Employers are optimistic about hiring plans but worried about landing the right candidate

Monster Chief Strategy Officer Scott Blumsack joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the employment website's latest study examining the difficulty employers are facing when finding ideal candidates, investing time to train less experienced new hires, and gauging a return to normal for work environments.

Video Transcript

KARINA CONTRERAS: We are going to shift gears. The pandemic has changed the way both businesses and employees look at the 9:00 to 5:00 grind. Here with a look at what the new future of work may look like is Scott Blumsack, Monster chief strategy officer. Thank you so much for being here, sir.

Monster Worldwide just released its second annual report. And there is good news that there is job growth ahead. But you say the pipeline of candidates is a concern.

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yes, no, absolutely. In terms of the optimism, the employers that we talked to were very optimistic around their hiring plans going into 2022 with about 93% saying they expected to hire this year, and about half of those would be hiring new roles. On the flip side, though, we see the continued effects of the supply demand imbalance. 42% of those employers said that they really worried about finding candidates with the right fit, either because they can't find candidates with the right skill set, or the market is just so competitive, they don't think they can land those candidates.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So Scott, I want to bounce off of that, the gap in skills that you're talking about. Are companies willing to hire new employees if they see potential in somebody? Would they bring them on and do the work and try to get them up to speed?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah. And that's one of the really encouraging findings from our studies. 70% of employers said if they identified a candidate who had transferable skills, they actually would invest in training them to help solve that skills gap.

KARINA CONTRERAS: And then, you know, one of the biggest tensions this year has to be the return to work, whether people are going to sort of work remotely or a hybrid option. What were your findings as far as employers and employees in that regard?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah. This was another area where there was a pretty big disconnect from our research. So clearly, from the pandemic, employees have very much come to value and in many cases expect the flexibility that comes with being able to work remote, and obviously, given the current COVID wave that we're experiencing, that's only made that even more acute.

And we found that 60% of employees actually are interested in a fully remote job right now, but only 20% of employers are actually willing to offer a fully remote-- a fully remote option. And about a third are actually are expecting to be fully back to the office.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Now, I know that diversity and inclusion has become a priority for a lot of companies, especially over the past 18 months or so. What are companies saying? What are you hearing from potential employees about how important it is for them in their job search?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, it's clearly an increasing area of focus. And this was one where there was an interesting split around generational lines. About a third of the candidates that we talked to who were Gen Z viewed DEI and sort of the company's approach to that as becoming much more important in the coming year, which was 10 percentage points higher than the overall-- than the overall sample.

KARINA CONTRERAS: Now, what are some of the other key takeaways in the report? I note that you say that job seekers are growing more skeptical of the promises that employers are making.

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, I mean, I think yeah, what we certainly have seen is employers are trying to do everything that they can to land the right candidate. And I think, with that, candidates, I think, sometimes they're worrying a bit, hey, is this too good-- is this a bit too good to be true?

And so it's really if you're an employer, it's really focusing on being transparent, being honest, and really working with the potential candidates to understand what's of value to them and trying to accommodate those needs as best as possible.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: What is sort of one of the number one-- what's the number one challenge you're hearing from employers as they try to get ready for this new normal? And a lot of us don't know what that new normal is going to look like when we finally come out the other side of this pandemic. But what do they continue to say is the biggest challenge? Right now, it looks like it's just finding the workers and getting through this labor shortage.

SCOTT BLUMSACK: That's certainly what's top of mind for a lot of the employers that we talked to. I think you hit on another element, which is just predictability. I think what we've learned from the past two years is it's really hard to plan in the current environment that-- you know, with COVID waves that kind of come and go. It's really hard to sort of plan with any certainty in the near term.

KARINA CONTRERAS: I wonder how much more challenging is it this year compared to, let's say, last year or before the pandemic, as far as, you know, what work looks like. And then did you see any sort of differences between men and women and the things that they're looking for when they do return to work?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: This idea of flexibility in terms of importance is something that we've seen be important really throughout a lot of the research that we've done throughout the pandemic. Again, as people have become more accustomed to working from home, they've really come to value and expect the flexibility that comes with-- with the remote option. They really just built it into their normal workflow. And so this idea of work-life balance is becoming critically important, and employers really need to address that.

KARINA CONTRERAS: All right, well, it is a big issue. We'll see where it all goes. But we will leave our conversation there. Scott Blumsack, Monster Chief Strategy Officer. Thanks for stopping by today.