Dealing with both employees and employers daily, we are constantly hearing and seeing how “hot” the job market is right now. Yet employers, in particular, are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers. We are seeing this clear across the board, from the restaurant and retail industries to the corporate world. So, who is the job market “hot” for? And, how can employees and employers take advantage of this scorching time?

What’s Happening with the Job Market? 

The labour market, while hot, is also very tight right now. The unemployment rate is at an extreme low and job vacancies are at an extreme high. Why is this? COVID-19 undoubtedly changed many aspects of the way we work but one of the biggest shifts we saw was moving to remote work. This had a direct impact on the types of employment people sought out. While tech industry businesses had to staff up their growth quickly, hospitality and retail industries took a huge hit to their employment rates, with many shops and restaurants closing. With this, we’ve seen tech, financing, non-commercial real estate, and essentially any areas of work that can excel in remote work, takeoff (if managed properly).

This has opened a ton of job opportunities in different fields and forced workers to shift their areas of interest in order to make a living. Now that the world is opening back up, along with the natural surge of seasonal hiring, we are seeing endless job opportunities in all areas of work – both remote and in-person. But is it too late? At this point, everyone who was left jobless in the pandemic has moved on to other opportunities and employers are left scrambling to fill their positions.

How Employees Can Benefit?

This is an employee’s playground right now. With so many jobs available, employees are given the bargaining power to negotiate with their prospective employers. Employees can use this to their advantage to ensure they receive competitive wages, increased benefits, and other beneficial incentives within a company.  

How Employers Can Keep Up?

On the flip side, with so many jobs available, employers are being forced to drive up wages, increase incentives, and possibly hire workers who may already have another job. Employers need to be flexible and competitive. They need to be informed of their current job market to know what other companies are offering and be sure to match it or offer more.

One of the main areas an employer can appeal to prospective workers is by offering more flexibility. Employees are now more than ever looking for a workplace that will fit with their life. A hybrid work option is key right now. This also allows employers to be mindful of increases in the cost of living. With gas prices soaring, people want to work from home and reduce their commute time. If you do need workers in the office, maybe think about offering a gas allowance. Your employees will definitely thank you. 

Infinite increases in wages are not sustainable, particularly in light of interest rate increases. We are already starting to see some industries and companies balancing the cost of the hot market by starting to shed jobs. If you can’t increase wages or are facing potential cash crunches but need some specific talent, consider other incentives besides salary. Think about offing a better benefits package or a signing bonus.

From an employer’s perspective, this is also a good time to terminate costly employees that may not be performing to the company’s standards. The time it takes an employee to re-employ after termination (ie mitigate) helps to justify lower severance packages. 

Remember that the bottom line is if you’re not offering competitive wages and better incentives, an employee can easily find another company that will. 

Want to discuss your hiring and/or firing process?  Get in touch to book a consultation.