04/28/2021 Amy Cell, President and Founder, AC Talent publications

April Talent Trends Blog

How did we get here?

By Amy Cell, Chief Matchmaker and President, AC Talent

I hope everyone is enjoying the April showers/ sun/ snow repeat and other signs of spring, such as the sprouting of those pesky construction barrels. I received many kind words of support for my earlier blog about talent trends and what we are seeing in the recruiting market, so I thought I would share additional views from the talent trenches.

As you may have noticed - either because of all the Hiring Now! signs or the numerous headlines, we are in a full blown talent crisis.

How did we get here?

The causes are many and include:

  • Reduced labor force - people who were employed, or were looking for work earlier, are no longer looking. Many of these folks are parents of school age children who are:

(1) facing incredible demands on their time

(2) receiving unemployment

(3) afraid of COVID

OR

(4) all of the above

  • High demand for talent - the economy is doing well thanks to strong federal support and the vaccine rollout.  
  • National competition for local talent - working remotely is the new normal, which has led to an “open hunting season” where out of state companies - such as those on the coasts who rank very high on salaries and cost of living - are going after Michigan tech talent. Now, many software developers and other occupations are finding that they can have a Pure Michigan lifestyle along with a Silicon Valley salary.

What this means in terms of recruiting.

It is a lot more difficult!

We did an analysis of our “average quantity of applicants per posting” as well as our “recommended quantity of candidates per posting” and have fallen to around 50% of pre-pandemic levels, even with the purchase of additional tools.

What can employers do?

Fortunately, there are a few things that employers can do, and the State of Michigan is trying to help.  

  • Join Michigan STEM Forward - an innovative internship program subsidized by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and managed by Ann Arbor SPARK to retain technology talent. For more information, go to: https://annarborusa.org/stem-forward/
  • Consider non-traditional applicants, and be more flexible with requirements - consider talent that might appear overqualified, recently graduated from college, are returning to the workforce after staying home for family reasons, or are looking to make a career transition. If you are concerned about competence or fit, consider a short term paid internship to make sure.

Do you have other talent questions or tips for our next monthly blog?

I’d love to hear from you! - Amy

Please share with me at Amy@AmyCellTalent.com