Dive Brief:

  • Indeed job advertisements for roles that require in-person work have experienced a surge in candidate interest after more than two years since the pandemic began, researchers with Indeed Hiring Lab said in an analysis published May 26.
  • The researchers found that candidate interest had particularly rebounded for positions in the food preparation and service; hospitality and tourism; and retail sectors, but not all types of in-person work benefited. Interest in personal care and home health jobs continued to decline relative to pre-pandemic measures.
  • Remote work is still more popular among Indeed users than it was pre-pandemic, the researchers said, as 9.5% of U.S. job searches through the site in April 2022 involved remote work, compared to 2% in January 2020. But Indeed also found that since the beginning of 2022, “an occupational sector’s likelihood of offering remote work no longer has had a statistically significant relationship with relative job seeker interest.”

Dive Insight:

Indeed’s findings may come as a surprise to those following developments around hybrid work over the past year. A recent Gartner analysis posited that workers seeking hybrid work arrangements — not in-person ones — were fueling voluntary turnover among U.S. employees. Moreover, Indeed previously published a survey of Generation Z workers in which it found that 82% had never worked in an office environment full-time, and that 87% of this group said the benefits of working from home outweighed the benefits of full-time office work.

Individual career preferences may hold sway over what workers pursue in their job searches, however. For example, results from a Yoh survey released in March showed 42% of workers who currently held in-person jobs said they preferred to remain working in-person, while 62% of those working remotely said they wanted to continue doing so.

Other factors play a role in the job search, too. Younger workers in a recent Deloitte survey cited pay as their number one reason for quitting a job during the past two years, while work-life balance, accessible learning and development opportunities and values alignment were cited as job search priorities. A large share of workers across generations in a recent Bamboo HR survey said they were open to changing their career path, industry or heading back to school, and those open to career changes cited healthcare, business and professional services and arts and entertainment as their top choices.

In-person work also places a variety of challenges upon managers, including compliance concerns. The prevalence of long COVID-19 symptoms, for example, could raise the need for new workplace accommodations.


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