Recruiting and HR are fast-paced fields: fluctuations in the labor market and economy have a big impact on how easily recruiters can identify and hire new candidates, while new laws can have a huge impact on HR policies. And of course, there are always new tips and best practices emerging in both fields. All of this rapid change requires recruiters and HR practitioners to stay on top of their game — but when you’re already busy with the day-to-day operations of hiring great candidates and retaining top employees, staying on top of all the latest news isn’t exactly easy.
That’s why we created a quick recap of some of the most important news events and trends impacting the worlds of HR and recruiting to keep an eye on this month, and in the future — read on to learn more.
1. The Job Numbers Continue to Grow
The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics depict an increasingly strong labor market, with the addition of 213,000 jobs in June, “[marking] the economy’s 93rd consecutive month of positive job gains, by far the longest streak on record,” said Glassdoor Chief Economist Dr. Andrew Chamberlain.
Along with the job gains came a slight uptick in unemployment — 4.0 percent compared to last month’s 3.8 percent — but this doesn’t mean employers should expect a less competitive talent market anytime soon. We’re currently in the middle of a “historic wave of job creation [that] has fueled today’s nine-year-old economic expansion, the second longest in U.S. history since the 1850s,” according to Chamberlain. So if you’re waiting for the talent market to flip from a job seeker’s market to an employer’s, don’t hold your breath just yet.
[Related: Where To Post Jobs Online for Free]
2. Paychecks Are Rising
When job seekers are in the driver’s seat, pay and benefits typically go up accordingly — something we see reflected in Glassdoor’s Local Pay Reports. Average hourly earnings in June went up to 2.7 percent from the roughly 2.5 percent pace observed over the past year, while the median base pay for full-time workers rose 1.6 percent from a year ago to $52,052, the fastest pace recorded so far this year. This comes at a time when minimum wage hikes in various cities and states have recently kicked in.
“This continued pay growth is a likely sign that today’s 18-year-low unemployment rate is finally translating into broad-based wage gains,” Chamberlain said.
Employers hoping to stay competitive in today’s talent market may need to bump up their own wages accordingly.
3. Employers Are Upping the Ante on Benefits
It’s not just salaries that are increased during a tight labor market — benefits and perks are, too. And given that nearly 80 percent of employees prefer benefits and perks to a salary increase, it’s no wonder. Several savvy employers announced big benefits increases in the past month:
● Starbucks announced they plan to cover additional gender confirmation surgeries for transgender employees
● Discover plans to offer free online bachelor’s degrees to all call center employees
● Survey Monkey will make benefits like health insurance, vacation, parental leave and more to contractors
Your company doesn’t have to offer every benefit under the sun to keep up with the competition, but it is a good idea to revisit your benefits package to evaluate how it stacks up against other employers from time to time. From there, you can identify which benefits your employees care about most, and discuss how to bolster them while still staying in budget.
4. Employee Mistreatment Goes Viral
If you need any more proof that workplace transparency is here to stay, a quick look at the headlines should be enough to convince you. Beyond the steady stream of #MeToo stories that have made waves ever since late 2017, a number of instances in which employees are being mistreated have made rounds on social media and in the news cycle.
Most recently, a woman’s Facebook post about being threatened with termination after letting her manager know she would take time off work while her son was on life support racked up tens of thousands of shares on Facebook. Additional reports of CEOs behaving badly and widespread age discrimination also surfaced within the last month.
While most employers know the difference between the right and wrong ways to treat their employees, it’s still a powerful reminder that in an ever-more-transparent, social-media driven world, the spotlight is always on — and it’s bound to catch bullies and bad actors.
5. New Research Reveals Why Job Seekers Move
Gone are the days when a job seeker would apply to a local business and stay there until they retire. Today, many employees are leaving home in pursuit of better opportunities — about 28.5 percent on average, according to Glassdoor research. In his report, “Metro Movers: Where Are
Americans Moving for Jobs, And Is It Worth It?” Glassdoor’s Chief Economist identified a number of factors that helped explain why and where today’s job seekers are moving. Among his findings, Chamberlain found that:
● Men, younger workers and those in tech were more likely to move outside of their given metropolitan area than others;
● A higher starting salary motivates employees to accept a job in a new area, although not as much as a company’s culture does;
● Those who move for work tend to be more educated and higher earners
So what does that mean for employers? For one, companies need to work extra hard to recruit diverse job seekers who don’t live in the area. For another, they should consider bumping up salaries for positions which they’re having a hard time filling in state, and perhaps even more importantly, invest in improving their company culture.
[Related: How to Recruit an Out-of-State Candidate]
6. The Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Arbitration, Against Unions
The U.S. Supreme Court has tried a couple of cases with a significant impact for employees lately. In late May, the court upheld a rule that allows companies to require employees to agree to arbitration clauses in order to prevent them from forming workplace-related class action lawsuits against their employers.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean employers should rush off and implement arbitration clauses, according to experts. Arbitration clauses can be costly, limiting in their options for appeal and may be the subject of pushback from employees, so it’s worth carefully considering the pros and cons before you make a decision one way or the other.
In another major case with HR implications, the court ruled that government workers who do not wish to be part of a union cannot be compelled to pay dues for collective bargaining. Proponents say this is a victory for employees’ rights to free speech, while critics argue that the move could financially hobble unions, leaving their future uncertain. Time will tell how these rulings impact the world of employees’, HR practitioners and employers at large.
Tell us: What did we miss this month in the world of recruiting & HR?