Labour market: results-2021, trends-2022
The rabota.by portal presented the results of a labour market study based on the results of 2021. Experts point to the contradictory processes typical of the past year: on the one hand, there is an increase in the activity of employers, on the other hand – the passivity of applicants is growing.
WHO WERE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR DURING THE LAST YEAR?
Specialists explain the high activity of employers by the effect of pent-up demand: in the spring of 2020, the number of vacancies dropped sharply, and in the second half of the year it gradually began to increase – and the trend continued in 2021. This affected the increase in offers in the first months of the year, which is usually not typical for the market labour. Traditionally, spring and autumn are the most active periods of searching for employees, while at the end and beginning of the year employers, as a rule, review the results and plan the staff for the following year.
Since in 2020 a decrease in the number of vacancies was noted, first of all, in the areas related to entertainment, recreation, public events, as well as for vacancies that do not require work experience, in 2021 these positions showed the highest increase in offers from employers. Thus, the number of vacancies in the “start of a career, students” group increased by 70.3%, in the “information technology, Internet, telecom” group – by 50.7%, “tourism, hotels and restaurants” – by 47.9%, “automotive business” – by 44.1%, “administrative personnel” – by 41.8%, “transport and logistics” – by 40.9%.
Traditionally, the top lines in the overall structure of vacancies are occupied by offers for specialists in the field of sales, IT, vacancies for representatives of working specialties, as well as positions in the field of transport and logistics. The last year was not an exception. Sales specialists account for more than a quarter of all vacancies (26.1%), IT – 16.4%, blue-collar jobs – 12.3%, offers in the field of transport and logistics – 10.4%.
As in 2020, about half of employers in 2021 were focused on finding specialists with 1- 3 years of experience (46.5%). Specialists with no work experience are also quite in demand: the total number of such vacancies posted on the portal was 36.9% (+ 2.6% by 2020).
COMPETITION DECLINED IN 2021
Simultaneously with the growth in demand from employers for employees, the market is experiencing a decrease in the activity of job seekers. In 2020, due to the pandemic, some specialists were forced to look for a new job or temporary part-time job.
In 2021, the situation on the labour market has stabilized and the need for another change of job has disappeared. As one of the surveys of the rabota.by research center showed, some applicants deliberately took a wait-and-see attitude: some people refused to look for a new job as they had a sufficient financial “cushion”, some postponed employment for family reasons, and some found part-time job in addition to the primary place of employment. Those who continued to work were not in the mood for an active change of place without good reason. All this explains why the number of CVs was lower in 2021 than in 2020.
The portfolio structure shows that candidates without work experience (21.4%) and sales specialists (14.7%) remain to be the most active applicants. As for the most significant change compared to last year, experts note a noticeable increase in CVs in the professional areas of “blue-collar staff” (+7.1%) and “top management” (+6.8%).
The decrease in the number of questionnaires with the increased number of vacancies has led to a significant decrease in competition. If the average indicator for the labour market at the end of 2020 reached 9.2 CVs per 1 vacancy, then in 2021 it decreased and, according to the results of January – December, it formed up at the level of 6.7 CVs per vacancy.
At the same time, competition significantly depends on professional areas. The highest at the end of 2021 is observed among students and novice specialists – more than 21 CVs per position. This is due to the fact that young professionals are especially active in posting portfolios in search of part-time jobs, internships and, accordingly, are more active than other professionals in posting and updating information about themselves, changing companies. At the same time, given the high turnover of personnel for vacancies that do not require work experience, this level of competition is not critical.
REMOTE WORKING TO REMAIN ON TREND
According to portal analysts, interest in remote work has been growing over the past year on the part of both job seekers and employers. The number of CVs created and updated from professionals in remote search last year increased by about 94.7% compared to 2020. Remote work in 2020 has become a necessity for many companies, and in 2021 this trend has continued to gain momentum. As a result, the number of active vacancies with a remote work schedule in the past year increased by about 92% compared to 2020.
In addition, the development of technology has led to the fact that some specialties no longer require an exact workplace in a particular locality. Accordingly, prospects are opening up for finding a suitable employee in another region. Therefore, in the coming years, remote work will not only retain its significance but also will be one of the main conditions for a competitive search for a job or an employee in specialties where this form of work is applicable.
WHAT TRENDS SHOULD AN EMPLOYER TAKE INTO ACCOUNT?
According to the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus (Belstat), over the past decade (2021 vs. 2011), the population aged 20 – 24 has decreased by 41.5%. The next age category (25 – 29 years old) is also experiencing a decline. This means that the competition for employees under the age of 30 will be most acute. And over time, the deficit in these age cohorts will grow; then the trend will spread to older groups. Over the years, this will lead to a reduction in the number of active able-bodied population, the “aging” of the main labour force.
For employers, the trend means that it is necessary to change approaches to hiring staff, because it will be more difficult to fill vacancies only with a focus on a young working-age audience. In fact, even now there are not so many able-bodied people as it was 10 years ago.
The sooner companies realize this fact, the better they can fill job openings. In fact, this means that employers should actively consider mature applicants, adapt job requirements to a wider audience, introduce training and retraining systems in order to lower the “entry threshold” for applicants.
Another trend is the growing passivity of applicants and loyalty to the current employer. According to portal experts, employees who survived the coronavirus with their employer are less likely to change jobs. Specialists prefer to work with reliable employers who they already know, who help them get through the crisis period, who treat their subordinates with empathy.
The next factor is the rethinking of values. Job seekers get to realize that they have become scarce, and as a result, feel more confident on the labour market and do not agree to lower salary expectations (as it sometimes happened before) in exchange for at least some work.
At the same time, it will no longer be possible to easily lure the right specialist. Many qualified job seekers have come to realize that there is enough work on the market, but good work is in deficiency. This leads to the fact that, contrary to the expectations of individual employers, there will be no long queues of applicants who are eager to accept any vacancy. Applicants see and assess a large number of offers, so the employer should ensure adequate market conditions with the current salary, without excessive requirements and discrimination.
Employers should also be more flexible and mobile in recruiting. For example, to revise the requirements in vacancies and abandon too harsh and not always justified ones. In conditions of shortage of personnel, it is easier to reduce requests, to teach (or retrain) a specialist, than to try to find the ideal employee for many months. Flexibility on the part of employers can also be expressed in the willingness to meet the needs of a potential employee when agreeing on a schedule and working conditions. In modern realities, applicants are interested in remote or hybrid formats.
And, certainly, employees should not be guided by personal beliefs or stereotypes during the selection process. For example, if you are looking for a courier, you deliberately exclude women. Or you think that a specialist of one age or another will not cope well with his/her duties. When hiring, there should be no place for discrimination of any kind: by gender, age, marital status, appearance, illness or disability, religious or ideological beliefs.
The last trend that should be taken into account when formulating personnel policy is the outflow of personnel and the growth of labour migration. According to the National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus (Belstat), in January – November 2021, employers dismissed 688.6 thousand people, and hired 624.1 thousand people. That is, the outflow of personnel in the country as a whole for 11 months of 2021 amounted to about 64.5 thousand employees. For comparison: over the same period in 2020, the economy lost 39.4 thousand employees.
Such an outflow of personnel may indicate an active migration of the able-bodied population, and not necessarily for political reasons. From January to October, according to Russian statistics, 11.9 thousand Belarusians arrived in the Russian Federation. A modern employer needs to understand that he competes for a specialist not only with the same enterprises in Belarus but also with job offers abroad.