BLS Analysis for Recruiters – May 2024 – 8 articles

Bob Marshall’s May 2024 BLS Analysis for Recruiters;


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Flexibility has become ‘Non-Negotiable’ in World of Work: WEC

Daily News, May 21, 2024

Flexible working arrangements have become non-negotiable in the world of work, leading policymakers globally to rethink regulatory frameworks, according to a survey released by the World Employment Confederation.

It found that 83% of senior executives believe that post-pandemic, employees value flexibility in where and when they work as much as compensation.

While 82% of senior executives reported the concept of following one career path for a lifetime has disappeared, 83% recognize the need to build awareness of the diverse types of labor contracts available today, enabling individuals to choose what suits them best.

The survey noted that adapting labor regulations to these new expectations is crucial. Only 38% of business leaders feel fully empowered to achieve the optimal mix of diverse work forms, and 37% feel equipped to recruit agency workers at the desired scale.

“In the past, we had to adapt our life to fit it in with our work. Today, that script has flipped: We expect our work to adapt to our lifestyle and our life stage,” WEC managing director Denis Pennel said in a press release.

“Creating and embedding truly sustainable flexibility demands a new paradigm and creates a need for policymakers to ensure that legal frameworks recognize the value of diverse forms of work,” Pennel said. “Labor market reforms are needed to both offer workers more diverse ways of working and a rewarding experience, regardless of their contract — and meets the resourcing and talent needs of business.”

The Work We Want survey includes responses from 715 senior executives worldwide, including 680 from Forbes Global 2000 companies and 35 public sector organizations. It took place between November and December 2023.

86% of Business Leaders Have Already Deployed AI: TCS

Daily News, May 17, 2024

More than three-quarters of senior business leaders globally, 86%, have already deployed artificial intelligence to bolster revenue, according to a survey by IT solutions giant Tata Consultancy Services.

Senior executives are also generally positive about the impact of AI, with 57% reporting excitement or optimism about its impact on business.

Up to half of employees will use GenAI to do their jobs in three years, according to 45% of the business leaders surveyed, with 65% saying AI will augment and enhance human capabilities and enable people to focus on higher-value activities that require creativity and strategic thinking.

“When calibrated for accuracy and harnessed responsibly, GenAI makes the computational power of the data, cloud, and AI come alive,” Sivaraman Ganesan, head of the AI cloud business unit at TCS, said in a press release. “Add in human ingenuity and organizations can create a new paradigm for the modern marketplace.”

However, only 4% of business leaders use AI in a way that has transformed their business. And 24% haven’t moved beyond the initial exploratory phase of adding AI. Another challenge: 72% say they don’t have the right metrics for measuring AI success.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Executives believe the impact of AI will be greater than or equal to that of the internet (54%) and smartphones (59%).
  • 65% of senior executives say their competitive advantage will still come from humans — with their creativity, intuition and strategic thinking.

40% of executives say that they have a lot of changes to make to their business in the future before they can take full advantage of the technology.

TCS’ survey included nearly 1,300 CEOs and other senior executives across 12 industries and 24 countries. TCS is a provider of AI consulting and solutions.

1 in 3 Executives Would Leave If Forced to Return to Office

Daily News, May 15, 2024

Organizations must weigh the benefits and risk of on-site requirements on employee attrition and engagement, according to a report released by Gartner. According to the report, one in three executives who are faced with a return-to-office obligation say that they will leave their current employer for that reason.

The report, which surveyed more than 3,500 employees in November 2023, also revealed that 19% of non-executives said they would leave their organization due to an RTO mandate. In September 2023, Gartner also surveyed 170 HR leaders and found that organizations were increasing their on-site requirements.

Of those survey findings, 63% of respondents reported an increased expectation for employees spending days in the office; 34% reported that a mandated return has already been implemented. However, only 13% said the consequences for employees not meeting on-site requirements have intensified.

“While 58% of executives with a mandate to return to the office said their organization provided a convincing reason for the decision, many senior leaders are unwilling to come back into the office,” Caroline Ogawa, director in the Gartner HR practice, said in a press release. “An April 2024 Gartner survey of 64 HR leaders revealed 64% say senior leaders are concerned on-site requirements will increase attrition.”

Furthermore, Gartner said in the press release that those mandating employees back to the office have significant implications for talent attraction and retention. In its January 2024 survey of nearly 3,000 candidates, Gartner found that 36% of senior-level job seekers who have faced a return mandate at their current employer said that factor influenced their decision to leave their job.

Additionally, one-third of employers also said they had discontinued the hiring process in the last year due to expectations that employees would return to a physical workspace.

“Retaining key talent has become harder due to mistrust between employees and employers, employee burnout and disengagement, and fiercer competition in the labor market,” Caitlin Duffy, senior director in the Gartner HR practice, said in a press release. “With RTO mandates influencing the job-seeking and loyalty of senior-level candidates and employees, organizations that force workers to come into the office are likely to weaken their leadership bench and complicate succession planning.”

