labor market

The Great Resignation is basically over. Welcome now, to the Great Stagnation. According to recent Labor Statistics data, there were about 11 billion job openings as recently as February, and two jobs for every person looking for one. The workers have left, they’ve gone home. Now businesses are sitting with gaps in their teams, searching for reliable professionals to fill them. Some blame it on the inability of many recruiters to adapt to the new world we live in. Others blame it on Americans simply not wanting to work or having new standards set unrealistically high. No matter the cause, what we’re experiencing now is a kind of stalemate. A game of chicken so to speak, between employers and professionals. Companies need professional talent and they are getting desperate to recruit it. While Americans are waiting for employers to catch up to the new norms of the professional world.

So what does this all mean to you and what’s next? That’s what we’re going to explain in this article. So that you can better understand how your business fits into this equation, as well as what some of your next steps should be. MyOutDesk is the longest-running virtual assistant provider in the world. We have 15+ years of experience matching virtual assistants to professional roles across industries, at companies big and small. We know a thing or two about the labor market and how to stay several steps ahead of it. So take our hand, and let’s get to stepping.

What’s going on?

The pandemic changed our world in unprecedented ways, and we’re still in the wake of those changes. Many professionals lost their jobs, and many just transitioned to some form of work-from-home arrangement. As conditions began to settle and return to this “new normal”, professionals found themselves accustomed to their new flexibility at work. And the ones not working at all found themselves wanting more incentive to even return to the workforce. With rumors of a flourishing job market, many professionals left their positions, setting their eyes on greener pastures at that other company. This has left recruiters and HR professionals in a very weird position, as they scramble to understand it and respond effectively.


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99 Million Americans are not looking for work

According to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is going down(3.8% as of the start of March). Even still, the number of people not actively seeking work remains high; at about 99 million people according to the Census Household Pulse Survey. Of that number, nearly half were retired. After retirees, the next-largest group of “unemployed and uninterested” was the 18 million who gave “other” as their reason, and 7 million who gave no reason at all. In that same month of February which had 11 million open positions, the monthly quit rate(a government measure of worker resignations) reached 2.9%. With the pandemic in our rearview and inflation making the dollar worth less and less, why aren’t more people really trying to get a job? 

Money isn’t everything. Until it is.

In the old days, it seemed like simply offering money for someone to do a job for you was all it took. Offer a bit more money and you get even more interest. Nowadays it’s not all about the money, it’s also about workplace environments, benefits, flexibility, and work-life balance. US professionals have come to expect more from their employers, and not just from their paycheck. They want the flexibility to work from home(or something hybrid), they want competitive benefits for their families, and more PTO to enjoy life. But that isn’t stopping recruiters from leaning into the temptation of money to attract talent. In fact, 19% of HR professionals surveyed said they need to increase benefits and compensation for current and new talent. Transparency around wages in job listings is growing, even becoming required in some states like Colorado and soon New York. It’s predicted that, as inflation continues and more Americans burn through their savings and credit cards, the dollar sign metric will soon be a top priority once again.

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Nearly ⅓ of people who quit one job for another said they felt surprise or regret, according to a survey of 2,500 US adults conducted by The Muse, a job-search and career-coaching company.

You catch more bees…

Recruiters are using money to entice professionals, with bloated salaries, enhanced benefits packages, and big hiring bonuses. According to a July 2021 Robert Half survey of almost 3,000 senior managers, 48% are offering signing bonuses and 43% are giving more PTO.  Someone not even looking for work reported being offered 3x their previous salary by a prospective employer. It’s a blunt force method of getting what you want, but it has proven effective. Especially now that(plot twist!) a lot of those professionals who left their positions willingly, are actually coming back. Millions left their jobs during the pandemic, many to see if the grass really was greener. But many faced a realization that no matter where you go, things will never be perfect. Some companies over-promised on autonomy or the flexibility to work from home, or simply didn’t have the kind of culture they were accustomed to. So as the dust settles and the picture becomes more clear, many are looking back at their old jobs through rose-tinted glasses. Which is turning the job market into a revolving door as of late.

