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state of the workforce

State of the Workforce: 5 Key findings

The great re-think has reached the North American workforce and much of the conventional wisdom around what attracts and motivates talent is changing. 

Workers everywhere are re-evaluating their lives and what is important to them in their life and work balance. The pandemic prompted many to shift their priorities toward finding roles that better align with their personal lives and professional passions.  

A recent Procom survey polled over 1,740 permanent and contingent workers across North America to identify opportunities for employers to access the skills they need in today’s labor market.   

5 Key findings

In order for organizations to strengthen their position as an employer of choice for talent, there’s an inherit need for an intentional and sustained focus on the workforce experience.  

Key finding 1: Company culture is catching up to compensation as a top talent priority 

Conventional wisdom maintains that pay rate and salary are primary factors in determining whether someone accepts a contract or permanent position.  As monetary compensation increases have spread across the market, however, cultural factors such as collaborative work environments, meaningful work and  flexibility have begun to show increased influence on talents’ decisions to accept an assignment – or to end one early. 

Today’s talent has higher expectations of the organizations they work for, especially in terms of working environment and company culture. Talent cites that very important top workplace attributes include collaborative and supportive work environments (66%) meaningful work (65%) and schedule flexibility (65%). 

Key finding 2: Meaningful work is a new employer value proposition 

Talent across all industries, including contingent talent and permanent employees, are seeking work that satisfies their need for meaning and purpose. Sixty-five per cent of workers said meaningful work is very or extremely important to them. Employers who understand what meaningful work means to their organization and their talent and can find ways to emphasize this meaning and purpose will gain an advantage while also creating a more human-centered workplace environment.  

Key finding : Organizations that double-down on the contingent worker experience will ultimately attract and engage a greater portion of this talent pool  

Procom data shows the overall contingent worker experience today is positive. Seventy-five per cent of contingent workers report regularly receiving recognition for good work. In addition and over two thirds (68%) of contingent workers say they always or often experience the same respect as full-time and permanent employees in their work assignments. 

Key finding 4: Talent’s mixed perspective on stability creates opportunities for employers  

Over half (56%) of talent say they’re confident in their current work stability despite a potential recession. About the same number, (57%) strongly agree that assignments with more stable companies and industries are preferable during a recession. Thirty- six percent report they’d consider leaving an assignment early based on unstable economic conditions.  

These numbers indicate an opportunity for employers to influence the outlook of those workers who are valuable and whom they want to ensure retention. 

Key finding 5: Unmet worker expectations will drive talent flight  

Talent today has more leverage in the labor market, due in large part to long-term shortages of digital skills and workers re-evaluating where their careers fit into their lives.  

Almost half of respondents (41%) have terminated an assignment early due to dissatisfaction. Beyond the fact that talent has higher expectations across the board, if employers don’t deliver, the most skilled workers are also empowered to quickly find a new role that better suits their expectations.  

Almost two thirds of talent (64%) will terminate a contract due to a toxic work environment. Corporate culture and workforce experience clearly have a direct impact on the attracting, engaging and retaining talent. It’s important that employers are conscious that inclusive, healthy and happy workplace cultures are incredibly important to contingent workers and permanent employees and are increasingly fundamental to an organization’s talent strategy.  

Today’s talent wants it all 

The race for talent is as competitive as ever. Contingent workers and permanent employees want work that aligns with their values and makes an impact. Talent wants two-way communication, feedback and opportunities to develop. Flexibility, stability and DEI are expectations, and this is all on top of earning a competitive wage. 

The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook

Procom has captured hard won lessons learned across thousands of worker hiring engagements by our team of professional recruiters and distilled them into practical ideas that you can start using immediately. The Re-Imagined Recruitment Playbook is a step-by-step guide to help source, screen, select, onboard and retain talent in the New World of Work. 

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State of the Workforce: 5 Key findings

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