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Market Insights are Critical in Developing Competitive Talent Acquisition Strategies

By Dan Quigg in "7 Market Insights that Will Optimize Your Talent Acquisition Strategies," Public Insight Data Corporation

Record job openings plus historic quit rates plus low labor participation rates equals one of the most challenging times in our history for today’s recruiter. Talent acquisition (TA) professionals can no longer take an introspective view but must have an increasing awareness of the market landscape and competition to create new strategies. In a stable job marketplace, HR analytics appropriately focuses on maximizing talent use and retention. But in an unstable job market, increasing emphasis should be given to job market indicators.

TA professionals can either view the current market situation as a threat or as an opportunity. For example, at no other time in history has such a high percentage of jobs been location agnostic. A recruiter with the right type of job can now recruit anywhere. In addition, the recruiter must be increasingly aware of the best ways to position his/her organization to present it in the best light. Most professionals entering and exiting existing positions are doing so, because of an increasing awareness of work-life balance, diversity, company values alignment, and a sense of belonging. Compensation is no longer the primary attractor in the war for talent.

In this white paper, we introduce you to seven key market-based metrics that you should analyze to identify and drive recruiting strategies and improve employer reputation. These insights will clearly identify employer relative strengths and weaknesses and market opportunities in an increasingly competitive landscape.

[Editor's Note: This excerpt focuses on the first of the seven market-based insights - Remote Work.]

Remote Work

Remote work has moved from a temporary to a permanent phenomenon as shown in the following graph. Remote work environments are increasingly being offered as a perk. Postings that emphasize flexible work arrangements will likely win out over more traditional work environments. Recruiters must understand how their remote job positioning compares to the competition. Remote work as a percentage of all job postings is still relatively small at around 2-3%. However, in some positions it is trending above 30%. [Source: Public Insight - Insight for Work from Indeed(R) postings]

Job postings with exclusive remote work environments are easy to spot. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that employees seem to like hybrid environments. At the same time, employers are unsure whether they will continue remote work environments and are reluctant to advertise jobs as remote jobs. In a hybrid environment the remote work component is fluid and may be buried in the text of the ad or negotiated during the interview process. Being able to flush out hybrid work environments will be increasingly important to understanding the competition.

Distinguishing Between Permanent and Temporarily Remote

Most employers have operated in a temporary remote work environment. Many have not yet reverted to pre-pandemic practices. The Indeed® platform provides a way of distinguishing between temporary and permanent remote work environments. Temporary remote work environments are in force until it is deemed by the employer to be safe to return to normal practices. Permanent remote work environments are designed for the long-term remote worker. Until recently, temporary remote PAGE 4 OF 17 was declining, and permanent remote work was increasing. Now with the COVID-19 resurgence, both temporary and permanent have been increasing.

Permanent environments may still be advertised as if they are local. Since every market could be a potential source, recruiters may still geo-code the location to get broader coverage.

Why Awareness of Remote Trends is Important

There is little doubt that the impact of remote work will linger far beyond the pandemic. A recent McKinsey study found that up to 25% of the workforces in advanced economies could work from home between three and five days a week. This represents four to five times more remote work than before the pandemic. This could prompt a large change in the geography of work, as individuals and companies shift out of large cities into suburbs and small cities.

Creative organizations will expand their labor pool to look for talent regionally and nationally. The challenge is where to look for talent. Not all markets have the same pool of talent. They can scatter shoot and advertise everywhere, or they can look for specific markets or educational institutions that fit a certain threshold of competency.

Awareness of the trend towards remote work also highlights competitive threats. As more than 60% of workers have expressed a preference for at least hybrid remote work, it is imperative for the talent acquisition professional to understand the competitive landscape.

Finally, remote work opens lower cost regional markets since all markets are candidates for the labor pool. However, be aware that differences in compensation by market due to cost of living are increasingly being challenged by workers.