Why Employees Now Have the Upper Hand

We all understand the concept of a buyer’s market vs. seller’s market in real estate. Typically, one side or the other has an advantage as the housing market and/or economy shifts over time. The same is true for the workforce.

At any given time, we’re either in an employer’s market or an employee’s market, and it shifts over time.

During the recession, we saw a strong employer’s market, when companies could obtain and retain talent fairly easily at reasonable rates. But since the recession has lifted, we’ve gradually shifted to a strong employee’s market. Here’s why…

  1. There are more job opportunities available as businesses are thriving today far more than they were five years ago. Everyone’s hiring!
  2. Recruiters are proactively poaching talent at all levels via LinkedIn with the ever-popular, “would you entertain a new opportunity?”
  3. Information is more accessible than ever before, particularly in regards to pricing and salaries. With sites like Salary.com, Cars.com and Zillow.com, people expect to know they’re getting a fair price or wages, without having to be great negotiators.
  4. Millennial employees (those under 35) are now the largest generational cohort in the workplace, and they have more power today than any young generation has had in nearly 40 years. Note: GenX (age 35-50) was half the size of the Baby Boomers (age 50-70), so they couldn’t go toe-to-toe with the older cohort to force the changes they wanted. Many GenXers decided it was best to adapt to the Boomer expectations in order to advance their careers. This is not the Millennials’ situation.
  5. The Millennial mindset is trickling up as employees of all ages are beginning to demand better work/life balance, more effective management, flexibility and a better overall quality of life.
  6. Finally, new employees put little stock in company loyalty. Pensions are a thing of the past and most applicants or employees know those programs are not guaranteed, even if they’re promised in writing. Most of today’s workforce wants to work for a company they believe in that gives them meaning and purpose, not a promise for longevity.

Author: Cara Silletto, MBA, is the Founder & President of Crescendo Strategies.

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