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Why It’s So Hard to Hire Right Now, And What Do Do About It.

Tracy Wood ~ October 24, 2022

“Nobody wants to work anymore!”

We’ve all heard the phrase. Recently, it’s made its way back into common lingo–likely due to the large number of workers who left their jobs during the pandemic. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021. That year, nervous economists dubbed this mass exit from the workforce the “Great Resignation.” Today the labor market remains tight, meaning there is a surplus of vacant jobs and a shortage of available workers–seemingly supporting the argument that “nobody wants to work anymore!”

However, a recent viral Twitter thread, titled A Brief History of Nobody Wants to Work Anymore, featuring newspaper clippings that date back to 1894, exposed that the phrase has been in mainstream jargon for 100 years. What’s more, several leading economists researching the “nobody wants to work anymore” phenomenon have come forward to declare the “Great Resignation” a misnomer for recent labor trends. 

So what does all this mean, exactly? 

The Great Rethink 

At LinkedIn, they’ve renamed the “Great Resignation” to the “Great Reshuffle”calling out how workers aren’t actually leaving the workforce–they’re simply quitting their jobs for better jobs. Others have renamed it the  “Great Discontent”  or the “Great Upgrade” for the ways in which employees are raising their standards in qualitative areas (such as better mentorship, team culture, and mission) in addition to better pay. 

Most, however, have landed on the “Great Rethink,” pointing to how workers have been pushed to rethink their relationship with work and how it fits into their lives. For example, many employees (mostly women) have been forced to rethink their work-life balance to focus on childcare. For some, the “Great Rethink” is about finding more meaning and engagement in work. For others, it’s about switching industries to open up new pay opportunities.

Whatever the reason, the “Great Rethink” makes it clear: it’s not that nobody wants to work anymore, it’s that nobody wants to work the way they used to anymore. As a result of the massive disruption caused by COVID-19, employees’ priorities, attitudes, and behaviors have shifted–resulting in a tight labor market. 

This is likely what the recorded anecdotes in A Brief History of Nobody Wants to Work Anymore are signaling over and over again: a disruption. A shift. A rethink. A sign that people are working in new ways and leaving jobs that do not support their new priorities–and, most importantly, that employers have yet to catch up. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor force participation rate is expected to fall over the next few years–due to natural changes in the population (such as Baby Boomers retiring from the workforce). This swing has the potential to further tighten the already tight U.S. labor market. 

“Nobody wants to work anymore” gets that part right: something is wrong. However, it ignores the most essential piece of the puzzle: why. Why are employees leaving jobs? The why gives us insight into the what: what will it take to get America back to work? 

Back to Work

In mainstream media and economics, the “Great Rethink” focuses on the employee; it’s about how employees are rethinking their relationship to work and how work fits into their lives. But here at S2Verify, we think it’s all about employers

It’s about employers digging into the “why” behind current labor trends so they can figure out what employees want and deliver on it–ultimately encouraging participation in the workforce over time. The “Great Rethink” puts the onus on employers to rethink their own relationship to work and how it fits into the lives of their employees. 

At S2Verify, we support employers–the recruiters, hiring managers, and HR leaders on the front lines of the current labor problem. From background checks to employment verifications, we help employers streamline the hiring process and serve the modern worker. Together, we’re dreaming up a future where companies are thriving, employees enjoy their jobs, and America is back to work. 

What Does the Modern Worker Want? 

But, what exactly will bring Americans back to work? We’ve covered a lot of the “why” behind current employee behavior in the U.S. labor market, but what exactly does the modern worker want? 

During the next few weeks, we’ll explore this question on our blog and through our America Back to Work: Expert Interview Series. Read along as we go deeper into the tastes, attitudes, and behaviors of the modern worker. Learn practical tips for delivering on employee demands. Hear from industry experts as they dig into the data and offer best practices for hiring and retention.

To start the series, we’re focusing on one of the hottest topics in the space: the hiring process. On the blog, we’ll dig into the pain points of hiring in the current labor climate and share how to design a hassle-free hiring process for the modern employee–with powerful tools such as professional license verifications.

Then, join us virtually on Twitter Spaces for our first America Back To Work: Expert Interview Series on

November 4 at 1:00pm ET

with William Tincup, editor-in-chief at Recruiting Daily. He and co-founder and chief strategy officer, Arnette Heintze, go deeper into the current hiring landscape and the human capital demands of the present and future. 

Click here to save your spot today! 

5 ‘Anti-Perks’ That Sound Great but Employees Actually Hate | Inc.com

With employers currently struggling to lure workers back to the office and keep them motivated, perks seem one obvious answer. Maybe a team happy hour, a sponsored gym membership, or some coaching on the company could keep your team happy, engaged, and willing to commute every once in a while?

