Two Years Later: How COVID-19 Has Changed the Workforce

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Two years ago, on March 13, 2020, many employees went into the office for the last time before being sent home to work remotely due to the new COVID-19 pandemic. Some employees went remote temporarily, and some realized that they never wanted to step foot into an office ever again.

COVID-19 caused many ripples in the workforce in the past two years, and we’re still feeling those effects today. Those effects include a shift in candidate priorities, the Great Resignation, and a new job hopper economy. Along with those changes, businesses have had to adapt, and is no different.

Identifying these changes is only half of the battle. The other half involves adapting to these changes to keep up with the competition and recruit great talent.

A Shift in Candidate Priorities

After being sent to work remotely to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many people realized that they had a better work-life balance when they didn’t have to wake up an hour earlier to commute. Or, instead of taking the subway home, they were able to spend some time finishing up a work project or doing their laundry.

Because of this new work-life balance, many people fell in love with the new lifestyle and decided that this was more of a priority when looking for new jobs.

Evan Sohn, CEO of, has also noticed that candidates’ priorities are shifting: “When looking at our Recruiter Index and looking at the candidates that our recruiters talk to, [we see that] priorities have changed. Compensation is no longer the most important thing for people. Work-life balance, remote work, new experiences – this is all building itself up where employees are not sticking around in a job they don’t like anymore.”

In fact, one survey found that 24% of employees would like to work remotely five days a week, and 49% said that they would prefer to work remotely one to four days a week. Another survey found that 55% of candidates said that finding flexibility in a job is their top priority, while 52% of people said that higher pay was more important. 

However, despite the benefits of working from home, many companies are still trying to bring employees into the office five days a week. Others are trying to set up a hybrid schedule. But companies need to be careful when making these policies and fully evaluate whether or not that is what their employees want.

If you don’t evaluate what your employees are looking for in their priorities, they could leave and find a new company. On the flip side, if you are looking for ways to attract new talent, you may want to consider offering flexible working options if you can’t provide a higher salary. 

The Great Resignation

While the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw many layoffs as companies struggled to navigate the new normal, the second year saw a massive competition for talent in the job market. Many companies raced to find top talent in a candidate’s market. 

However, in 2021, over 38 million employees resigned from their jobs, and many employees are still quitting to find a job that suits their changing priorities. Because of this mass exodus, many companies now need to find ways to attract candidates to their companies. 

Some companies offer large sign-on bonuses, while others increase their salaries. Some provide better benefits, like excellent healthcare, more PTO, or other perks. Some are offering remote or hybrid schedules. Other companies are making sure that it’s easier for candidates to apply. 

Sohn says, “Fundamentally, two-plus years ago finding a job was a full-time job, and now finding people is a full-time job. It’s so easy to apply for a job now, and it’s easy to interview– we’re home; we’re working remotely. We have access to video technology like Zoom where we can just interview rather than putting on business attire and traveling to that office for half a day.”

To keep up with the Great Resignation, make sure that you use the latest technology in recruiting, know where to source candidates, market excellent employer branding, and have competitive job offers. Also, spend time focusing on employee retention strategies. You might want to analyze current employee satisfaction, send out anonymous surveys, and keep your finger on the pulse of employee sentiment. 

However, another factor contributing to the Great Resignation is the job hopper economy.

The Job Hopper Economy

The job hopper economy means that people aren’t staying at a job as long anymore. 

Sohn agrees: “There’s no longer a parent or grandparent saying, oh you gotta stay there for four years and suck it up because no one wants to be a job hopper. That just doesn’t exist anymore and certainly not in any major way.”

Six in ten millennial candidates say they’re open to new work opportunities if they find the right one. 

“With the rise of work from anywhere, hire from anywhere, and an easier interview process all done on the computer, there’s no reason for employees not to be looking for a better opportunity. Companies need to be thinking about having a constant stream of potential candidates to fill their workforce,” said Sohn in one article.

In fact, because of this constant need for hiring, expects that there will be a $50 billion increase spent on spending in 2022. Companies need to assess their recruiting budgets and determine how they can keep up with these increased needs for hiring.’s Changes

While every other company has changed and adapted to address the pandemic, has been no different. 

We have more infrastructure, more clients, and more interest in solving today’s problems with recruiting talent. 

“But at the end of the day, our mission is always about the human connectivity between hiring and the people itself. Recruiting is a human interaction. No one goes to work at a company, whether it’s a dishwasher or the chief product officer, without actually speaking to someone. And we’re just making that process better and faster for 2022 and beyond.

“We’re looking forward to the next two years, and we’re grateful that we’ve made it through the last two,” says Sohn.

While most of us didn’t expect the pandemic, we have still found ways to manage and adapt to these changes. If you need help adapting, whether it’s posting on job boards, sourcing talent, or recruiting candidates, can help you out. Contact us today to find a recruiting solution that works for you!


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By Alyssa Harmon