Global Employment Outlook for Q4 Remains Strong Despite Macro Jitters
October 3, 2022 – The global labor market remains strong with steady hiring expected for the remainder of 2022, according to the Q4 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey of 40,700 employers. Used internationally as a bellwether of economic and labor market trends, the net employment outlook – calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers who anticipated reductions to staffing levels from those who planned to hire – now stands at plus-30 percent, down slightly, three percent, from Q3, yet six percent higher than this time last year.
“Despite economic and geopolitical clouds on the horizon, employer hiring intentions remain strong,” said Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “Organizations continue to focus on attracting and retaining people as competition for employees remains fierce, even two years after the pandemic first began. That means holding onto — and developing — the talent they have.”
“Digital roles continue to drive most of the demand globally with the greatest need for talent with technology skills,” Mr. Prising said. “The rotation of consumer spending from goods to services continues to create more employment opportunities across hospitality sectors while employers in finance, banking, and insurance compete for skilled workers to fill in-demand roles.”
Hiring By Region
With stable outlooks across the regions, employers in the Asia-Pacific (plus-40 percent) reported the strongest need to hire, followed by South America and Central America (plus-39 percent), North America (plus-32 percent), and EMEA (plus-21 percent). Employers in Europe, Middle East, and Africa reported confidence softening in their outlook. Outlooks varied across the region with employers most keen to hire in Sweden (plus-34 percent), France (plus-34 percent), Norway (plus-33 percent), and Belgium (plus-33 percent), and the most cautious in Hungary (minus-five percent), Greece (minus-three percent), and Poland (plus-one percent). Countries closest to Ukraine were taking a frugal approach in hiring intentions; for example, Hungary dropped 17 percent since last quarter, and reported an outlook of minus five percent.
All 11 countries and territories in North, Central and South America reported positive employment outlooks for Q4, improving in five quarter-over-quarter and seven compared to this time last year. In Central and South America, hiring managers in Brazil reported bullish intentions (plus-56 percent), followed by Costa Rica (plus-52 percent), and Colombia (plus-46 percent). The lowest confidence was seen in Argentina (plus-nine percent). In North America, employers in Canada (plus-30 percent) and the U.S. (plus-33 percent) reported moderate decreases in their outlooks compared to last quarter—minus-eight percent and minus-five percent, respectively—while Puerto Rico reported an overall outlook of plus-32 percent.
India (plus-54 percent), China (plus-46 percent), and Australia (plus-38 percent) reported the strongest outlooks. APAC was the only region where hiring intentions improved from last quarter (plus-six points) and showed a 20-point increase from Q4 2021. China and Hong Kong continued to bounce back from COVID-19 lockdowns prevalent last quarter, both growing 15 percent since Q3.
Hiring By Sector
Within the banking and finance industry 51 percent of employers reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 14 percent anticipated various decreases. Forty-five percent of employers within the construction industry reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 16 percent anticipated various decreases. Forty percent of employers within the education, health, social work and government industry reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 17 percent anticipated various decreases. Fifty-five percent of employers within the technology industry reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 13 percent anticipated various decreases. Forty-seven percent of employers within the manufacturing industry reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 17 percent anticipated various decreases. Forty-three percent of employers within the restaurant and hotel industry reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 18 percent anticipated various decreases. Forty-four percent of employers within the wholesale and retail trade industry reported expectations to add to their staff during the fourth quarter, while 17 percent anticipated various decreases.
Related: Retaining Your Employees During the Great Resignation
“As we emerge from the pandemic, this is our collective opportunity to act with urgency, to scale bold, disruptive ideas and collaborations across business, government and education,” said Mr. Prising. “And now is the time to reshape a better, brighter future for workers – one that is more skilled, more diverse, and more well-being-orientated than we could ever have imagined.”
Search Veteran Weighs In
Sandy Gross formed Pinetum Partners LLC in 2004 as a retained executive search and executive coaching firm, and has since been recognized as one of the top 50 executive search firms in the U.S. in financial services. In her coaching work, she partners with managers and leaders across a range of industries. Ms. Gross helps them develop a broader perspective and supports them in gaining self-awareness, unlocking their potential, clarifying goals, and aligning their developmental needs with the objectives of their organization.
Mr. Gross recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon to discuss the market conditions and what she is seeing in the executive search industry.
Sandy, how have the events of the past two years changed how you work with clients?
My top three observations working with investment management firms and blockchain companies: As an outsourced partner to these firms, many meetings continue to take place virtually, but now that most of my clients are in their offices part-time, we are meeting in person as well. There is an efficiency when it comes to meeting virtually, but meeting in person wins the day. Additionally, when my clients are interviewing candidates, most conduct interviews virtually, and may save the final interview for an on-site meeting to “press the flesh.” Secondly, clients are wanting to assess larger candidate pools to make sure they get their hiring right. With that said, there is a demand for top talent, and although they want to take the time to evaluate more candidates than they have in the past, they are running into top talent who have competing offers. And lastly companies are re-evaluating their needs across the board, with an emphasis on continuing to build out talent.
What do you see for the economy looking ahead?
I’m not an economist but with the Fed raising rates to combat inflation, the markets are tanking, and companies will be looking to re-evaluate their needs as inflation creates accelerated costs. There is certainly a decline in job satisfaction with the rise of inflation since a person’s compensation won’t take them as far. In a tight labor market, companies might need to consider providing off-cycle bonuses to retain their people, and to provide support as employees work even harder. Many companies may shift the burden of some benefits paid by the employer back to the employee, while others may cut back their staff. Although this all sounds dismal, cutting back on talent will create opportunities for other companies to pick up great talent, and for top tier job seekers to negotiate advantageous deals.
“In a tight labor market, companies might need to consider providing off-cycle bonuses to retain their people, and to provide support as employees work even harder.”
Are talent shortages here to stay?
The markets were great in 2020 but a lot of middle and back-office people left. They weren’t compensated as well as their investment counterparts when the markets rallied, and companies did well. The Great Resignation created new opportunities for companies to hire better or different types of talent, and this created opportunities for strong job candidates in the market. As a result of The Great Resignation, many companies that lost people will need to pony up on compensation, hybrid work schedules, and other benefits, while holding onto their cultures, and mentoring employees who are remote or in-house. People left the workforce across industries retiring early or to create alternative work/life balance lifestyles. Many have pieced together “gigs” or have become entrepreneurs so that they can enjoy the flexibility of working from home.
Can you discuss some of your recent search work?
Over the last two years I placed 12 people including the CEO, her C-suite, and all their direct reports building a blockchain company digitizing precious metals. I enjoyed working on searches in an industry I had never touched, and thoroughly enjoyed learning about blockchain and trading metals. The placements included the following: CEO, chief technology officer, chief commercial officer, chief compliance officer, global general counsel, chief legal officer, director – subject matter expert (precious metals), director – institutional sales, senior legal and product specialist, managing senior site reliability engineer, director of client service developer, office manager and administration manager supporting the CEO, CTO, and global general counsel.
What are clients looking for in senior executives today?
In highly visible roles, clients are looking for a spokesperson with the investment community who will work closely with the senior management team and have a strong understanding of the company’s business, financial results, and strategic vision. This person will also be a culture carrier collaborating closely with senior management developing and implementing strategies to retain talent with a long-term focus on ESG and DEI initiatives. They are being held accountable for educating investors, analysts, and other constituents about the company’s business strategy, performance, and long-term vision. There is an emphasis on creating bench strength across functions ensuring that the verticals are supported down the line.
Related: Hiring Top Talent in Unprecedented Times
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media