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The 4 Biggest Workforce Myths of 2023

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If you prefer, you can download the PDF of this Talent Pulse Briefing.


In today’s fast moving business landscape, it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes and information available. The workforce is no exception, as new technologies, strategies and practices are emerging even faster than ever before. This makes navigating the sea of myths surrounding how to win with your workforce a challenge in its own right—but it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. With so many misconceptions plaguing employers today, we want to share some practical advice to get your arms around where the world of work really stands now.

We’re separating fact from fiction by revealing the truth behind four key workforce myths that many employers are buying into – and how they could be inadvertently hurting their businesses in the process. Read on to equip yourself with insights on the right way to face these misconceptions head-on to keep your organization on track.

Myth 1: The more staffing resources we have onboard, the better our hiring reach and results will be.  
All hands on deck does not always make for a faster boat. During the labor crisis spawned by the pandemic in 2020, many employers had to rely on multiple staffing partners to meet hiring goals. Fast-forward three years and we continue to see organizations utilizing many vendors to get the job done. There is certainly comfort in having a small army of recruiters at your beck and call, but is it truly the best approach?

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The Bottom Line:
While it’s easy to think more staffing partners is better, in this case “more” could actually be harming your organization’s marketability  and results. This myth is busted.

Myth 2: Unemployment is on the rise, so we have all the incoming talent we need heading our way.

Though hiring is easing in pockets, it’s not time to bid a final farewell to hiring challenges. The unemployment rate for April was 3.4%, only one percentage point lower than March. While it’s too soon to know whether this is a trend, you may be seeing more people applying to jobs. However, more people in the talent pool doesn’t always translate to an onslaught of qualified job candidates. This is especially true when considering specialized roles. The skills gaps seen in many industries are not only still present, they’re widening. 

Rest assured, there are ways to work through this challenge by refining and even expanding your strategy.

  • Hire on potential and culture fit versus current skills (Yes, we know this equates to extra work, but trust us on this one.) According to a recent study, many employers have dropped the college degree requirement, focusing instead on the specific skills needed on the job—skills that don’t necessarily come with a diploma. And ManpowerGroup research shows that 75% of U.S. employers are turning to upskilling their current employees — think along those lines for new hires as well. 
  • Put the current job description under a microscope. Examine where concessions can be made. Even small tweaks will likely reveal additional candidates! Remember to focus on the most relevant job details to avoid a flood of unqualified candidates.
  • Look in new places. Expand your candidate view into undertapped talent pools that can sometimes be overlooked and are often a source of incredibly talented workers including veterans, women, and retirees returning to the workforce. 
  • Call in the reinforcements. Engage with specialized recruitment firms that channel this type of talent every minute of every day. Many of these specialized roles require a specific level of focus and it may not be a practical part of your HR team’s day job. Engaging a partner with established specialized talent pools and industry knowledge to get you qualified job candidates quicker, alleviates added stress on your  HR teams. 
  • Double down on retention: It costs more to replace employees than to keep them. Be sure to use your expert partners (like Manpower) to review pay competitiveness and ensure you are considering the latest research and trends to engage and retain your top performers.

The Bottom Line:
That key candidate you’ve been searching for may still be incredibly rare in the current market. According to our ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for Q2 2023, 75% of employers plan to hire and are in need of a skilled workforce that is seemingly nowhere to be found. This myth is busted.   

Myth 3: I don’t have to worry about retention right now because people aren’t going to be quitting in a questionable economy.

Think again. In the past year, we have seen workers quitting at a record pace, even with economic and geopolitical uncertainties looming. Coined, “The Great Resignation” by many, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has referred to this time period as “The Great Reshuffle” because while many people have been voluntarily quitting in search of more flexibility and more pay, they are quickly being rehired elsewhere. So while this myth may hold up in a traditional economic downturn, the current landscape is anything but traditional. Operating under this assumption could be quite dangerous to your talent strategy and results. In fact, according to a new Bankrate job seeker survey, 56% of individuals surveyed plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

Employers are taking a closer look at their overall employee experience, leveraging both new — and tried and true — ways to engage and retain their employees.

  • Interesting work. If you have exciting new technology, publicize it. Many people, particularly engineers, are prioritizing the kinds of projects they’re working on and looking for more interesting work, often the kinds of challenges seen at start-ups.
  • Flexibility. Our What Workers Want to Thrive report found that people want flexible schedules and remote or hybrid work if feasible.  An overwhelming 92% of respondents to this survey consider flexibility as important to their work lives, oftentimes as a way to better balance work and life. Employers are taking action by revisiting and reimagining  ways to incorporate flexible work options in schedules and work locations. 
  • Career growth opportunities are important in a fast-changing world. And upskilling or reskilling your current employees has been shown in multiple studies to increase retention. Manpower Associates are eligible to take part in MyPath, an upskilling and education program featuring assessments, career pathing and training to prepare them for the most in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow. 
  • What’s your Employer Value Proposition? You know how great your company is, but do others? A unique Employer Value Proposition (EVP) will explain what makes your company the best place to work. (We can help with this!)

The Bottom Line:
While news of layoffs in certain sectors may give your employees pause in considering a move, it only takes a quick scan of the job boards to ease these fears. Despite some slowing, the new job numbers are still quite high, and job seekers have plenty of options for work. Consider this myth very much busted.

Myth 4: Having a vendor onsite benefits the vendor – and adds additional cost for me.

We’re busting this myth straight out of the gate. Onsite management can actually lower your overall workforce costs. A good onsite program at your organization can help you better understand your workforce and pull the right levers to optimize it. The right onsite program will deliver:

  • Effective talent sourcing and assessing – the onsite manager coordinates with recruiting centers and holds them accountable to deliver results
  • Optimized onboarding and training – designed to make sure associates hit the ground running 
  • Integrated management – working with your managers to monitor and track performance indicators 
  • Upskilling opportunities – building in-demand skills at no cost to associates

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The Bottom Line:
Instituting onsite management not only solves Myths 1-3, it frees your people up to pursue your important organizational goals  while keeping  operational costs down.

Learn more about Manpower OnSite management and what it can do for you. 

These myths can be damaging, and costly. As your professional workforce partner, we help you separate fact from fiction –  anytime and anywhere.

Together, with the right tools, knowledge and insights, you can  embrace the best way forward for your organization. 

For information on all the ways we can help, connect with your Manpower workforce expert today.

Have an immediate staffing need? We have access to the skilled talent you need to power the future of your organization.

Learn more

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