But while this line of thinking sounds sensible, a recent Twitter thread should cause entrepreneurs to think a little harder. The discussion was kicked off by a question from developer relations pro and podcaster Jessica Rose directed to tech workers:

Judging by the many, many impassioned replies to Rose’s tweet, there are a whole lot of supposed perks out there that actually act as a huge turnoff to many workers, including

Unlimited vacation policies. The limitations of these policies have been well-documented, and it appears many workers are completely aware that “take all the vacation you want!” often translates to “feel guilty about taking any vacation at all!” This was by far the most common answer, with designer Tristan Howard summing up the consensus view: “Unlimited vacation: Feels like: wow, so much vacation and flexibility! Actually is: a way to dodge paying out vacation to departing employees; reduced vacation due to unclear expectations; varied/inconsistent.”

Open-plan offices (even if they’re “nice” or “funky”). If employees’ endless complaints about the distractions of open-plan offices weren’t enough to convince management to get rid of them, decisive studies showing they’re terrible for collaboration and innovation should have been. But some companies are still trying to sell open-plan designs by adding a thick layer of design on top of a wall-less room.

Hint: Your team isn’t buying it. “Funky offices. Still an open plan office that’s really hard to work from, no matter how much glass & fake greenery there is,” says machine learning scientist Catherine Breslin.

Alcohol in the office. Sure, grabbing a beer with colleagues now and again can be a nice way to bond, but several respondents reported bad experiences with free alcohol available at the office. “I do not want to be around drunk co-workers in the office, and it tends to turn into boy-clubs,” noted communications manager Wendy Fritscher. “A place I used to work at let us drink anything at work, and plenty of people sat around drinking beer all day,” reports someone with the handle @raw_stanky. 

  • Whatever crazy team-building activity you’re considering. Respondents complained about a whole host of different “team-building” activities, from ski trips to paintball (really???). While tastes in recreational activities clearly differ, the overarching theme seems to be that employees are wildly suspicious of any kind of forced fun with co-workers. @whatsupdangerrr put it simply: “I don’t want to go to the Bahamas with Dennis from accounting.” 
  • Nap pods and onsite gyms. At first glance, it seems these would signal a company is looking out for your health and well-being, but most people joining the discussion felt they really signal your employer expects you to basically never leave the office. “I remember touring one office that bragged about how they had ‘nap rooms with beds’ for the employees plus in office laundry. I was a baby dev back then so I didn’t recognize it as a red flag, but looking back now I see that was a huge one,” relates game developer @Rezllen. 

This is far from a complete list, so check out the entire conversation on Twitter if you’re curious about lots more less-frequently mentioned “anti-perks.” 

 

What do employees really want? 

This discussion is a healthy warning to employers to think carefully about the perks they offer, but it also begs an important question. If many workers are suspicious of these popular so-called perks, what benefits and extras are they actually impressed by? In its own write-up of the Twitter convo above, newsletter the Hustle offers a useful, science-backed answer. 

“Recent research suggests workers are more interested in perks that align with their values,” claims the newsletter, offering the examples of “location-agnostic pay, which encourages employees to work from wherever they want” and “generous leave policies, including more time for maternity and paternity leave.” Business thinkers have also pointed out that the best perk of all is really a healthy and productive company culture. 

Real perks, it seems, are all about empowering employees to work in whatever way allows them to do their best work over the long haul. Anti-perks might appear to support employees on the surface but are really about either trying to force them into some particular narrow definition of company culture or manipulate them into working longer and harder than is fair or sustainable. 

Linkup Monthly Jobs Recap ~ October 10, 2022

Each month we examine our job market data to discover trends worth sharing. Here are some recent highlights you might find interesting:

From U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s September 21, 2022 press conference:

RACHEL SIEGEL (Washington Post): Are [job] vacancies still at the top of your list in terms of understanding the labor market?

CHAIR POWELL: Yes

 

So job vacancies are all that matter – they are the single most potent metric that captures the balance between supply and demand in the labor market. Our job listings provide a real-time view of the labor market, pre-dating BLS employment data by more than a month. Job listings continued to recede in September with active job listings down 3.2% month-over-month in the U.S. and across a majority of industries, locations, and occupations. As we’ve been saying, the labor market, while still very strong, continues cooling off.

Since the peak in March, U.S. total job openings indexed directly from company websites by LinkUp have dropped 16.5%. New job openings have dropped even more dramatically, falling almost 25% in the past 6 months.

As the country and the economy move further into a post-covid environment, supply chain issues are fading, the world is beginning to adapt to the war in Europe, and the economy is down-shifting to a less torrid pace.

As things start to normalize, and temporary contributors to inflation subside, the labor market remains strong, and wages continue to rise. Until the BLS released its August JOLTS data this week, there had been a growing fear that the Fed was going to have to keep hiking rates until unemployment rose considerably.

Luckily, August’s JOLTS data has, just as we predicted, calmed things down and the narrative has abruptly shifted to the possibility of a less aggressive Fed and the growing possibility of a soft landing—a decline in job listings rather than an increase in unemployment.


Change by state

Job listings dropped throughout the country in September, with only 4 states avoiding a decline.

