportunity will lure them out, thus beginning a new fight for top talent. This is what will be known as the Great Rehire of 2021.
Be Ready When the Labor Market Takes Shape
Of course, there is no crystal ball telling us when the Great Rehire will begin. The reality is that the situation is still very uncertain and for some employers and hiring is still not an option at this time. However, it is important for businesses to make sure their house is in order and their finger on the pulse, tuned into the market.
First off, organizations should never become complacent in their search for talent. They need to keep an active eye on the market and engage top passive talent when they find them. HR Teams need to continue leveraging existing networks, referral programs, and social media to identify those with the right skills and attitude for the organization. Start building the pipeline now so when the time comes, the right offer to the right candidate can be delivered.
Once the Great Rehire kicks in, organizations will need to accelerate the time to hire to recruit the top talent. HR divisions would do well to make sure their hiring process is streamlined and optimized to source and leverage the candidate pipeline, maximizing productivity at the fastest speed possible.
With an influx of hundreds, if not thousands of resumes to find the right candidate before, the process should be candidate friendly as well as efficient. If the right technology has yet to be implemented, hiring managers should consider partnering with the right agency to handle much of the heavy lifting. A staffing agency will have a network of highly qualified talent, the necessary tools to source new candidates, and the capacity to parse hundreds of candidates resumes to deliver the most qualified to the organization.
Plan for Candidate Expectations in the Great Rehire of 2021
Next, it is important for employers to understand the needs of the candidate as well. The priorities of job seekers have changed due to the pandemic.
Competitive salaries and benefit packages have been and always will be a decisive factor in attracting talented professionals to golden opportunities. However, the labor trend has shifted for the workforce of 2021 who will heavily prioritize work flexibility as part of their job search. This includes not only flexible working schedules, but also physical locations. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that remote work is doable and here to stay.
Organizations that are able to adjust their work culture to incorporate full-time work from home or mix of time spent at the office will find greater variety in the available talent pool as geographic location is no longer a top concern. Just as long as a system is established, there is connectivity, and the worker is comfortable away from the office efficiency and productivity will flourish.
Given the fact that we are living through the pandemic, a renewed focus on health and safety has also been given high priority status among job seekers. Organizations should look to offer mental health services in addition to their current health-care benefits package. Furthermore, for those businesses requiring a hybrid of flexible working styles, there are new challenges concerning workplace wellness. Office space must incorporate new standards of safety and cleanliness, and in some cases completely transformed. Social gatherings such as meetings, luncheons, and other types of events must also be managed by policy.
The organizations that understand both the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent changes that have emerged in the labor market are positioned to recover. Organizations that focus their recruitment efforts on people will surely be the ones that succeed in securing top talent in the Great Rehire of 2021.
Contact AccruePartners to learn how we can help your organization prepare, manage and flourish by providing unparalleled staffing solutions unique to your business needs.