Hiring trends on the horizon
Forecasters were predicting better job growth for 2014, and March’s recent jobs report showed that the U.S. now has more private sector jobs than it did before the Great Recession.
A total of 192,000 jobs were added in March, above the average of 183,000 for the previous 12 months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
As someone who is finding opportunities in those sectors for potential candidates on a daily basis, I can tell you that I am seeing some interesting hiring trends arise this year.
Despite the recovering economy, some employers are remaining cautious and placing a renewed focus on ROI, which means hiring managers are sometimes waiting to dedicate resources to efforts until they yield results. I’ve worked with a few companies that have allocated budget dollars for a full-time hire to staff a new initiative, but have opted to contract those positions initially instead. Once the initiative is proven to worth the investment, the contractor is converted to a full-time employee.
Some other workforce shifts include:
• Professionals forming long-term relationships with job placement firms. Most professionals understand the value of working with a recruiter when they need a job, but now many are realizing that discussing ideal job prospects periodically with recruiters can keep them top of mind when an opportunity arises. This benefits placement firms as well, because it allows us to keep tabs on top talent and provide our clients with the best possible candidates.
• The return of well-qualified women to the workforce. While the trend of women seeking work after taking time off has been gaining steam over the last five years or so, the improving economy has made more opportunities available to this often highly-skilled demographic. Employers are also becoming more open to hiring professionals who have taken a break from the workforce. Credit Suisse, for example, is launching a program last month to help talented professionals transition back to work. Called Real Returns, the paid employment program offers short-term work assignments in one of Credit Suisse’s business areas in New York, allowing participants to gain experience and broaden their professional networks.
• A potential rise in non-traditional work arrangements because of the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance and full-time work have been linked for decades. But the ACA offers the chance for workers to pursue non-traditional jobs, whether structured based on time (i.e. part-time), place (virtual assignments) or duration (contract work), without the fear of losing coverage. Employers may be more open to hiring these workers on an alternative basis since it could potentially reduce their health insurance costs and provide them with access to professionals who aren’t simply working because they need the benefits.