Let’s Just Pretend This is Normal

cocoa #22, by nao-cha
cocoa #22.  Courtesy of nao-cha

It’s important for employers to watch labor market trends because it gives us a glimpse into the workplace culture of the near-future.  Between the rows of statistics we see an emerging screwball comedy which could play out in selection interviews and corporate back-offices.  Following the plot is important for our own careers, but it’s also important for keeping amused.

There are forecasts that the second quarter of 2017 will see a jump in new hires in the US.  This interesting article by Scott Scanlon of Hunt Scanlon Media notes that employers had been waiting-out the hype of a change of US President, and are now choosing to hire more staff.  It’s partially a result of a few quarters of employers standing pat through the election period.

Regardless of whether one agrees with Trump’s policies you have to admit that he is provoking activity.  Whether it’s the sporadic cancellation of plans to relocate plants outside of the US, or the increased activity at law-enforcement agencies, or the growing likelihood a wall will be constructed on the border with Mexico, lots of people are running around doing more work.  Whether the changes are good or sustainable is not relevant to the fact that increased activity creates jobs.  And job growth has a knock-on effect on consumer confidence and housing starts.

Employers anticipate an emerging talent shortage.  However, the employers themselves are partly to blame.  Hiring managers expect to hire the very best people when they open a posting.  Can you think of any solutions?  I have an idea; how about we get rid of perfectionism amongst hiring managers?  After several decades of employers always having the upper hand, organizations might have developed a management culture that is incompatible with job-seekers calling the shots.

Also, employers have been reluctant to hire candidates to grow into a role, or to invest in developing talent.  What ever shall we do?  Change gears by hiring candidates who can grow into a role, and then invest in their talents?  It seems like such a strange thing to do!

There are “job seekers looking for 20-plus [percentage] increases in salary to make up for the lack of raises and increases over the past few years…”  Employers are responding by shifting to an on-demand workforce, referred to elsewhere as the Gig Economy.  But people taking gigs will often charge double or triple the rate of a salaried employee.

Employers can’t handle the humiliation of acknowledging that union representatives and millennials have had totally reasonable expectations all along.  We’re obliging people to triple their wage, come up with a company name for their services, and then skip HR and just talk to supply management about their vendor contract.  Business leaders aren’t in this for the money anymore; they have to maintain composure.

All that’s missing is an economy where all of these contractors collect receipts to reduce the taxes on their business.  So… who’s going to pay for that wall?

One thought on “Let’s Just Pretend This is Normal

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