- A majority (78%) of employed U.S. adults ages 18 and older said they would not consider a job change during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey of 993 full- and part-time workers by The Harris Poll for outsourcing firm Yoh.
- One cause for this trend may be that 69% of respondents didn't feel they would be able to find a new job during the pandemic. Among age groups in the survey, those ages 35 to 54 were most likely to feel this way, while those in the youngest and oldest age groups were slightly more optimistic, Yoh said in a statement.
- However, most workers in the survey, including 69% of those ages 44 and younger and 55% of those 45 and older, said they might consider changing jobs if they felt their current company was not doing enough to protect employees during the pandemic. Additionally, 60% of those 44 and younger said they would consider changing jobs to work for a company that is actively making a difference to help the situation, Yoh said.
For many employers in the U.S., the focus of talent management has shifted toward cutting costs or otherwise saving money during a period in which the labor market has dramatically shifted. A March survey of North American employers by Willis Towers Watson found that 4 in 10 had implemented a hiring freeze. The pandemic's impact has been felt by job boards, too: Indeed disclosed in March that job postings on the site were down 15% compared to the same point last year.
Despite these findings, the way employers respond to the pandemic could impact future success. An April report by Mercer said employers that lead with empathy are likely to be rewarded with loyalty from candidates, workers and customers. For example, organizations should make efforts to preserve jobs by identifying ways to redeploy employees either internally or to other companies with substantial needs, according to Mercer.
"As this survey reveals, the impetus is on employers to show what steps are being taken to ensure safety and, as much as possible, long term job prospects even during a pandemic," Emmett McGrath, president of Yoh, said in the statement.
The pandemic has led some employers to adopt collaborative approaches to hiring. In April, CHROs at Accenture, Lincoln Financial Group, ServiceNow and Verizon launched a free platform that connects employers that are either laying off or furloughing staff with those in need of workers. Essential businesses, including some grocery store chains, have formed partnerships with movie theater chains, restaurant chains and hospitality companies to hire needed associates during a period of increased demand.
Gartner, in a report released April 30, advised talent management professionals to take a three-pronged approach in responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic: embrace virtual interviewing, manage candidate and new hire emotions, and embrace internal mobility. Emotional management, which includes transparent communication in the event that openings are frozen or start dates are delayed, can help companies avoid reputational damage, Gartner said.