Over A Third Say Unexplained Gaps in Work History Would Deter Hiring

Daily News, May 15, 2024

While 36% of US hiring managers say unexplained gaps in work history would deter them from hiring an applicant, 95% say there are valid reasons for interruptions to work histories, according to a survey by Express Employment Professionals.

Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller noted that candidates without a linear work history can be easily overlooked, but that could be a mistake.

“For even the most dedicated employee, life interruptions happen,” Stoller said. “Hiring managers might miss out on the ideal candidate by simply evaluating them on paper. If the applicant has the proper skills and appears to be a cultural fit, it’s worth bringing them in for further evaluation and a possible employment offer.”

Job seekers also worry about long-term employment gaps, according to a separate survey by Express. However, the surveys also showed that there are some acceptable reasons for gaps in work history. They include:

  • Health issues: 73% hiring managers; 74% job seekers
  • Staying home with a child: 68% hiring managers; 66% job seekers
  • Going to school: 68% hiring managers; 65% job seekers
  • Caring for an elderly parent: 67% hiring managers; 67% job seekers
  • Trying to switch careers: 45% hiring managers; 41% job seekers

The survey also found these reasons are more likely to be deemed acceptable by female job seekers compared to men.

“Hiring managers should be receptive to many of these real-life situations because they don’t indicate complacency,” Neil McMillan, an Express franchise owner in California, said in a press release.

Express’ Job Insights survey included 1,007 responses from US hiring decision-makers and took place between Oct. 31 and Nov. 10, 2023.

Express’ Job Seeker Report includes responses from 1,002 adults aged 18 and older. It was conducted online within the US by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals from Nov. 9 to Nov. 26, 2023.

Tech Skills Gap still a Challenge, Half Expect Hiring Hurdles

Daily News, May 13, 2024

Technology leaders are facing critical skills gaps because of rapid change, evolving business priorities and the rise of AI, according to a study by Robert Half.

The study found that 95% of tech leaders report challenges finding skilled talent, and 51% anticipate significant hiring hurdles due to a dearth of applicants with the skill sets needed to support essential initiatives. While 65% of tech leaders acknowledge the skills gap within their department, 62% feel the skills gap has a greater impact today than a year ago. 

Top priorities for technology leaders this year include IT systems and information security, AI, machine learning and automation initiatives, cloud projects, technology modernization and software engineering and development.

“It has never been more critical to have a talent strategy in place that aligns with your long-term vision and goals,” Ryan Sutton, executive director for technology talent solutions at Robert Half, said in a press release. “Without a defined hiring and retention plan to help fill technology skills gaps, it will be challenging to achieve objectives and complete mission-critical projects.”

The study also noted an increasing urgency to address skills gaps, especially with the emergence of new AI capabilities, as 90% of tech leaders plan to implement AI-related initiatives this year. 48% of tech leaders cite a scarcity of staff with AI skills as the biggest barrier to success.

Furthermore, AI and machine learning ranked highest among identified skill gaps.

The study also found that organizations seek candidates proficient in technical and soft skills. Desired competencies include programming, data analysis and statistics, machine learning, software engineering, ethics and responsible AI, big data technologies, deep learning frameworks and computer vision.

Additionally, Robert Half recommended the following strategies to help hire, retain and advance high-performing tech teams:

  • Seek and develop high-potential candidates. Focus on recruiting technology candidates eager to learn new skills that support business priorities and offer training to promising candidates who may not yet meet all your desired criteria.
  • Embrace a scalable talent model. Adopting a mix of permanent, contract and consulting professionals can help bridge skills gaps quickly and efficiently to access professionals with specialized expertise, keep projects moving forward and stay agile.
  • Support upskilling. Implement programs that encourage innovative thinking and ongoing learning to boost retention efforts.

The survey includes responses from 700 US tech leaders at the director level or above at companies with 20 or more employees. It took place between October 2023 and November 2023.

Business Leaders Bullish on AI, Though Concerns Remain: G-P

Daily News, May 8, 2024

Business leaders across the globe believe AI is critical for operating and competitive advantage, but 97% expressed concerns related to their AI plans, according to a survey sponsored by employer-of-record provider G-P.

The report found that 81% of business leaders said their organization has an established AI program and 84% plan to invest more in AI technology this year. Executives are considering how AI can help them expand into new markets and build new teams, and nearly all, 96%, believe that companies using AI to support asynchronous work across countries or time zones will soon outpace those that don’t.

However, execs are also worried about the incorrect use of AI, with two-thirds citing the financial consequences of using AI incorrectly as a top concern.

Business leaders also worry about finding the right people to put AI in place. The survey found 98% of executives predict their organization will need to create new roles to implement and monitor AI.

“AI is redefining the boundaries of what’s possible in global business,” Nat Natarajan, chief product and strategy officer at G-P, said in a press release. “But we’ve only just scratched the surface of AI, and its potential is still largely unrealized. AI is evolving at exponential rates. Strategic planning, investment and continuous learning will be required for businesses looking to leverage the technology to thrive on the global stage.”

