US workers show a little less swagger amidst fears of an economic downturn

The press keeps telling us that there are still far more open job vacancies than candidates, and that companies are continuing to compete fiercely to attract top talent. And yet changes are afoot… Many organisations are clamping down on remote and hybrid working while others talk of potential cutbacks amidst fears of an economic downturn. Certainly in the US, workers are suddenly a lot less confident about demanding massive salary hikes than they were a few months ago…

So claims a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. For a summary of the article’s key points, please see below:

– Driven by fear of losing their jobs in a time of economic uncertainty, many die-hard remote workers are finally complying with their leaders’ demands to return to the office.

– There’s a growing sense of urgency among job seekers to land a good job, with favourable pay and benefits, in a stable organisation. As fears of recession take hold, workers are keen to seal the deal now, as it may be a long time before they get the opportunity to do so again.

– Finding that the job market isn’t perhaps the goldmine they believed, job seekers are making compromises that they wouldn’t have 12 months ago, e.g., as regards flexibility and travel.

– Job seekers are also getting nervous about the dreaded last in, first out approach to potential downsizing. This fuels the sense of urgency to nail a new job quickly, taking into consideration company longevity. They want to know that their new organisation is future-proofed so that, downturn or not, their jobs are protected. Above all else, job seekers are increasingly favouring stability.

– Despite all of the above, on balance workers still are in a position of power, albeit a diminished one as compared with a few months ago. So while a loss of the option to work exclusively from home and sobering economic forecasts can make it feel like their force is slipping away, this particular power struggle is far from over.

ABL, your trusted multilingual recruitment partner, will keep you updated on how things develop in this and all other recruitment-related matters. If there are any topics that you’d like us to cover in future newsletters, please let us know. We are, as always, here to help!