Talent in the Changing Market

11:50 am
January 6, 2023
cogent infotech
Workforce Solutions
Dallas, TX
Cogent Staffing
Fortune 500

Talent in the Changing Market

The employer-employee relationship has undergone a fundamental change, especially after global organizations switched to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Gallup, 53% of employees expect employers to enable a hybrid working arrangement, whereas 24% expect to be exclusively remote workers. 

Shrinking pipelines, high employee turnover, and inflation have resulted in a demand-supply mismatch. The talent competition has become fiercer than ever. Thus, leaders must consider how they will tackle the volatile talent landscape to bring stability to their organizations. 

The Great Resignation

The relationship between employers and employees underwent a radical shift. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered what is known as the Great Resignation of 2021, wherein 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs. Even as recently as February 2022, 4.4. million people (or 2.9% of the workforce) in America quit their jobs voluntarily. 

The hybrid model has made it easier for people to shift jobs in the post-pandemic world. At a point in the pandemic, four out of five people who took a new job were not required to relocate. Since there are few opportunities for team members to bond face-to-face, the lack of social ties at work makes it easier for people to move on.

Sectors like nursing and education also face the added challenge of a lack of interest from the younger generation. As fewer people opt to become nurses or teachers, these sectors face a grim future. 

In addition, companies that have reneged on their promise of flexibility after the pandemic have mostly fallen flat as employees have refused to return to the office

Thus, employers need to rethink and redesign job roles to match the expectations of the available talent. 

Redesigning Traditional Job Roles

Employers need to keep an open mind when redesigning traditional roles for the modern workplace. They need to build a value proposition to attract talent into the workforce. Employers must start making these roles attractive from the very start.

For instance, roles in nursing and manufacturing have traditionally been rigid. It is time that these roles are viewed from a fresh lens. 

Flexibility can be in the number of hours spent at the workplace, location, and mode of working. Leaders must get creative about incorporating flexibility into traditional roles such that it meets employee needs and desires without affecting business continuity.

People are no longer excited by competitive compensation and career progression only. They are important but not the sole factors responsible for driving employee choices. Employees are also looking for a flexible work environment or the ability to take up a side gig.

Strategies to meet talent requirements in a changing market

Businesses must embrace flexibility to draw people back into their "not-so-exciting" industries. Some strategies they can adopt are:

Use all segments of the workforce.

Apart from investing all its energies in attracting young full-time talent, businesses can focus on other segments of workers to meet their talent requirements. 

  • Caregivers and people nearing retirement or already retired have different motivations to keep working. 
  • A set of idealists work to make the world a better place. These sets of people form a large part of our workforce. Companies must figure out how they can be used to meet business objectives. 
  • Other segments, such as independent workers, are equally significant. The number of independent US workers has increased from 27% in 2016 to 36%. 

Traditional companies must employ workers from all segments to meet their talent requirements.

Understand quiet quitting

Organizations need to understand the level of quiet quitting among the workforce. Despite being understaffed in the last few years, companies have not lowered their revenue expectations. Thus, employees have been forced to go out of their way to meet the company's expectations. As a result, they have turned to quiet quitting, which refers to the refusal to work more than the bare minimum required.

There's a spectrum of quiet quitters: one group does not contribute anything to an organization, but another set is willing to do exactly the job they were hired for—and no more. Companies need to clearly define the scope of the job they require employees to do and build a real relationship with them through honest, candid conversations.

Communicate with team members

The leadership in any organization needs to make a proactive effort to talk to the team and understand their requirements. It is important for businesses with a large, diverse workforce to incorporate inclusivity. Each team member may expect something different from a flexible workplace, and their expectations must be considered and managed.

For instance, a team of 100 employees will have different preferences for their working hours. To resolve this issue, the company can set core working hours, i.e., a time frame when the majority of the team members are available. However, the organization requires the team to work together and interact with each other so that creative thinking can prosper. 

Regular interactions make it possible to understand the employees' expectations and give the leadership enough opportunities to show the team that their contribution matters to the organization.

Build new operating models

Businesses must build operating models that keep the employees at the center instead of keeping customers at the center and expecting employees to adapt to changing customer demands. However, the gravity of the talent shortage is such that building new operating models is the need of the hour.

For instance, a trucking company was able to hire truck drivers but was seeing high attrition. Truck drivers were quitting because of the inconvenient pickup and delivery hours.

In the traditional approach, the company would have accepted the inconvenience as a customer requirement. However, as part of their new operating model, the company charged much higher prices for deliveries at inconvenient hours.

This resulted in a lowering of the overall turnover ratio since customers would rather get the shipments at some time instead of missing them altogether.

Understand what motivates employees

Compensation is essential for employees but not the sole deciding factor. For instance, an extra dollar per hour may seem attractive to a lower socioeconomic worker in a manufacturing or agricultural company. However, it may not matter much to a white-collar employee. Companies must study where employees stand on the economic spectrum to understand what makes them tick.


The global business ecosystem is facing a serious demand-supply gap for talent. The aging population doesn't help, either. Fewer people are graduating from school as compared to people retiring from the workforce.

There are nearly 10.7 million open jobs in the United States. However, there are only 5.7 million people that are looking for jobs. That is a staggering five-million-person gap that needs to be filled to meet the evolving needs of businesses.

Employ all segments of the workforce, build new operating models, and understand the changing needs of the talent base. Most importantly, businesses must realize that they must make a concerted effort to change their value propositions.

Cogent Staffing Services can help meet the evolving talent needs of the business. With managed services, professional services, and IT staffing, Cogent offers a wide suite of services to build a customized solution per the requirements.

Access our bespoke workforce solutions for your growing organization, contact us.


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