The report’s survey included insights from more than 1,500 business executives from around the world.

Pandemic Job Switchers More Dissatisfied: The Conference Board

Daily News, May 8, 2024

US workers who switched jobs since the pandemic’s onset are much more dissatisfied than those who stayed, according to a survey by The Conference Board.

It was found that overall job satisfaction among job switchers has dropped by 5.6%. Top reasons for dissatisfaction include leadership quality, communications, interest in the work, co-workers and job security.

Although higher wages enticed many to take new jobs in the Covid-19 era, the survey noted those who switched jobs now report less satisfaction with wages, likely due to inflation eroding their purchasing power.

The survey also found that newer workers are less satisfied, with overall satisfaction lowest among those in their roles between six months and three years. These workers expressed greater intent to leave within the next six months due to dissatisfaction with bonuses, promotions, training, recognition and performance reviews.

While wages and key benefits remain vital for job satisfaction, workers were more focused on positive work culture and experience in 2023 than the previous year.

“After more than a decade trending upwards, overall US worker job satisfaction may have finally plateaued,” Allan Schweyer, principal researcher, human capital at The Conference Board, said in a press release. “To avoid declining job satisfaction, leaders should maintain or improve key drivers such as flexible work arrangements and career development opportunities while ensuring that wages and core benefits remain competitive.”  

However, satisfaction tends to rise once employees surpass the 3-year threshold, increasing to 63.6% from 58.2% and steadily climbing until reaching the 10-year mark. 

Despite overall job satisfaction remaining virtually unchanged, up 0.4% to 62.7%, every individual driver of job satisfaction declined. The largest declines were primarily in financial benefits such as bonuses, hard base benefits, wages and promotions.

Hybrid workers reported the highest satisfaction at 65.5%, followed by fully remote workers at 64.1% and fully on-site workers at 60.2%.

Additionally, women, for the 6th consecutive year, continue to be significantly less satisfied across almost all 26 job satisfaction components, including wages, bonuses, the potential for growth, health benefits (including mental health policies) and retirement plans.

“This year’s survey results indicate that job satisfaction is about so much more than wages,” Diana Scott, US human capital center leader at The Conference Board, said in a press release. “While wages and key benefits still matter, workers were more focused on positive work culture and experience. Provided pay and benefits are competitive, leaders will gain the most by offering strong growth opportunities, quality leadership and work-life balance.”

AI use Doubles with 75% of Knowledge Workers Now Using

Daily News, May 8, 2024

Generative AI usage has nearly doubled in the past six months, with 75% of global knowledge workers now using it, according to Microsoft and LinkedIn’s 2024 Work Trend Index released today.

The report is based on a survey of 31,000 people across 31 countries as well as data from hiring trends on LinkedIn, Microsoft 365 productivity signals and research with Fortune 500 customers of Microsoft.

Top motivators for AI adoption include time savings, prioritization of most crucial work, enhanced creativity and increased job satisfaction.

Despite 79% of leaders acknowledging AI’s critical role in maintaining competitiveness, 59% worry about quantifying the productivity gains of AI. In addition, 60% say their company lacks a vision and plan to implement it.

“AI is democratizing expertise across the workforce,” Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said in a press release. “Our latest research highlights the opportunity for every organization to apply this technology to drive better decision-making, collaboration — and ultimately business outcomes.”

Still, cybersecurity and data privacy emerged as leaders’ top concerns, compounded by worries over talent shortages, particularly in cybersecurity, engineering and creative design.

While 45% of professionals worry AI will replace their job, 46% are considering quitting in the year ahead — higher than the 40% who said the same ahead of 2021’s Great Resignation. A separate LinkedIn study found a 14% increase in job applications per role in the US since last fall, with 85% of professionals eyeing career moves this year.

The survey also found that although 66% of leaders say they wouldn’t hire someone without AI skills, only 39% of users have received AI training from their company and only 25% of companies expect to offer it this year.

Additionally, 71% of leaders say they’d rather hire a less experienced candidate with AI skills than a more experienced candidate without them.

The report also identified four AI user types: skeptics, who rarely use AI; novices, who use AI a few times a month; explorers, who use it a few times a month or once a week; and power users, who use AI at least several times per week.

While power users cite saving more than 30 minutes a day, more than 90% of them say AI makes their overwhelming workload more manageable and their work more enjoyable.

However, 61% of AI power users are more likely to hear from their CEO on the importance of using generative AI at work, while 53% are more likely to receive encouragement from leadership to consider how AI can transform their function, and 35% are more likely to receive tailored AI training for their specific role or function.

“AI is redefining work, and it’s clear we need new playbooks,” LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky said in a press release. “It’s the leaders who build for agility instead of stability and invest in skill building internally that will give their organizations a competitive advantage and create more efficient, engaged and equitable teams.”