The Power Shift: Employees Are Calling the Shots in the Job Market
The recovering job market of 2021 has seen record quitting rates as workers leave their jobs to seek better pay, perks, and flexibility. One of the most sought-after flexible work options is remote work, which has become increasingly popular during the pandemic. As the labor economy boasts nearly 11 million job openings, HR experts suggest that businesses that don’t offer any kind of flexible work options are losing out on up to 70% of job seekers.
Rey Ramirez, co-founder of Thrive HR Consulting, advises companies across various sectors on how to set up and manage hybrid teams. According to Ramirez, if a company doesn’t offer flexible or remote programs, they’re missing out on 50% to 70% of candidates. He adds that the vast majority of job seekers he’s interacted with recently won’t even consider a role if it doesn’t offer any kind of remote-work flexibility.
Tens of millions of Americans quit their jobs this year, with some estimates suggesting that 1 in 4 workers have left voluntarily since January. A PwC survey found that 65% of workers were looking for a new job as of August, with their top reasons being negotiating for a better salary, accessing new benefits, and having more workplace flexibility, such as the ability to work remotely full-time or on a hybrid schedule.
Companies that are trying to keep pace with rebounding consumer demand want to hire A-level talent. However, top-tier, in-demand workers know they have their pick of working for an employer that will allow flexibility, whether that means working on a hybrid or fully remote schedule, or relocating without facing a pay cut. As a result, as many as 75% of employers are having to rework their pay and benefits structure to retain and attract people.
An EY survey of 1,000 global business leaders indicates that organizations are attuned to the fact that 90% of workers want more flexibility in when and where they work. However, they’re not being clear or fast enough in letting workers know their future plans. While 79% of companies said they intend to make “moderate to extensive hybrid work changes,” just 40% have actually communicated those plans to their workforce. Furthermore, the survey finds that 35% of employers want all of their employees to return to the office full-time after the pandemic.
Organizations that want to flourish need to ensure that their plans are well-defined and communicated and that they balance business and employee priorities in refining these plans to help create a win-win for the business and the workforce, says Liz Fealy, EY global people advisory services deputy leader and workforce advisory leader. Employers who fail to move with the times risk losing their people as many employees are prepared to quit if they don’t get the flexibility they need.