As the effects of COVID-19 start to subside, the demand for skilled admin workers is on the rise. In fact, 41,700 new admin jobs are expected to become available between 2019 and 2028. Unfortunately, this same research predicts that there will only be 34,700 job seekers available to fill these positions, leaving a gap of 7,000 workers in the years to come.

To make recruitment even more challenging for employers, new administrative trends in the job market are emerging. For example, the role of a standard admin worker has significantly shifted in recent years. What used to involve primarily clerical work, now also requires elements of accounting, HR and IT.

The combination of the ongoing labour shortage and the shift in required skills for admin workers make it more important than ever for employers to develop robust hiring practices. In order to make this step a reality, employers must first understand how job trends in the administrative sector are shifting.

learn about the top paying administrative roles in canada in 2022.

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administrative trends in today’s job market

There are currently over 5,000 administration assistant jobs available across Canada with a particular concentration in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. This increased demand as well as ongoing concerns about the global pandemic has also pushed salaries up for these skilled professionals.

This growing demand has also helped to strengthen some job market trends in the administrative sector. Here’s a look at the leading administrative trends.

gen Zs entering the workforce

While Gen Z just recently started entering the workforce, studies predict that by 2025, they will encompass more than 30% of the entire workforce. With this new generation comes a new set of workers’ expectations and motivators. For example, Gen Zs tend to put a greater emphasis on wellbeing and are more socially conscious.

The good news is that this generation is more technically savvy and adaptable. In fact, studies show that 3 out of 4 Gen Z workers were able to effectively adapt to new working conditions during the pandemic. It’s important for employers to understand this generation’s strengths as well as their employment expectations in order to effectively attract and retain these workers in the upcoming years.

remote work – the new normal

As with many office jobs, a large percentage of admin workers transitioned to remote work during the pandemic. Even with conditions slowly starting to return to normal, many admin workers want to continue working remotely.

This factor may be why the number of job postings for office and administrative remote positions increased by 20% between January and July 2021. With remote work becoming the new normal, employers must focus on attracting and retaining talent with strong communication and time management skills as well as high-level ethics.                                                                                                            

work-life balance

If there is one thing the global pandemic brought to light, it’s the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In fact, a healthy work-life balance is the second most important driver for employees looking for new job opportunities, falling only behind competitive salaries and benefits. Employers must find ways to build flexibility into the workplace, such as hybrid work options or part-time opportunities, and place a greater focus on mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace.

curious about the permanence of remote work and how it factors into competitive pay for admin positions? find out more about the impact remote work has on compensation.

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focus on gender equality

If you think administration jobs are only for women, think again. While many admin jobs, such as secretaries and data entry workers, have traditionally been held by women, this is no longer the case. Men have slowly been entering this field for decades and have proven to be very effective employees.

Employers should resist the urge to gear their admin job descriptions and job postings towards women and instead create gender-neutral content. This practice will not only elevate diversity in the workplace but can significantly increase the talent pool of prospective candidates.

employees want to make a difference

By and large, Millennials and Gen Z workers are more socially conscious than their predecessors. Social purpose and value are extremely important to these younger generation workers. In fact, these workers are so committed to a social purpose that they are willing to forgo a pay raise to maintain it. According to a recent study, 47% of the Millennials surveyed were willing to give up a pay raise of over $9,000 a year to take a more meaningful job.

Employers must be transparent about company goals and community outreach opportunities to provide these younger employees with a sense of purpose and to highlight how their work adds value to the company mission.

growing gig economy

The gig economy was gaining momentum even before the global pandemic hit, but the aftermath of COVID-19 has pushed this growth into overdrive. Today, 37%, or more than one-in-three, Canadian employers are hiring gig workers, including freelancers, consultants and digital assistants.

For many employers, these gig workers help to fill in the gap without incurring the risks and costs of hiring new employees. Instead of hiring full-time or even part-time workers, employers can use these gig workers on an as-needed basis.

demand for upskilling and reskilling

Today’s administrative support staff handle more than just clerical work. Instead, these talented workers may also need to submit payroll hours, handle minor technical issues, or even complete various accounting tasks. Unfortunately, finding candidates with all these skills can be quite challenging, especially in a highly competitive job market.  

This factor has led some employers to invest in upskilling and reskilling to ensure their current workers have the skills the company needs. The good news is that this type of training can improve job satisfaction and employee retention rates.

value of soft skills

With technology handling many basic admin duties, such as automated email responses and scheduling software, the need for admin staff with valuable soft skills has become more important. Skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving and creativity are more important now than perhaps ever before.

It’s important for employers to integrate these soft skills requirements into new job descriptions and job postings to ensure they are able to attract candidates with the necessary skills and to improve hiring outcomes.

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