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Recruiting from a position of strength in the COVID recovery phase

Before we were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the US national unemployment rate was at a 50-year low of 3.5%. April it was as high as 14.7%. May it was 13.3% and the newest number that came out July 2, 2020, was 11.1%.  

In June, we recorded a US record number of job gains as we added 4.8 million (non-farm) jobs. This number beat the expected estimates by many Wall Street firms as well as the government projections. While there are many factors to these numbers, one thing that is for sure, the United States appears on its way to recovery. 

While many of these gains represent a return to work for Americans who were temporarily laid off, there are many lessons to be learned when we dig deeper. Small businesses added 937,000 jobs to lead industries by size. Companies with 500 or more workers were up 873,000 jobs while medium-sized firms added 559,000 jobs (CNBC, 7/1/20). The rise in small business jobs, even as many firms have used their PPP recovery loans fully and started the loan forgiveness process, is even more good news as these firms have not only survived, but want to begin to thrive. 

Technology jobs in the US are taking a small hit as there were some job losses as firms reduced costs of some internal teams and as VPN and remote access contracts were completed. However, these skills continue to be in hot demand and candidates aren’t on the market very long. The average technology job in the US takes 60 days to fill, with an average of 24 solid candidates sourced and at least 15 phone screens scheduled to find the final candidates. If you are anticipating hiring, NOW is the time to start.  

Construction, professional services and financial services are all showing large gains this month and these professionals will be harder to recruit in the coming weeks. With many candidates having parents, children or neighbors to care for, remote roles and flexible work schedules when onsite are on the top of a candidate’s list when looking for a new job opportunity.   

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