Hiring velocity slow down

As the time it takes to fill job openings keeps climbing, hiring velocity continues to slow down. The average closed duration for jobs in the U.S. rose to 48 days, and the rolling 90-day average rose to 47 days.

Job data by industry

Our September data shows 95% of industries decreased their job listings since August. Only the Utilities Industry showed subtle growth at 0.4%. Labor demand fell slightly in both goods-producing industries as well as service-based industries.

As reported last month, the Information Industry continues to tighten hiring, and is again the industry taking the largest cuts to their listings, down 13% for the second month in a row. This tech trend isn’t driven by just one company (although jobs at Dish were down big), or a single location. Standing out as one of the few big names actually adding jobs: Salesforce.

New: Get weekly macro job reports

The buzz and intense interest around job opening data is growing—from renewed interest in the Beveridge curve, and monitoring public and private sector jobs, to exploring the tie between remote work and the house-price surge. Instead of waiting for this monthly email, or data from other sources that is even more delayed, we are pleased to offer a new data package available for purchase via subscription.


The LinkUp U.S. Macro Data Package is a collection of weekly and monthly curated job reports containing timely, accurate, and predictive data. The reports provide deeper insights into the job market—from a high-level all the way down to individual occupations, industries, and MSAs. Learn more »

Report: Signals from job listing data generate alpha
>Download the new LinkUp Job Market Data Performance Report. Leveraging our LinkUp Insights Platform powered by Exabel, allowed for rapid testing of our investment strategy hypotheses. Download the PDF to see more details, graphs, and results for our tested strategies for yourself.

 

AI driven insights + LinkUp job data

We have joined forces with RavenPack, the leading provider of Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology, and just last week we announced the release of RavenPack Job Analytics powered by LinkUp.

The new offering leverages NLP technology over our entire job listing database of 200 million job listings to provide actionable insights from macro to company trends, with knowledge graph of 5,000 roles and more than 3,000 skills, qualifications and benefits.

We’ll be showing this off more next week at the London RavenPack Research Symposium on October 11th. There’s still a chance to register if you haven’t done so already.

Apartment Jobs Snapshot Q2 2022

September 19, 2022 | 1 minute read
The apartment job market remained strong in the second quarter of 2022, because of the robust U.S labor market fueling apartment demand. In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, employers posted more than 41,600 openings. Although the apartment market has begun to cool, job growth in the apartment industry is expected to outperform competing sectors by the end of 2022. Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and Denver were the top-ranking markets for apartment job demand. Leasing and maintenance postings increased compared to last year. In contrast, property management job postings fell by 1.1 percentage points.

Make sure you’re registered to vote today

The CARES Act moratorium ended in July 2020, but did you know that a drafting error in the law has allowed the temporary notice to vacate requirement to remain in place? It’s time for #Congress to provide a clear sunset date for the notice to vacate provision. #NAAadvocates [INSERT GRAPHIC]

The upcoming midterm #elections are too important to stay home. Your #vote will have a major impact on #housing policy for years to come! #NAAadvocates #NAAvotes

🚨Make sure you’re registered to vote today🚨 https://naahq.quorum.us/campaign/41385/

Thank a Teammate Tuesday

Thank a Teammate Tuesday: July 19 Take a photo of your mentor or an awesome teammate. Then submit it with a caption about the impact they have had on your community.

Rental housing professionals, especially onsite team members, have been committing themselves to performing the vital work necessary to keep the community together and moving forward during these challenging times. The rental housing industry is taking time to celebrate our vital, onsite teams throughout the country for their dedication to keeping residents in our communities well served and safely housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apartment Onsite Teams Day Toolkit

Rental housing professionals, especially onsite team members, have been committing themselves to performing the vital work necessary to keep the community together and moving forward during these challenging times. The rental housing industry is taking time to celebrate our vital, onsite teams throughout the country for their dedication to keeping residents in our communities well served and safely housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To thank our onsite property teams, we are designating Wednesday, July 20 as Apartment Onsite Teams Day. The celebration will take place during RPM Careers Week, where we’ll be celebrating careers in residential property management.

Apartment Onsite Teams Day Toolkit

Here are ways to show your appreciation and spread the word about Apartment Onsite Teams Day.

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate our onsite team members, share your celebration with us on social media using the official hashtag: #APTeamsDay.

4 Reasons We HATE Job Searching (and How to Overcome Them)

Why do we hate job searching so much? Why is job searching so hard?

“What do you mean, ‘why’? Job searching sucks! Everyone knows that!”

Well, yes it does. But it’s one thing to know that you hate job searching; it’s quite another to interrogate why you hate job searching.

That’s what we’ll try to unpack today.

Undoubtedly, the reasons why job searching sucks are innumerable. But, in this article, we’ve tried to pin down 4 core reasons why the job search process is so difficult for so many of us.

Like all content on Beyond the Professoriate, this post is directed chiefly towards graduate students, recent PhDs, and academics of all stripes.

However, if you’ve ever felt defeated, frustrated, or enraged by the job search process, we hope this article will provide some modicum of solace no matter what industry you’re in.