- As the economic uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic continues, most U.S. job candidates — about 80% of those surveyed by the American Staffing Association and B2B service directory ClearlyRated — said they foresee working for a new employer in the next year.
- This observation comes despite the fact that more than half of respondents said they were satisfied with their current employment situation, and approximately 70% were "optimistic" about their career futures, according to a statement disclosing the survey results.
- Respondents were also likely to rate looking for a job as being more stressful than other life activities, such as weddings, public speaking and the birth of a child. Many also stated a preference for remote work; 69% of respondents said working remotely was more desirable than working at an office or onsite location.
The pandemic led to a wave of job losses in the form of temporary layoffs, with 78.3% of total U.S. unemployed persons in April consisting of those on temporary layoff, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The level of temporary layoffs has decreased since that statistical peak, but it still remains higher than pre-pandemic levels as of October, BLS said in its latest Employment Situation Summary.
Turbulence in the job market has also been reflected in worker surveys. An October report from executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found nearly 20% of respondents had changed industries in the second quarter of 2020, while 42% accepted job offers from smaller companies during that same period. Despite these changes, a survey published earlier in the year by resume service LiveCareer found 57% of the recently unemployed were unable to identify their transferable skills, and 58% said they were not confident that they could find jobs to which their skills would apply.
However, an employer-friendly market hasn't meant the end of employers' recruiting troubles. Recent survey results from Jobvite showed stress levels increased during the pandemic for 61% of recruiters. Most, 71%, said their recruiting priorities had shifted in the last few months, with quality-of-hire goals taking increasing importance compared to talent pipeline building and reducing time-to-hire.
Other research suggests that companies have different impressions of the pandemic's impact. Talent assessment software company Criteria found 68% of recruiters said that finding high-quality candidates was a challenge this year, compared to 87% of recruiters who said the same in 2019. Managers have also been quick to adopt shorter and virtual hiring strategies this year; 75% of senior managers in a Robert Half survey said their companies were conducting remote interviews and onboarding sessions.
As the American Staffing Association survey found, both workers and employers are likely to embrace flexibility on some level beyond the pandemic. Indeed, for example, said it would permit employees to work remotely even after COVID-19 restrictions subside.