At the start of the new year, 28 U.S. states increased their minimum wage. Beginning January 1, 2023, more than half of the country accounted for the cost of living and recent inflation. In the past few years since the hit of the COVID-19 pandemic, working conditions and pay drastically shifted and subsequently demanded the labor market to adapt accordingly.
Wage increases often spark debate over necessity, as well as its pros and cons. As part of the staffing industry, Green Key Resources recruiters pay attention to these changes and how they will affect their clients and candidates. Emily Gelman, Professional Services Recruiter at Green Key, elaborates on the ways she expects her industry to change.
In terms of positive shifts, Emily believes wage increases will bring along higher productivity in the workplace. “If employees are getting paid more, they are likely to bring more to the table when it comes to their job duties,” she says. “Although money is not everything when it comes to a career, it’s a large driving factor for most. For some, this may mean not having to work two jobs, which equates to a stronger focus on one position.”
Additionally, Emily reiterates the boost in job satisfaction she predicts to see among her candidates. With more financial security, professionals are more likely to appreciate their career and colleagues. “Employees will feel more satisfied with their jobs. Job satisfaction translates into higher levels of collaboration, creativity, and communication,” Emily says.
This isn’t to say there can’t be challenges due to wage increases. Recruiters need to be aware of the consequences when communicating with their clients and candidates. For instance, when professionals become aware of how much entry-level employees are now making, they might respond by demanding a higher paycheck.
“With this wage increase, we will have to educate our clients on the matter and push for higher rates,” Emily mentions. “Most fast-food chains and retail stores will be paying this minimum as well, so we need to make sure our clients know that they will get quality results if they reflect that in their pay rates.”
Regardless, raising the minimum wage was deemed necessary in most states. CNN attributes the demand to the pandemic and subsequent work shortages. They say, “Employers have found themselves short of workers for most of the year, which has pushed up average annual hourly wages in the battle to recruit and retain staff. While some workers in competitive industries such as retail and dining have found their new salary outpaces inflation, most pay has been outpaced by rising prices.”
As we begin the year and these new wages take effect, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of Green Key’s talented recruiters either on LinkedIn or our website. Our recruiters will be more than happy to work with you on your job-hunting journey and discuss important topics such as wages!