So, what are the emerging employment trends in Europe? This week we got to talk back and forth with Jooble’s Talent Enablement Director, Anastasiia Khyzhniak. We were able to gain insights into the employment trends that are transforming the job market today and in the future. Note that this post (#disclosure) is produced in collaboration with Jooble.
What are the most attractive areas of Europe for employment?
Anastasiia Khyzhniak: In terms of attractiveness, several regions in Europe stand out. Based on the information available, the most attractive regions in Europe for job opportunities and economic growth include Western Europe. According to Jooble analytics, we have 4,105,000 active vacancies across Europe as of July 2023. The TOP 5 countries are France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Italy, which together account for about 75% of all vacancies in Europe.
These countries have robust economies, and diverse industries, and attract a large number of international companies. The Nordic countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, are also highly sought-after due to their strong social welfare systems and focus on innovation. Additionally, emerging economies in Eastern Europe, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, are gaining attention for their lower cost of living and growing business sectors.
What skills are most requested by businesses?
AK: Overall, the market is recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the outlook is promising, with the number of jobs being more prominent than the number of unemployed people. As for the trends, employers across Europe are increasingly seeking individuals with a range of skills. Some of the most requested skills in the job market today include digital literacy and expertise in areas such as data analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. For example, there are currently around 21,000 job vacancies on Jooble across Europe in these industries. The demand for professionals skilled in software development, programming, and cybersecurity is also on the rise. But first of all, companies look for adaptability and curiosity in candidates. After all, the world is changing very quickly now, and the most valuable will be employees who can explore new opportunities together with the company and make changes to their usual processes and approaches depending on the company’s internal needs and external market requirements. Additionally, soft skills like effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork are highly valued by businesses, as they contribute to a productive and collaborative work environment.
Are businesses struggling to recruit new talents? Which ones? Why?
AK: Yes, businesses in certain industries are facing challenges in recruiting new talents. Sectors such as technology, engineering, healthcare, and finance often experience a shortage of qualified professionals. One reason for this struggle is the rapid pace of technological advancements, which creates a demand for specialized skills that are in short supply. Additionally, demographic shifts and an aging workforce contribute to the talent shortage in specific fields. Moreover, the Market definition in B2B and B2C - The very notion of "market" is at the heart of any marketing approach. A market can be defined... for skilled professionals is fierce, as companies vie for the same pool of qualified candidates, making it difficult to attract and retain top talent.
In general, digital skills have emerged as a crucial requirement across various sectors. In 2021, approximately 80% of the EU population aged 16-74 years possessed above-basic digital communication and collaboration skills. However, there is a digital divide, with people living in cities demonstrating higher digital skills compared to those living in rural areas.
4-day weeks in the headlines. Is it a real employment trend?
AK: The concept of a 4-day workweek has gained attention and sparked discussions in recent years. The results of the 4-day week experiment were mainly positive in the countries that tried it. The companies deemed it a success in the US and Ireland‘s 6-month trial. The UK’s test is also very successful, and 92% of companies that joined the experiment plan to make a 4-day week permanent. Scotland and Wales are also on the path to accepting this new model. But it is safe to say that the experimentation will continue as it is still too early to call it a major trend in the job market.
For instance, the first country to legislate a 4-day week in Europe was Belgium. A shorter week is now also an opportunity in countries like Portugal, the UK, Iceland, Spain, Ireland, and Lithuania.
It remains to be seen whether this concept will gain further traction and become a more prevalent practice in the future. To be honest, I would be interested in trying to work like that. However, in addition to new countries being added to the experiment, there is still a lot of fear among companies about trying this. The transition to a 4-day work week can feel like an irreversible change. If you have already started such an experiment, then going back to 5 days may seem like a demotivating change for employees.
Employment trends: are young applicants more demanding?
AK: The expectations and demands of young applicants in the job market have indeed evolved in recent years. The young generation was significantly affected by pandemic-related unemployment—people 29 years and younger experienced job loss and the inability to find a new position quickly. But now the situation is getting better and the recent data by EU27 says that the youth unemployment rate is 13.8% as of April 2023.
In general, I’d like to mention that younger generations, such as millennials and Gen Z, often prioritize factors like work-life balance, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and a sense of purpose in their careers. One of the main reasons is that trust in state apparatuses is now falling in favor of CEOs of companies. Young candidates look more closely at who to work with and what is the social position of CEOs and top management of companies. They also tend to place a high value on company culture and a positive work environment. As a result, businesses are adapting their recruitment strategies and employee benefits to cater to these evolving preferences and attract young talent.
WFH vs. office work: behind the hype, what are the real employment trends?
AK: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of remote work or work-from-home (WFH) arrangements across Europe. As offices are now open again, there is a question of whether it will remain as popular. While it initially became a necessity due to the pandemic, it has now become an established option for many companies. Hybrid work models, combining remote work and office work, are gaining popularity as they offer flexibility and a better work-life balance.
By the way, Jooble has become a completely remote-first company since 2021. The transition to fully remote work allowed the company to hire experts from different cities and even other countries on an equal footing.
With the vaccine rollout, the number of employees working from home has decreased. The highest rate of remote jobs in Europe is in the UK. Such opportunities often come from mid-size and large companies.
However, it’s important to note that complete remote work may not be suitable for all industries and job roles. Certain professions that require physical presence or collaboration, such as manufacturing or healthcare, still rely heavily on office work. Overall, the real trend is a shift towards more flexible work arrangements, with companies embracing hybrid models to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of their employees.
Many companies are now exploring the impact of either fully remote working or a combination of it on productivity, team dynamics, sense of purpose, and loyalty to companies. There is a theory that people don’t notice the change in the company so much when they are completely remote, because there may not be much change in their work environment. Therefore, companies need to continue to look for ways to form more meaningful connections with remote employees.
If we take Jooble as an example, then COVID prepared us for remote work and gave us the opportunity to quickly regroup in the chaos of the first days of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. According to surveys, most people in Ukraine say that they feel safer at home because of the danger. At the same time, we notice a greater need in people for interpersonal communication with colleagues, which is more possible in the office.
Founded 16 years ago, Jooble is an international job aggregator that makes job searching easier for candidates and recruitment more efficient for employers in 67 countries. Jooble is ranked among the top 10 most visited platforms in France and worldwide, according to SimilarWeb statistics. Each month, Jooble welcomes approximately 2.5 million visitors in France, enabling them to quickly find relevant professional opportunities.