Benchmark Search Hiring Insights – October 2023

The holiday season is almost here, and this is a notoriously challenging time for people struggling with mental health issues.

And that’s a lot of people.

One recent Harvard Business Review poll showed that 82% of people report workplace stress as a problem at their organization, and 97% say workplace stress contributes to bigger mental health challenges over time.

For a lot of companies, the end of the fiscal year falls somewhere in here, putting employees under even more stress. What are you doing to combat workplace stress and better support your employees? This is a great time of year to think about it, as well as some of the other topics touched on below.

Unemployment Update

The US economy added 336,000 new jobs, nearly double the 170,000 forecasted. The national unemployment rate held steady a 3.8%, while unemployment for college graduates declined from 2.2% to 2.1%.

The leisure and hospitality sector continued its impressive streak in the job market, adding 96,000 jobs. Healthcare contributed 41,000 jobs and the Manufacturing & Construction sectors collectively added 28,000 jobs.

Candidate Spotlight:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting & Finance
  • Public combo with active CPA
  • 10+ years of experience
Financial Reporting Director
  • Accounting Degree
  • Big 4 Combo, CPA
  • 10+ years reporting experience
Financial Reporting Manager
  • Accounting Degree
  • Public Combo with active CPA
  • 6+ years of experience
Senior Accountant
  • BBA / MBA in Accounting
  • Public Combo, CPA Eligible
  • Full cycle G/L Accounting
Accounting Manager
  • Big4 Combo , CPA
  • 8+ years of audit experience
PWC Audit Manager
  • CPA
  • Led teams of up to 35
  • Industries include industrial products, utilities, retail
Audit Manager
  • Public Combo, CPA
  • 8+ years experience
  • Healthcare
Deloitte Senior Associate II
  • 4 Busy seasons with Deloitte
  • Industries include Oil and Gas, Construction, & Retail
Senior Accountant
  • 4+ years of public accounting experience
  • CPA
  • Strong technical background
  • Manufacturing, distribution, oil and gas
Audit Senior
  • B.S.  and Master of Science in Accounting from SMU
  • 6 years of experience
  • Consumer finance, Real Estate, tech companies

You just gave them a promotion… So why did they quit?

It’s a curious conundrum I am often brought in to remedy: A team leader gives an employee a promotion, only to have them quit soon after. Fortune even calls this “a new trend,” citing research from ADP that shows promotions actually *increase* the likelihood people will leave their jobs.

Why is this a phenomenon?

ADP is quick to point out — and as a recruiter, I agree — that it’s not the actual promotion that’s the problem. In most cases, people quit because the promotion is “too little too late.” In other words, managers wait to give people the raises and promotions they deserve, and in the meantime, the employee has moved on, either emotionally or by taking actual action to find a new job.

Honor your employees while you have them — but when you don’t have them anymore, call me. I can help.

The “forever” labor shortage

While a lot of the HR departments and company leaders I work with look forward to the current labor shortage eventually ending, it doesn’t seem to be in the stars. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says labor force participation is steadily dropping, and by the end of the decade, a lot fewer people will be working.

So how can your company shore up its defenses and ensure it will always have enough good talent?

As a recruiter, my probably obvious advice is to take the time to develop a relationship with someone like me who can give you an advantage when it comes to finding good candidates. But it’s also important to hang onto the good people you already have.

The salary-transparency tipping point

We have now reached the “salary transparency tipping point” where the majority of job listings (at least on Indeed) include salary information. This trend is partly caused by pay-transparency laws in several states, but also by general sentiment. And it’s influencing those who already hold the jobs that are now “transparent.”

Imagine you’ve held a job for five or ten years, and then you see a listing for that same job, but offering more money. Doesn’t feel all that good, right?

The trend probably isn’t going to change anytime soon, so for employers, it’s a good time to check salary equity across the company. As a recruiter for more than a decade, I encourage my clients to be transparent about salaries in most cases, with the understanding that of course, there are reasonable exceptions to this rule — like when the salary is highly dependent upon the candidate’s experience level and the role itself is malleable.

This month’s recommended reading

Looking ahead, do you have a hiring strategy for 2024? When you’re ready to get serious about looking for talent, give me a call.

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