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Half a Day in the Office, Modest Raises, and Fewer Promotions. 10 Current Labor Market Trends You Need to Know About.

According to the latest 13th edition of the Antal report on 'Specialists' and 'Managers' Activity in the Labor Market,' over half of specialists and managers do not see a significant improvement in their professional situation. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in the context of salaries. It's worth noting that employees received lower raises compared to previous years, with only 8% of them having the chance to receive a raise exceeding 20%.

Antal published the report based on a sample of 1,022 specialists and managers surveyed between June 3rd and July 20th, 2023. It highlights current trends in the labor market, such as attitudes towards job searching, the number of job offers candidates receive, motivation, conditions for changing employment, and readiness to relocate.

#1 Specialists may return to the office, but on their terms

A significant percentage of respondents, to express interest in a job offer, expect an average of 2-3 days of remote work per week. To increase the time spent in the office, the most crucial factor for 50% of specialists and managers is flexible working hours, allowing for half-day or selected meetings. Additionally, respondents indicate interest in employer-provided meals (36%). A large percentage of respondents express the need for quiet workspaces that promote concentration and productivity (28%).

It is essential for employees to perceive the value and purpose of returning to the office, rather than seeing it as an obligation. Creating a work environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, mutual support, while being tailored to the individual needs of each team and employee, is crucial. The adaptability of employers will be key, as they should focus on creating flexible work models that combine the benefits of remote and in-person work to fully satisfy the needs and expectations of their employees, says Artur Skiba, President of Antal.

#2 Modest Raises, But Still a Positive Trend

Although only a small percentage, 8% of beneficiaries, could boast of raises exceeding 20% of their previous salaries, it is essential to note that as many as 36% of employees experienced increases in the 6-20% range.

It seems that candidates are becoming more realistic in terms of their financial expectations. However, it is worth noting that experts in IT and HR still expect slightly higher raises (around 26%). Given the dynamic changes in the labor market, specialists seem to be more flexible and adaptable to current trends, explains Anika Jabłońska, Senior Recruitment Consultant at Antal IT Services.

#3 Less Activity, But Greater Openness

Compared to 2022, the percentage of those actively seeking employment has dropped by a significant 17 percentage points. Importantly, over half of the surveyed specialists are not actively looking for a job but are open to new career opportunities.

The primary motivation for changing jobs remains financial gain. We change jobs to earn more; this is no secret. Close behind is a broad sense of professional development. Next, there is the benefit of changing jobs that improves work-life balance, adds Joanna Cieślik, Team Leader at Antal, Finance & HR.

#4 Growing Importance of Employment Contracts

Consistently, higher salaries compared to previous positions (78%) are mentioned as necessary elements of a new job offer. However, employment contracts (57%) have gained significantly in importance, increasing by 18 percentage points compared to the previous year.

Employees are becoming more aware of employment stability and legal protection that comes with a formal employment contract. It cannot be underestimated, as it provides legal protection, regular compensation, and access to social benefits and other perks. In times of uncertainty and dynamic changes in the labor market, an employment contract becomes a guarantee of stability and professional security, says Michał Borkowski, Regional Manager at Antal, Finance & Accountancy.

#5 Employees Come to a Company but Leave Due to Poor Management

The most common reason for changing jobs for 43% of specialists and managers is poor management, and for 39%, it's a negative atmosphere within the organization—reasons that have consistently ranked high in previous report editions. It's worth noting that the proposal of a higher salary (-11 percentage points compared to the previous year) and greater career development opportunities at a new employer (-16 percentage points) have taken somewhat of a backseat in job change decisions.

Specialists and managers seek consistency and authenticity in management. The organization's values must be visible in daily operations, and a lack of consistency can lead to employee turnover. Avoiding micromanagement and granting autonomy to employees are equally important because a lack of independence and control can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. Trust plays a key role, both from the employee and employer perspectives, says Maryla Aftanasiuk-Lisiecka, Business Unit Director at Antal, Sales & Marketing.

#6 Being Selective in Offers: IT Specialists Can Afford It

The data paints a clear picture: individuals specializing in information technology receive an average of 14 job interview invitations each year, significantly surpassing their counterparts in other fields, who can expect around 4 such offers annually.

In today's job market, there is a trend where IT industry specialists have taken the lead in terms of job offers. It's worth noting that this phenomenon is not as pronounced and dynamic as during the pandemic, but it seems that the job market situation for individuals in this sector remains relatively stable, says Fabian Pietras, Business Unit Director at Antal IT Services.

#7 Men More Active in Recruitment

While the prevailing trend among all specialists is participation in recruitment processes once every few years, data indicates increased recruitment activity among men. Specifically, 27% of men engage in such processes once every few months, suggesting their greater inclination to explore new career opportunities in shorter timeframes.

Analyzing labor market activity among specialists from various industries reveals some differences in recruitment behavior between genders. This may be due to various factors such as career motivations, expectations, or perceptions of the labor market, emphasizing the diversity in recruitment approaches depending on gender, says Roman Zabłocki, Business Unit Director at Antal, Engineering & Operation.

#8 Fewer Promotions

In 2023, only 13% of respondents stated that they felt a significant improvement in their professional situation, marking a 15 percentage point decrease compared to 2021.

This trend may be indicative of various factors affecting the labor market, such as economic dynamics, changing employment conditions, or general uncertainty in the business sector, highlighting the need for a deeper analysis and adaptation of human resources management strategies by businesses, concludes Sebastian Sala, Business Unit Director at Antal, SSC/BPO.

#6 An Attractive Offer Can Lead to Relocation

In the case of an attractive job offer, 87% of specialists and managers would consider working remotely, both in Poland and abroad. One-fourth of respondents would consider such an offer only if it pertained to a Polish region.

The possibility of remote work in both Poland and abroad would be most seriously considered by higher management and specialists and managers in marketing. In the previous edition, it was sales representatives and IT industry professionals who were more inclined toward remote work, adds Artur Migoń, Vice President of Antal.

#10 Tricity: The Most Attractive Location in the Polish Labor Market

Comprising Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot, the Tricity is gaining increasing popularity among specialists and managers The rich cultural offerings, proximity to the sea, and a growing job market make many individuals consider relocating to this part of Poland. Importantly, in 2023, the Tricity even surpassed Warsaw in terms of attractiveness.

Despite these changes, some cities in Poland maintain their dominant positions. Warsaw, as the capital of the country, continues to attract a significant number of specialists, offering them the broadest range of career opportunities. Wrocław, with its international character and a growing IT sector, as well as Kraków, known for its culture and education, also remain among the top desirable cities in Poland, summarizes Justyna Śliwińska, Team Leader at Antal IT Services

About the report

The Antal study "Activity of specialists and managers on the labor market" was conducted using the CAWI method on a sample of 1,022 specialists and managers between June 3 and July 20, 2023.

The cyclical report "Activity of specialists and managers on the labor market" shows current trends in the labor market, such as: job search attitudes, the number of offers candidates receive, motivation and conditions for changing employment or readiness to relocate.

Report to download: CLICK HERE

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