I used to get excited to dig into the analytics and labor data so I could update my hiring leaders on the latest trends. Lately, I feel like I’ve been reading the obituaries. Last week I shared how the recent data had me scratching my head: the unemployment rate dropped but the workforce participation rate remained stagnant and the hiring sentiment decreased as well. This week, I hate to tell you but there’s more bad news. Here are two demographic challenges that will make the already challenge talent landscape.
Millennials are on the Move
A Prudential Financial survey of 2,000 American workers this spring found that millennials—those between the ages of 25 and 40—were antsier than other generations to make a change: More than a third of that demographic said they planned to look for a new job post-pandemic, compared with about a quarter of workers overall.
According to the Wallstreet Journey, this particular demographic has several years in the workforce and some savings in the bank. Now they are taking a breather to learn new skills, network and develop their creative potential before locking into a totally different career path. This particular demographic has expressed angst caused by pandemic-era burnout but are optimistic about a rebounding job market. While many of their peers are jumping immediately to better-paying or more well-suited jobs, they are leaning into an early-career pivot instead.
The wave of resignations marks a sharp turn from the darkest days of the pandemic, when workers craved job security while weathering a national health and economic crisis. In April, the share of U.S. workers leaving jobs was 2.7%, according to the Labor Department, a jump from 1.6% a year earlier to the highest level since at least 2000. What is most alarming about the trend in millennial turnover is not the fact they will leave you for a competitor but rather, may leave your industry all together.
There has been a lot written about the resurgence of the gig economy which provides workers the ability to be their own boss, make their own schedules and determine their own destiny. Companies are struggling to find new ways to attract talent into their open jobs but are not paying attention to the employees they already have.
If you have a large portion of your workforce represented by millennials, you may want to consider identifying your key talent in this demographic for development opportunities. If you would like some ideas on how to get started, be sure to read more in this post: It’s time to rethink, reskill and redeploy your workforce.
Millions More than Expected are Retiring
All of us have been preparing for the retiring of the Boomer generation. Roughly 2 million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic, according to The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
Many who may not have considered retirement so early had their plans accelerated by the pandemic. Some who were forced to work from home or were out of work due to COVID realized they valued the time spent with family and loved ones. Others were shaken by the lack of security they once felt in their careers.
This particular metric hits some industries harder than others. As an example, some of the labor force at my firm are largely represented by current employees who had already retired from other institutions. This concerning metric paired with the lack of younger talent entering the skilled labor force creates new constraints on recruiting strategies.
The recent recruiting data is confusing and concerning at best. (Check out last months analytics here.) The impacts of the Great Resignation are continuing to force all of us in the Talent Acquisition industry to look for new ways to not only attract but also retain talent in our organizations.
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