Keeping Up with the Evolving Job Market

Oct 19, 2022

By Mackenzie Froese

Our entire society is constantly in flux, but over the past few years the rate of change has definitely picked up the pace, particularly in the business world. An ever-shifting technological terrain, the persistent skills shortage, and of course the ongoing pandemic—all of these have combined to create a work environment that’s unlike anything previous generations encountered. It also means that many of the “traditional” ways of doing business no longer cut it. One department that’s keenly feeling these changes is HR, as market pressures and worker expectations are forcing HR to rethink its practices, especially in three key areas.


The days of employees staying in full-time jobs at the same organization for 40 years are long gone. Most companies can’t guarantee that kind of employment security, and few employees want to stay in the same roles for long periods of time anyway. Consequently, filling open positions is one of the biggest responsibilities HR professionals have today.

In the current hiring climate, though, companies are struggling to meet their staffing needs: the skills gap makes it harder to find workers with the right qualifications, and a more competitive job market that lets job seekers be more selective about which opportunities to pursue makes it harder for companies to find as many employees as they need. Increasingly, HR departments are partnering with staffing agencies and outsourcing some (or even all) of their hiring. These relationships make it possible for companies to cast wider nets into bigger ponds—and improve their chances of meeting their hiring needs.

Employee Retention

It doesn’t matter how successful a company is in hiring if it can’t keep those new employees around. When workers don’t stay, HR ends up stuck on the treadmill of “recruit, hire, onboard, train—then rinse and repeat.” This costs the organization time and money, and damages the morale of the employees who do stay on board.

The solution to improving employee retention is simple: give employees what they want. The task of finding out what that is falls directly under HR’s purview. Wages, PTO, career advancement opportunities, health insurance plans, remote work, professional development—these are just a few of the benefits areas in which employee expectations have changed in recent years.

Of course, companies can’t meet unrealistic expectations (after all, if companies gave people everything they might possibly want, we’d end up with two-hour work weeks, sky-high salaries, and unlimited PTO for everyone!), but they can at least use information about employee wants and needs as a starting point for finding some middle ground.

Workplace Culture

Whereas in the past candidates were most often swayed to take the offer that came with the best salary (and maybe the most PTO), today’s candidates are also considering other, less-tangible factors. Some of them want a work environment that promotes work–life balance, or team relationships built on mutual support and collaboration. Others prioritize joining organizations whose mission statements align with their own personal ethics. And some seek work that has purpose—a sense of making a contribution that extends beyond themselves and their companies. Because workplace culture is heavily weighed (“Is this the type of environment in which I want to spend 40+ hours a week?”) when candidates are deciding whether to accept offers—and when employees are deciding whether to stay at their current jobs—HR should work with managers and employees to create an appealing work environment.

With the pace of change seeming to accelerate more each day, “business as usual” is no longer the dominant paradigm. Companies that want to stay competitive on the hiring market need to be ready to adapt.

About the author:

Brian Formato is the founder of Groove Management, a leadership development and executive coaching firm; and the creator of LeaderSurf, an adventurous development program for business leaders of all backgrounds, industries, and corners of the world who want to break old habits and create lasting change. He can be reached at 

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