When the pandemic struck in early 2020, companies raced to adapt and accommodate remote work, and employee safety within a booming tech market. Now that many are looking to move back into their new way of normalcy, we are seeing many trends staying in place.
Here’s what we are seeing in the market from clients, and candidates, and how hiring is already changing.
Companies are embracing remote and moving away from brick-and-mortar.
When COVID-19 hit, there was a massive shift to remote work, and now we’re finding that many are reluctant to go back to an office at all. According to Forbes, despite 42% of the work force working from home throughout the pandemic, “it has been widely reported that productivity did not decrease as feared. Rather, the pandemic forced us to become adept at interacting remotely and accomplishing a lot even though we were away from the office.” That revelation has led many companies who have clung to traditional office spaces to re-think how they do business. Some are moving away from buildings altogether and embracing a completely virtual workspace, while others are allowing employees and contractors the flexibility to decide whether they’d like to work remote 100% of the time or go into the office one or two days per week.
Remote workers are now officially in the talent pool.
Now that the hesitancy around remote work has faded, the talent pool has become a lot larger. Google, Twitter, Amazon, Square and a long list of others that have told employees they can continue to work remotely long term are now opening up opportunities to talent far outside of their geographic hubs. With companies having the advantage of “cherry-picking talent from around the world,” the market is growing more competitive and hiring processes are moving much faster. In-person interviews have given way to Zoom meetings, and companies are losing candidates if they don’t move fast enough. This means two things for job seekers – don’t delay in responding to open positions and don’t feel like you have to sit around and wait too long for companies to respond.
Talent is in demand, especially for those in healthtech, insurance and biotech.
Although unemployment rates and jobs across a number of different industry sectors remain unpredictable, the demand for digital skills continues to grow. A report by Microsoft released in late 2020 estimated the total number of technology-oriented jobs will increase nearly five-fold by 2025, rising from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million in 2025. We’ve seen the highest demand in healthtech, insurance and biotech, especially as companies worldwide have raced to produce and distribute vaccines, respond to the growing demand for telehealth and virtual customer interactions, and respond to pandemic-related claims.
Contractors are setting their standards higher.
Although remote work remains a more convenient option for many, it also presents a number of challenges – especially when it comes to work-life balance. Now that living rooms and bedrooms, coffee shops and vacations spots are now open for work, burnout is a real obstacle. Companies are responding with flexibility in workday hours, and a greater emphasis on benefits like healthcare and 401(k) plans, as well as activities surrounding wellness and mental health. Make sure when negotiating with a new or existing employer that you bring all of your concerns to the table and allow them to respond. The one exception is higher salaries. Companies are sticking to their salary structures and have yet to increase pay scales throughout the pandemic.