3 Reasons Why Economic Strength is Fanning the Flame in the War for Talent

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Hiring is hard. The constant pursuit of the perfect candidate that fits your company’s needs, expectations and culture doesn’t just happen overnight. This is especially true now, even in the strong economic time that we are currently in. Not only must the stars align on a combination of factors for a successful candidate search, but now, more than ever, the pool of eligibility is shrinking, and employers are clamoring for the attention of the workforce. There are three reasons why the war for talent is only heating up:

  • Unemployment is the lowest in decades: According to the latest report by the Department of Labor (DOL), the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since 1969, declining to 3.7% in September 2018. In fact, in their July 2018 report, the DOL estimates that the amount of open jobs outnumbers unemployed people. While full-time positions are the primary driver of decreasing unemployment, the statistics are also bolstered by the increasing prevalence of the contingent workforce. By embracing temporary or contract-based work as an alternative to full-time, the contingent worker population has increased general participation in workforce, enticing non-participants to take up work and keeping many out of the category of unemployed.


  • Employers are increasingly accommodating: As baby boomers are retiring, leaving the workforce and a traditional 9-to-5 behind, there is a rise in support for embracing a new perspective on employment. Workers, from post-graduate to pre-retirement age, are asking for more flexibility and autonomy and employers are making accommodations to attract the talent they need. In many cases, this means trading a full-time commitment for contract work. In fact, a recent study conducted by EY estimates that, by 2020, 25% of businesses will have a contingent workforce comprising at least 30% of its talent resources, with one in five workers across the globe actively engaged in gig or freelance work. To win the war for talent, employers are trading their traditional outlook for a more flexible one.


  • High-profile attention to benefits: While average hourly earnings are on the rise, name brands like Amazon are jumping on the benefits trend. The retail giant that has a history of making disruptive moves, recently announced its intent to increase minimum wages to $15 per hour, likely forcing many across industries to reevaluate their own benefits. With less available workforce on the market, benefits have become a means for organizations to edge out the competition. Not only are hourly workers seeing an uptick in benefits, the contingent workforce is driven by 47% of executives that are looking to hire contractors to fill management and senior executive roles, including the C-suite. This top-tier talent demands a benefits package fit for seasoned professionals including remote work locations, more paid time off, better healthcare, higher salaries and more, demonstrating that the war for talent is at every pay grade.

Check out our white paper, “The Gig Economy: What’s Hot vs. What’s Hype,”  which will help guide you beyond buzzwords and separate the insights from the hindsight.

If you’d like to learn more about how PRO is helping organizations implement winning contingent workforce programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at info@prounlimited.com.

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

  Industry Insights
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