Labour market trends

The New Normal, and Old Problems

The economy is firing up again. But coronavirus has changed the world of work for the long term, affecting employees as well as companies. Much of this change will remain with us, and is already becoming established as the new normal.

Exploring the trends

Sven Hennige, Senior Managing Director Central Europe & France, breaks down the big picture for you about 4 important labour market trends in 2022 for employers and employees.

The re-start sparks a rise in demand for staff

Familiar challenges faded into the background during the pandemic. Now they are resurfacing with a vengeance.

  • Following the lockdown and numerous governmental regulations, businesses are forging ahead and recruiting again.
  • Demand for staff has already reached a similar level to pre-pandemic levels. In some sectors demand has reached an even higher level.

of companies are planning to recruit new staff in the next six months.

are optimistic about the growth prospects for their company

Candidates are dictating the market again

  • The pause for breath in the war for talent didn’t last long: in many cases recruitment breaks were short. In the meantime, many companies are desperately searching for new staff.
  • Qualified staff can choose which employer they want to work for, and so they are the ones calling the shots.

of managers are concerned about retaining their top performers.

of companies expect their search for new staff to be even more difficult than it was before the pandemic.

Competitive salaries are essential

  • In a candidates’ market, companies need to offer an attractive environment and working conditions.

  • Staff retention is a central issue in light of more intensive competition for skilled workers. Staff who shelved their plans to change jobs during the corona crisis are now open to offers again.

  • A decent salary remains the central consideration. In order to position themselves as attractive employers, many companies are wooing people by offering competitive salaries.

  • However, benefits can be a deciding factor when deciding between several employers.

Remote working is a winner for all sides

  • Employers have recognized that working from home offers them new opportunities for filling new posts: remote working means that regional borders lose their significance. This widens the range of candidates considerably.
  • Problems in recruiting skilled workers from abroad are one key reason for growing skills gaps in companies. Vacancies arising from this are easier to fill with remote schemes.

of companies orientate themselves with employees’ local areas when determining salaries for staff working entirely remotely.

offer a middle path between the salary level in the area where the company is based and that of the remote worker’s local area.

Flexibility pays

Employees want to determine not only where they work, but also when and for how long. Companies that don’t offer this freedom will find it more difficult to find and retain good staff.

of companies introduced flexible working hours last year.

have extended their existing flexible schemes.

*All figures in the salary survey are taken from the 2021 Labour Market Study by Robert Half, with data from 1,800 managerial staff from Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands and UK; Survey period: June 2021. The salary data is based on actual agreed salaries from several thousand successful placements. They are average values for Switzerland. The salaries refer to gross annual salaries without fringe benefits. All male-only terms used in this salary survey are for simplification and refer equally to members of all genders (f/m/d); full equality is ensured.

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