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Why Job Openings are at a Record High

A little over a year ago marked the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and companies were struggling to stay afloat. Now that we are in the Summer of 2021, the United States has the highest number of job openings in the past ten years, exceeding nine million. Now that the economy is beginning to stabilize and over 172 million Americans are vaccinated, companies needing to hire more talent.


One of the most significant issues that companies are facing is the Great Resignation. If you haven’t checked out our latest blog post explaining the Great Resignation, it is a wave of professionals resigning from their current roles to pursue other careers. There is not just one element that is causing the record-high job openings, rather there are multiple factors that fall into the equation, including the Great Resignation, a candidate-driven market, and the nearing end of the coronavirus pandemic.


Why people are resigning


When the pandemic first hit and millions lost their jobs, Americans were fearful of losing their jobs. They were doing whatever they could to hold onto their jobs to support their families, pay bills, and ensure financial security in a time of uncertainty.


Now that the pandemic is nearing an end and Americans can see they are financially secure and the economy is healing, they are looking for new and better opportunities. Companies are experiencing an extreme amount of resignations from current employees because professionals realize that it is a candidate-driven market and want to take on bigger and better opportunities.


How are candidates driving the market?


Coinciding with the Great Resignation, candidates have the upper hand in the job hiring process. For years, companies were dictating the process and rules for hiring, but now the candidate pool is shallow. The problem companies seem to be having with the current job market stems from the shortage of talent. Companies have been offering remote work, higher pay, and better benefits to top talent, especially during the latter half of the pandemic.


A shortage of talent means that professionals in the industry have the upper hand when looking for a new job. Before the pandemic, candidates had to be complacent with the conditions of the position. Now that the candidate pool is shallow, they can ask for things like a higher salary, more PTO, and the ability to work from home.


Candidates are receiving more job offers now more than ever. As a staffing agency, we have seen firsthand that it has become increasingly difficult to fill roles because candidates have multiple offers. When talent is short, yet candidates have various job offers, it leaves companies scrambling to find candidates for their positions.


What the end of the pandemic means for the job force


Now that more than half of Americans are vaccinated, companies are taking steps to prepare a return to the office. Multiple issues arise with the return, the first being individuals that are not vaccinated. Companies will have to find an approach including educating and incentivizing these employees to get the vaccine, which is not always easy.


The following issue companies will run into is encouraging employees to return to the office after working remotely for a year. If companies are not offering remote opportunities or a hybrid work schedule, chances are those employees will leave for those opportunities with better benefits included.


Overall, as both a company sourcing for talent and a candidate looking for a new job, you should update yourselves on the current industry standards. Times are changing, and the job market is forever morphing and expanding. We wish you the best of luck with your job/talent search!