Talent news overview: green skills, the rise of freelancers and declining vacancies

Staying on top of the latest workforce trends is critical for TA leaders and HR professionals. This week we delve into three key developments shaping the talent landscape and SocialTalent CEO, Johnny Campell, gets these pieces firsthand.

  1. First, we’ll dive into one of LinkedIn’s latest articles about the need for more green skills. Demand is clearly increasing, but how can recruiters adapt their sourcing process?
  1. Offer “fantastic examples from major employers and practical advice for managing a balanced workforceHBR’s piece on the rise of freelancers is a startling examination of the need to see a more mixed workforce as the norm.
  1. And finally, we discuss SHRM’s news article about the decline in vacancies, which indicates some stabilization and equilibrium in the labor market, with strong demand and healthy turnover. But does this match what Johnny sees?

Join us as we explore these crucial insights and their implications for the future of work.

1. LinkedIn: the demand for green skills is increasing

Source: LinkedIn

The demand for green skills is quickly outpacing supply. The number of job openings requiring green skills increased by 22.4% between 2022 and 2023, while the share of green talent grew by only 12.3%. This inequality could lead to a significant shortage of green energy workers by 2030. To close this gap, companies should focus on upskilling and reskilling their workforce, highlighting the importance of green skills across sectors including energy, transport, finance and beyond. Embracing green jobs not only aligns with sustainability goals, but also attracts values-driven Gen Z talent.

Johnny Campbell’s take on this:

In theory this is a great article discussing the surge in demand for green skills, but I feel it is somewhat lacking. There was a lot of talk about the need for green skills and the high demand, but there was no real definition of what those skills are. If you’re trying to understand which specific green skills are in high demand, you might want to check out last year’s LinkedIn report. Go straight to page 22 and beyond for the real insights. That section provides the details recruiters need and helps understand the exact skills the job market is looking for. So read the article for some good context and dive into the report for the real meat.

2. HBR: Highly skilled professionals want your work, but not your job

Source: HBR

Marta, CTO at a sporting goods company, is facing a talent shortage in her team, which is critical to advancing digital and AI capabilities. Despite generous offers, recruitment efforts have failed, leaving her to consider freelancers. This shift is part of a broader trend where companies are increasingly reliant on freelancers to fill skills gaps, especially in technology and digital areas. Integrating freelancers requires new management approaches to maintain corporate culture, manage project needs and ensure knowledge transfer. As more workers prefer freelance roles for the flexibility, companies must adapt to a blended staffing model to stay competitive and innovative.

Johnny Campbell’s take on this:

I recommend reading this article as a follow-up to last week’s piece about older workers in South America who are re-entering the labor market as freelancers. This shifts the focus to the company’s perspective and describes what it takes to successfully integrate freelancers and contractors into teams. It provides fantastic examples from large employers and practical advice for managing a balanced workforce of employees and non-employees. Co-authored by the highly regarded Diane Gerson, former CHRO of IBM, it is packed with valuable insights and solutions for anyone dealing with the complexities of a mixed workforce. A must-read as you take on these challenges!

3. SHRM: vacancies continue to decline

Source: SHRM

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings fell by nearly 300,000 to 8 million in April, continuing the downward trend. This decline reflects the decline in the number of online vacancies, which points to a cooling labor market. Despite a slight increase in the number of layoffs to 3.5 million, which shows that employee confidence has declined, layoffs have fallen to 1.5 million. This points to a stabilization of the labor market, which is moving toward an equilibrium with strong demand and healthy workforce turnover, says SHRM economist Justin Ladner.

Johnny Campbell’s take on this:

Roy from SHRM has shared some excellent data showing the stability of the US labor market. Job openings and layoffs remain steady, supporting LinkedIn’s recent forecast that employee turnover may be high later this year or next year. This current data suggests a stable environment, but it’s worth keeping an eye on as things could change. For a broader view, check out the Department of Labor’s recent report, which provides additional insights into the U.S. labor market. For now, things appear stable, but this data is a great addition to other recent jobs reports. Definitely worth a look!

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