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The Current Status of the Job Market- And What's Ahead in 2022

2021 was an absolutely insane year for recruitment, with the "Great Resignation" dominating the news headlines as millions of Americans left their jobs for new roles more aligned to their passions or interests. The Great Resignation is fueled in part by the Millennial and Gen Z generations refusing to accept work that does not align to their values, and the quickly-changing work landscape that we have seen largely move to remote.

You want to keep talent in 2022? Pay your people. Show them a trajectory for growth in leadership (if that's a motivating factor for them). Offer them flexibility. The tables have turned ladies and gentlemen. And from my perspective, they aren't turning back any time soon.

I did see an interesting piece this morning from George Anders, who is the Senior Editor at Large for LinkedIn who offered a slightly different perspective- I wanted to share some of his findings, and provide some of my own personal experiences of what I am seeing in the job market as we look forward to 2022.

Anders writes -

"If we look at the entire U.S. economy, however, hiring momentum may be cooling a bit. That’s the finding of LinkedIn’s latest Hiring Report, which tracks the velocity of LinkedIn members updating their profiles with new jobs each month.

Overall hiring declined 7% in December, and it’s “been zigzagging up and down since the spring, with no clear trend,” observes LinkedIn’s principal economist, Guy Berger Ph. D. For all of 2021, the LinkedIn Hiring rate rose 14.6%. But the vast majority of that gain occurred in the year’s first three months.

On an industry-by-industry basis, as seen in the chart below, most major sectors of the economy showed moderate hiring slowdowns in December. Of the 24 industries tracked by this analysis, only four posted an upturn. They are arts (+1.5%), recreation and travel (+0.7%), retail (+0.4%), and finance (+0.2%).

The data provided here is certainly showing at a TRAILING macro-level that the rate of movement in the job market is slowing. It is crucial to point out that this data is a reactionary set of data showing what has already happened- and may not be a great indication of what is to come.

November and December are historically very slow months for the recruitment industry. Candidates often are not willing to leave their current place of employment with a year-end bonus expected in sight, and the holidays provide time off and a workplace slowdown that often times lets candidates take a breather from focusing so much about work. Many take the approach, "I'll worry about it in the New Year."

However 2022 has arrived. There were millions of Americans who got up and left last year during the initial frenzy of the Great Resignation. But we are forgetting about the many millions more who watched them all walk out the door. These people have taken the time to assess what they want, evaluate their current employer, and decide if there is future growth potential within it. The sequel to the Great Resignation may very well be better than the original movie. Which is such a rarity these days by the way. Can we agree the GOAT of sequels was the Dark Knight? Is it even close? Anyone have another hat they'd try to throw in the ring?

For those of you following along in my personal career journey, you will know that I started back in September of last year as a Senior Recruitment Consultant at Michael Page. I am excited to share that just last week I placed my first candidate! For the sake of confidentiality I will just share that the role we landed her in was a Senior VP Accounting & Finance Role at one of the top Banks in the US. I was elated to move her into a position where she was valued for her experience, and to a team that will be focused on her continued growth in the future at the firm.

In just this first week back of the New Year, I had 7 candidates get sent to interviews, mostly all in VP or higher-level positions. Every firm we are working with has more openings than qualified candidates that they are seeing. The supply of well-qualified candidates still does not come close to the demand of the amount of jobs we are seeing in the Financial Services sector.

I always think about my audience when I am writing these blogs. If you are reading this blog from the perspective of someone who has been thinking about making a job-move for some time now, I encourage you to test the water. See what is out there. Reach out to me, even if it is not a job in finance or accounting, I know someone who recruits in your industry, I am sure of it.

If you are reading this from the perspective of a hiring manager, or someone who has been struggling to get talent to stay on your team or firm. Take a look at your hiring practices deeply. How long is your interview process? What benefits are you offering your team? Are you allowing remote work? Are you paying your people the market rate? Inflation just printed at 6%. Are you going to offer raises to help people keep up with their increased cost of living? Do you talk with your people frequently about where you see them growing in their next role? I can assure you- there is a clear difference in the firms that do consider these things, and the ones that don't. The firms that do, hire people and keep them. The firms that don't, well, you get the point.

And if you are just reading this post from the perspective of being a supporter of the BonkerBeat, are a friend, family member, or colleagues of mine, I just want to say thank you. 2021 was a challenging year for me both personally and professionally. However it offered me a ton of extremely important lessons and growth that I will take with me for the rest of my life. One of the highlights from last year was starting this blog, and the countless number of old friends from grade school or college, or work colleagues that reached out just to say hello and cheer me on. I appreciate it more than I can write in words.

So here's to 2022, getting jobs, and chasing your passions.

Give me a follow on any of my socials, and be sure to subscribe to the site so you never miss a Beat! (I just made the YouTube account so subscribers there would be super helpful!)



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