randstad workmonitor insights: H2 2020.

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Randstad's global Workmonitor Mobility Index is a six-month snapshot documenting key elements of the employee experience: motivation, mobility, confidence, satisfaction, development and more. Leveraging qualitative survey data from 34 countries, it tracks evolving preferences, expectations and indicators that determine hiring outcomes. 

What have we learned in H2 2020? A quick rundown from U.S. respondents. 

while job seekers are re-activating ...

After an initial simmer the U.S. job market is heating up again, with more people actively looking for jobs in the third and fourth quarters than in the first half of the year.

percentage of americans actively looking for a job in 2020

active job seeker-B-1

... they aren't necessarily branching out

It's true that nearly half of U.S. workers have made plans to chart a new course professionally — but that figure was actually seven percentage points higher last year.

branching out-G

mental and emotional support initiatives are working ...

Nearly 80 percent of employees feel positive about the mental and emotional support they've received from their employers during the pandemic. It's probably no coincidence that roughly the same number are satisfied with their jobs.

mental and emotional-3

... despite the fact that job security is plummeting

Only slightly more than half of Americans currently feel secure in their jobs — a sharp drop from 2019. Meanwhile, roughly one in 10 say there's a "big chance" they'll lose their jobs.

job security-A

disruption is rampant ...

The pandemic has altered the day-to-day work experience for employees in a number of different ways, none of which put more money in their wallets.


... but some pieces of the new normal are popular with employees

Not all of the pandemic-related disruption has been negative, however. Working from home — either some or all of the time — is a case in point. That's now the preferred working model for the majority (53%) of employees.

new normal-A

a shift in how employees think about upskilling 


Who's responsible for upskilling? Neither government nor employers, according to the majority of employees in previous Randstad research. But that appears to be changing.

alternate text hereof U.S. workers believe that employees and employers share joint responsibility for upskilling, reskilling and ongoing professional development initiatives.

... also reflects their new behavioral norms

Rather than wait on their employers, many of today’s employees are simply taking matters into their own hands.

alternate text hereof U.S. employees are continuously enhancing their skill sets in order to remain competitive on the job market.

employees are bullish on their own employability ...

Roughly nine out of 10 workers have a high level of confidence about their own prospects on the job market.

alternate text hereof U.S. workers believe their transferable skills would enable them to find a new job — or even switch to a new industry.

... yet bearish on the outlook for employers

While U.S. employees may be optimistic about their own job prospects, they're far less so when it comes to the future hiring outlook for employers.

alternate text hereof U.S. workers think employers will struggle to find the right talent in a post-pandemic world.

employer takeaways

  • Pandemic-driven disruption has touched employees' lives in innumerable ways, reconfiguring the workforce and decreasing overall job security.
  • Some of that disruption has actually been seen as a positive in the eyes of employees. Employers should be aware that new behaviors and preferences — expectations around more flexible working arrangements, for example — may prove hard to shake.
  • Employers have done well to earn employees' trust by providing mental and emotional support throughout the pandemic — and that's likely a contributing factor in the high levels of job satisfaction reported in our survey. However, if that commitment isn't continually demonstrated in the new year, too, employees are likely to jump ship.
  • After all, the job market is heating up, with job seekers considerably more active during the second half of 2020 than the first. What's more, they're not only confident about their prospects, they're actively upskilling to help their prospects.

Want even more insights? Download the full report here.

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