There's no doubt about the fact that the U.S., and indeed the world, has been through the wringer in 2020. At the beginning of the year, we were looking at a booming economy with record low unemployment rates, which dipped to 3.6% in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That quickly changed with the onslaught of a global pandemic. Wide swaths of the economy closed up shop. Companies that were still doing business were working remotely, many for the first time. "Social distancing" became the new buzzword, and everyone got comfortable with virtual meetings through technology like Zoom.
Hiring was frozen at many companies, especially small businesses. Layoffs and furloughs severely impacted industries like hospitality, retail, and others. According to Pew Research, the unemployment rate, which now sits at 13%, shot up faster during the first three months of the COVID outbreak than it did during the entire two years of the Great Recession in 2008.
Will people be rehired, or will those jobs go away? The answer is, that depends. According to a survey of CEOs by Vistage, 19% reported they're planning to increase their workforces within the next year, and 42% said they expect their workforce to remain the same. But, The New York Times is reporting that 42% of pandemic layoffs will result in permanent job loss.
All of this created a general feeling of unease, danger, and vulnerability. People are worried about the viability of their companies, their jobs, and their health. In short, 2020 has messed with our heads.
Hiring and retention in the post-pandemic world will be about offering one thing: Stability
In our whitepaper, "Upskill Your Workforce to Ensure Organizational Longevity," we outline why it's paramount for employers to offer stability to employees in these uncertain times. They want to know their jobs are safe and their company is weathering this storm. This sense of stability is vital to both hiring and retention. It means meaningful benefits, demonstrating your commitment to your employees for the long haul, and focusing on promoting from within. Digital credentials are a powerful ally for you in this effort.
It's not enough to have half-day Fridays and a beer fridge in the break room anymore. Companies need to offer benefits that are meaningful and signal stability. Two of these include:
- Healthcare. People have spent the first half of 2020 fighting for their health and the health of their families, cloistered at home with little contact from the outside world. Job seekers and current employees want a solid healthcare plan, period.
- Digital credentials. Another vital benefit is the opportunity for workers to earn digital credentials to upskill and prepare for the future. It signals to employees that, in the event, more layoffs happen, you will have given them new skills to take with them into the marketplace.
In these turbulent times, it's vital to signal your commitment to your employees now and in the future. Offering the opportunity to upskill with verifiable credentials shows you are committed to your employees' career paths within your company. It shows there's a future out there and you're preparing them for it.
Promote from within
This sends a powerful message to your employees that you value their contributions. Digital credentials come into play here as well. Offering employees the opportunity to upskill with digital credentials and gain the knowledge necessary for climbing the ladder is key in this effort. Another benefit: Digital credentials make it easier to promote from within because you can see at a glance who has the qualifications and the dedication to get the job done.
If you're interested in learning more about how your organization can benefit from issuing digital credentials, fill out the form below and we'll be in touch shortly.