The SHRM State of the Workplace Study

Let’s look at some cold hard statistics, shall we? The SHRM State of the Workplace Study for 2021-2022 is a survey of 1,737 HR professionals and 642 US workers. They reported back some eye-opening data that really give you a preview into the year ahead. For example, resignation rates are continuing to climb; 26% of small companies reported climbing resignation rates, and 53% of large companies reported the same. It is interesting to note that remote working organizations are faring a bit better. For example, the labor shortage is a top challenge facing 74% of remote companies, and 87% of in-person companies. Furthermore, another problem facing 67% of remote businesses and 80% of in-person was legal and compliance concerns. While we’re on the topic, here are the top four challenges facing businesses of all sizes…

  1. Labor shortage
  2. Legal and compliance concerns
  3. Health and safety
  4. Inflation concerns

We already mentioned the labor shortage and legal concerns, but what about health and inflation? It makes sense that those two don’t really come up for remote workers because they’re more detached from those hurdles. When you work from home you’re not as likely to catch a cold or worse from a coworker or bring it to work for others. And with inflation on the rise, it pays to stay home and save on gas money, daycare, less need for PTO, not eating out as much, etc. Same for employers who don’t have to worry so much about office overhead, on-site insurance, amenities, etc. Simply put, the more remote working professionals you have, the less you have to worry about. The same goes for finding, maintaining, and retaining talent. Remote organizations were rated 2.5x more effective in those areas than in-person offices. 

Looking Ahead

Of the many HR professionals surveyed, there were four target areas of improvement for 2022. While most of them reported satisfaction with how their organization handled the pandemic, continuing to navigate the aftermath of the pandemic continues to be a priority. Here are the top four efforts being prioritized by HR professionals in 2022…

2022 challenges

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It’s no question that fewer brick-and-mortar facilities can equal more cost savings and fewer headaches for business owners. There’s even evidence that remote working can increase productivity for those not in the office. Not to mention the cost-saving benefits for the employees themselves. Focusing on more flexibility with remote work options, coupled with competitive wages to keep up with inflation, seems to be the recipe for attracting talent. 

It’s time to think outside the b̶o̶x̶ building 

These are unprecedented times we’re in, facing new yet familiar obstacles in the professional world. So why not respond with new but familiar ideas? Take for example the blended(or hybrid) work model. It has been around for ages but recently has gained traction in the face of increased work-from-home flexibility. With a hybrid work model, organizations can hit all of those 2022 checkboxes with relative ease. By outsourcing roles that can be done remotely to virtual assistants in another country, business owners are realizing they get the same benefits as a local hire. Plus the added benefit of massive cost savings, which can then be re-allocated to their local experts. Improve what little office space you need, and offer better compensation and benefits for the few employees who are local. That’s how you attract and keep the talent you want.

MyOutDesk > other virtual assistant services

We’ve already made it clear that the labor market struggles we face today likely aren’t going anywhere all year long. Efforts to attract and retain top talent need to be amplified by any business hoping to stay ahead of the curve and set itself up for massive success in 2023. Now it’s time to make clear why MyOutDesk specifically has been and continues to be the secret weapon for missions like that. Outsourcing busy work to virtual assistants in another country isn’t new. In fact, it’s often discussed by business owners off the record and in whispers, due to archaic stigmas surrounding the industry. We’re here to dispel those concerns with facts and evidence.

For a more in-depth analysis of the benefits of virtual assistants, LEARN MORE HERE when you’re done with this article.

Our virtual assistants are based in the Philippines. Did you know they have a 95% literacy rate wherein the medium of instruction is mainly English? And they’re ranked 27/100 countries globally on the English proficiency index, and ranked #2 in Asia. So we aren’t giving companies language barriers to work with, we’re connecting them with fluent English-speaking professionals. On top of that, we have a very thorough interview process for our hires, ensuring they have the experience and/or education preferred. As well as reliable equipment and internet, coupled with a rigorous background check. In other words, assurances for you. The kind of assurances you simply don’t get with a random local hire or someone of a contract service like Fivver. And if there is one thing that is like gold to recruiters and HR teams right now, it’s assurances.

Your labor market friend in 2022

With our history and expertise in the remote working professional world, coupled with the struggles of our current labor market, it really is MyOutDesk’s time to shine. And we invite any business trying to grow while staying ahead of these obstacles to shine with us. We hope this write-up was informative and interested enough to have kept you this far down. We are in a prime position to support growing businesses of any shape or size right now with our proven and reliable virtual assistants. Your success is quite literally our success, so let’s be successful together. Use the link below to request a talk with one of our experts, where they’ll go over any questions or concerns you have. Zero obligation or pressure, just a friendly and educational conversation, as long or as short as you need. We’d love to hear from you!

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