Talent Labor and Supply Trends for February
Wow - what a roller coaster the labor market has been lately, and we have had a front row seat. We recently launched our 800th talent search and I wanted to take a few minutes to share what we have been seeing, so that you can take advantage of areas with strong talent supply, and plan accordingly for areas that are currently seeing a shortage.
In March 2020, the pandemic put the brakes on what had been a very hot labor market. We saw the talent pool flooded with a wide range of executive talent as companies of all sizes downsized to conserve cash. Then, in the late fall things started to turn the corner with the election settled and the announcement of vaccines. Late December is typically slow, with January as the busiest time for companies to hire as they have new budgets and goals for the year. However, this January saw a record amount of activity across the country. Many of our clients started hiring for the 3-4 positions that they had left open in 2020 to be careful and keep their powder dry.
Unfortunately, the competition for talent is fierce right now. You have likely seen the “Help Wanted” all over the place, and have read about shortages. We are seeing that there are shortages of talent in surprising areas. Labor participation is down due to attractive unemployment benefits, challenges of having children at home, and fears about COVID.
However, there are a few places that you can find solid candidate levels. Here are some tips on the best and worst talent pools.
Strong talent supply:
- Hiring recent college graduates for entry level positions, and providing a small amount of training.
- Executives (VP and above) are plentiful right now due to the ongoing downsizing trend and many people itching to do something new.
Weak talent supply:
- Administrative/professional individual contributor positions - there is a high level of demand for these folks right now, but the competition is fierce as many of these folks have decided to exit the labor market at least for the short-term.
- Software and engineering talent - this area has always been challenging for employees. However, with remote options becoming more plentiful, you are now competing nationally for top technical talent.