For the last several months, the American economy and job market have been slowly progressing back towards pre-pandemic levels. New changing demands for workplace policies have opened up acceptance for home accommodations and flexible hours. Once it is generally safe for employees to return to the workplace across the board, consumer attitudes and expectations of top talent will continue to shape hiring strategies.
Employees And Consumers Focus On Safety
Regardless of when the vaccine becomes widely available or when government-imposed restrictions are lifted, both consumers and job seekers will need to feel safe before they will start to engage with businesses again. In another blog, we discussed top talents’ ongoing expectations for health and safety, remote work, babysitting care for children, flexible hours and a competitive salary.
Some of the solutions that emerged to accommodate social distancing protocol will continue to impact business in 2021 and beyond. Jobs in the service sector took the hardest hit because of safety concerns, and companies that demonstrate care for their customer-facing employees while staying open to innovative solutions will see the best results. Especially during the transition back to public life, people will expect outdoor dining, curbside pickup and the option to buy online and pickup in-store, according to Constant Contact’s Great Recalibration Report.
Conversely, the report also found that nearly 10% of respondents said they would never feel comfortable returning to in-person stores or offices again. Retaining some of these health and safety innovations will help to reach this population as well.
Businesses Focus On When And Where To Hire
As the big economic factors fall into place, there is still some ambiguity as to when and where talent will be most needed. As of Constant Contact’s survey November 19 – December 3, 72% of consumers said they expected to be back to public life within the next year, 52% said they would feel safe in less than six months (around May-June), and 15% already felt comfortable.
Most indicated that they would head to restaurants and grocery stores first, with professional services and other retail trailing at a distance.
Among employers and hiring professionals, the anticipation is that we will make a full return to pre-pandemic activity levels around July. Small business owners may see a slightly faster rebound, as 72% of consumers will make a greater effort to shop small in 2021.
Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey compares the net employment outlook across US regions, which is largely determined by the industries present in different geographic locations. The Midwest is a frontrunner because of its manufacturing legacy, and Florida stands out as a hot spot for tourism, leisure and hospitality jobs. Leisure and hospitality has the strongest outlook across the board.
As you determine which roles to recruit and when, paying attention to the hiring trends in your region is a great strategy for finding the right candidates when they are serious about getting back to work. Take a look at our schedule of virtual job fairs in cities across the US and sign up to meet diverse candidates in your area!