How the job market has changed post-Covid

How the job market has changed post-Covid

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Though Covid has not been eradicated, optimists claim that the worst is behind us. It is with this perspective that, in this article, we talk about a ‘post-Covid’ time. The initial outbreak and subsequent lockdowns and supply-chain issues have had a tremendous impact on consumer behaviour, employer hiring practices, and the priorities of job seekers that touch nearly all sectors of activity.

In this short article, we’ll take a look at how the job market has changed post-Covid and what that means for both recruiters and job seekers alike.

Industries affected: Both positively and negatively

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a radical impact on consumer behaviour, which in turn, has greatly impacted a variety of industries – some more than others.

Tourism, hospitality, and leisure have been perhaps the most impacted by the pandemic. These fields tend to appeal to younger workers – many of them with a high level of interpersonal skills but a lower level of technical skills.

The ripple effect this is having on the greater job market as a whole is that we are seeing more unemployed (or under-employed) young workers or workers who lack technical skills. Because these workers are overwhelmingly young and many companies have been experiencing difficulties in filling vacant positions, these candidates are being considered for positions they might otherwise be unqualified for.

As a result, in the US, unemployment among people without a high school diploma is at the lowest it has ever been. The need to fill job openings combined with the increase in underqualified applicants means that recruiters are shifting (or lowering) their priorities and/or standards for candidates.

Due to their lack of skills and experience, unskilled applicants are being offered jobs at salaries that are under the expected market rate. This has the cumulative effect of potentially decreasing the salaries of candidates across the board. The industry this phenomenon is affecting more so than others is customer service. That being said, there are still many benefits of getting a job in customer service now. Here is a list of best-paying jobs in customer service.

In contrast, the demand for workers in transportation and shipping – and correlated fields such as warehouse and logistics – has increased by over 10% since the Covid outbreak began.

Manufacturing has been hit hard by the Covid pandemic. Over 170,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost during the pandemic in the UK alone. This is due to a number of factors:

  • A significant increase in the cost of raw materials
  • A significant increase in the cost of shipping
  • High absenteeism in manufacturing jobs, costing manufacturers money

What this means for recruiters

Now more than ever, in today’s post-Covid job market, recruiters need to have a competent training strategy in place rather than rely on finding candidates that already meet their skill-set and technical requirements. Soft skills (or, ‘transferable skills’) such as problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills should hold a higher level of importance than technical skills.

What this means for job seekers

Now more than ever, employers are showing that they are willing to hire candidates that come from outside their sector of activity. This is great news for job seekers looking to make a career change. In consequence, candidates who can show that they possess a high aptitude for learning and adapting stand a good chance of landing their dream job – even if they do not possess the technical skills or background, they may have otherwise needed.

A shift in priorities: Both from businesses and from job seekers

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Perhaps the most noticeable change in the job market since the onset of the Covid pandemic is in the prevalence of remote work opportunities. Working remotely – in most cases from home – started out as a necessity due to lockdown and health and safety measures. Now, since workers have gotten a taste of it and liked it, the possibility of carrying out some, if not all, of the work from home has become a priority among job seekers.

The shift toward remote work has also proven to be a benefit for employers, too. Companies save money by lowering (or completely eliminating) the cost of physical office space, which also incurs the cost of office supplies, rent, maintenance, utilities, insurance, and positions such as office manager.

According to research conducted by Harvard University and Stanford University, simply by switching from on-site to remote work – even in a hybrid context – employers stand to save, on average, $11,00 US for every employer every year.

Remote work really took off in 2020 (the ‘height’ of the Covid pandemic). However, you may find it interesting to know that since then the amount of remote work jobs has nearly tripled – and that in just under 3 years. The trend toward remote work opportunities shows absolutely no signs of slowing down – quite the contrary in fact.

Additionally, surveys have shown that working remotely has a positive impact on employee morale, employee loyalty, and employee retention.

What this means for recruiters

In order to appeal to today’s talent, employers should strongly consider incorporating options for their employees to conduct their work remotely. A healthy work-life balance and good company culture have become priorities for the post-Covid job seeker.

What this means for job seekers

Working remotely requires a certain adjustment in behaviour and in mindset. While it is globally very popular, it is not best suited for everyone. More and more companies are offering jobs that are either completely remote or a hybrid of remote and on-site work. Even job offers that are listed as on-site can be negotiated to incorporate days when the work can be carried out from home.

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