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Employee Job Confidence: A New Dawn?

Posted on July 2021

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As the global economy is projected to recover and relaunch, the world health crisis continues to cast a shadow on many countries and impact economic activity. Although the path to financial stability may be uncertain, having unique access to what employees are thinking may be the best strategic advantage for talent management in competitive markets.

In 2020, we launched the Selby Jennings Global Job Confidence Index. It gathered views and data on financial services professionals around the world; with an introspective examination on their confidence in the talent market. Last year’s survey engaged with over 900 specialist sector professionals within financial services from Asia Pacific, the United States, and across Europe.

Is Candidate Sentiment a Negative Calculation?

Last year, economic expectations were largely negative. In APAC, “6 in 10 respondents predicted a worse economic outlook for the next 12 months”, a pessimistic calibre that was replicated across Europe and the U.S. with 64% of respondents agreeing. Widespread negativity unfortunately prevailed on a global scale. Key findings from last year highlighted, “half (49%) of financial services professionals felt negative about the current job market” and similarly, “47% did not believe the job market would improve over the next 12 months.”

In job markets all over the world, last year witnessed millions of workers laid off, with a corresponding economic contraction coming not far behind. Some of the hardest-hit countries like Argentina, France, and the United Kingdom saw their overall GDP plunge by more than 9%. In Hong Kong, GDP shrank between 4% and 7% in 2020, while the U.S. contracted by 3.7%.

Despite the unwavering uncertainty in the talent community, coupled with the challenges to managing finance in progressively volatile globalised markets, some economies are bouncing back. The 37-member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicted global GDP to meteorically rise by as much as 5.8% this year. More specifically, according to The World Bank, the United States and China are forecasted to contribute about one quarter of global growth in 2021.

Perhaps organisations have weathered the worst of a difficult year and post-pandemic, optimism towards business activity, robust recovery, and employability has undoubtedly strengthened on the back of global economic growth; aided by vaccine rollouts and significant monetary policies.

Has Confidence in the Talent Market Changed?

Financial services players now, in many ways, may be noticeably more optimistic toward job creation and hiring. But, if the compelling findings from last year have taught us anything, it’s that financial services firms might look for ways to get ahead of the curve. In other words, prioritise business-critical roles, understand employee motivations, work hard at employee retention, and map out the market to engage with key talent before competition inevitably does.

What’s to be said for this year; has confidence been tantalisingly rattled in an uncertain world? A year on, the survey results from over 1,700+ of our financial services network are in, yielding some interesting insights regarding sentiment in the talent community. What remains a universal imperative last year, may not set the cornerstone of tomorrow.

Pre-register here for first-access to the Job Confidence Index 2021 results:

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