By the Hapkey team

An alarming fact about the labor market and what you should do about it

Post by
Elia Mihuta
An alarming fact about the labor market and what you should do about it
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Recently, we raised the alarm on the Great Resignation. We took the chance to discuss the matter and offered some tips on how to tackle the issue. Yet, this being such an important topic, we decided to extend the discussion. 

Only earlier this week, BBC shared a statistic provided by the Institute of Employment Studies. The data they presented states that, as we speak, the labor market in the UK is missing around one million workers. And the reason behind this problem is not hard to understand.

Let's leave aside for a second the COVID-19 situation. Because, even if this hadn't been the tragic case, there would still have been a big gap between what the labor market needs and the available workforce. Therefore, organizations worldwide have to make considerable changes within their cultures and structures not to struggle to find and retain employees.

But what is causing this unprecedented recruitment situation to spread by the day? Well, mostly the young generation who doesn't abide by the same rules as before. For example, most Gen Z representatives won't even consider taking a job until they are 24. They prefer prolonging their studies, taking sabbaticals, and, of course, looking into more nontraditional paths. Furthermore, the next generation in line, the millennials, are known to be job-hoppers. More than 20% of the people in their 30s change their job once per year. So, on top of individuals retiring and leaving the job posts open, it's clear that we are facing a problem, a significant one.

Joanna Barsh is a respected author from the business and leadership world. For 10 years, she was even named the New York City Commissioner on Women's Issues. So, it's no wonder that she also is concerned about the labor force situation.

In a recent podcast, she talked about something called 'familiarity bias.' She explained how employers look to replace former employees with their mirrored image and don't even consider checking out other candidates. So, the author highlighted that not giving all possible applicants a chance is the worst possible path. For once, it narrows down the recruitment . Not to mention that many companies miss out on the opportunity to work with incredible individuals, as the right person for the job could actually be the least one to consider. 

Finally, she pointed out how employers need to make a shift in their leadership approach. She made it clear that none of the recruitment parts matters if the leader is not willing to be open to signals from the rest of the organization. And with this, she really said something really profound that we truly subscribe to.

"The only thing that will change senior leadership is if they become self-aware of how their behavior affects others."

- Joanna Barsh

As we conclude, we want to share our thoughts regarding the subject. We live in a world in which, for the first time, opinions, from everyone, really do matter. The young generation was born and raised in this world. Thus, it's no wonder that they won't stand around if they think that, for a moment, their feelings are not being taken into consideration. And with an open market so vast, why would they?

Now, from a leadership perspective, it might seem that all roads lead to a dead end. But the good news is that increasing employee retention is not an impossible task. All you need to do is to be the modern leader the modern society needs. Have an open mind about all factors influencing the organization. But most important, respect the people you work with and don't let them feel like simple pawns on your chessboard. Give them a voice and you will be surprised about the results in retaining and engaging your employees.

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