February jobs report shows it's 'a job seeker's market': Randstad Sourceright Global CEO

Randstad Sourceright Global CEO Mike Smith sits down with Yahoo Finance Live to talk about employers re-considering benefit packages amid the pandemic's Great Resignation and how companies are gearing corporate practices towards being more people-centric.

Video Transcript

- Well, again, we are watching all of the market action on this Friday, March 4, as the Dow down 8/10%. The S&P 500 down 1% and the NASDAQ down 1.5%, paring a little bit of the losses that we had seen earlier in the session. But, of course, we still have plenty of time to go, about 3 and 1/2 hours to go in this trading session on this day. So we'll see what happens from here.

But all of this coming on the heels of that jobs report that we got this morning. And one thread that you can pull from that jobs report is the head hunter industry, very interesting to see that as a possible leading indicator for future job gains employment services in February, taking up by about 44,000 and companies planning to hire extensively over the 12 months, 53% across 18 markets. That's according to Randstad Sourceright

And we have the CEO of Randstad Sourceright here joining us on Yahoo Finance. That's Mike Smith. Thanks so much for hopping on the program. Mike, tell us a little bit more about what there is to be gleaned from the head hunter industry and just those looking to hire up, especially now that we're over this Omicron wave it appears.

MIKE SMITH: Yeah, it's certainly a job seekers market at the moment. We see that really in the last two decades, we haven't seen this level of supply demand constraints. And that actual cost of not being able to fill critical roles for organizations at the moment has really forced them to rethink and reconsider their compensation packages, but also getting outside the box on transforming their traditional approaches to flexible work-life benefits and overall wealth packages for their particular candidates that they're trying to hire as well as their existing workforce at the moment.

- Yeah, let's talk a little bit more about some of those benefits that you've highlighted. And we've heard even before the pandemic of free education, for example, being offered obviously standard health insurance too, but some of the things you point out here, I mean, cleaning services and meal delivery, what kind of jobs are we talking about that are getting those kind of benefits?

MIKE SMITH: Look, we do a lot of work for some of the Fortune 500, the Fortune 500 organizations at the moment in terms of talent acquisition outsourcing. And what you see among those organizations is the difference in total compensation packages that they can offer is not that different. And as a result of that alignment, that's forced them to really think about, how can I offer a value proposition that really stands out in the market at the bottom and it helps me get those critical skills that are going to allow us to drive growth? And as a result of that, they're being forced to think about, OK, to address the needs of the workforce that I need in the future, there is not a silver bullet.

I need to be able to offer a smorgasbord of choice, and we see this creation of flexible benefit buckets, where organizations can say, it's up to you to decide on how you want to spend that bucket. But I recognize that each and every one of my employees is thinking about what work-life balance means for them, what flexibility means for them in a different way, and the silver bullet approach is not solving that leading to the approaches that we're now starting to see.

- You know, Mike, I mean one client that you serve is obviously those that are looking for a job, but you're also serving the companies that are trying to hire. So when we talk about the labor shortage, I think there's this assumption that even though it's a laborers market now, companies are still going to be choosy about who's going to be the best person for that job.

I was talking to someone who works in hospital care that was saying, well, I mean, there's plenty of workers out there, but we are still trying to be choosy, because we want to make sure we have the best offering in our business. So what do you think that looks like right now? Is that easing up as you see more people come back into the labor market?

MIKE SMITH: Yeah, at the moment, we see organizations starting to wake up to the difficulty of not being more flexible about the thought processes that typically were how they hired people previously. So this understanding of minimum requirements that were applicable in the market five years ago are absolutely being challenged at the moment. And there's a heavy diversity, equity, and inclusion element to that, to understand how by changing the minimum qualification requirements that we thought of for a certain role does it give us access to new pools of talent that we haven't thought about previously, albeit that's a very difficult balance to strike when you have a stakeholder a hiring manager community that is still demanding skills relevancy in the current environment.

- Fascinating to see all the shifts that are happening there. Mike Smith, good to talk to you today, Randstad Sourceright's CEO.