By Jack Kelly:
This is one of the weirdest (sorry for the sophisticated recruiting jargon) job markets I have experienced in twenty years. Yes I was totally a child prodigy recruiter while I was in junior high school.
We have seen the financial crisis, dotcom implosion, 9/11, and other exceedingly challenging job markets. Also, there have been time periods where there were wars for talent and companies could not hire people fast enough. It was common practice to buy out six figure bonuses and offer lush guaranteed compensation packages.
Here is what I am seeing now. Post-Brexit and the U.S. Presidential election (before you go crazy, please keep reading, this is not political but a business analysis of the current market), there has been a significant shift in the mood of both corporate hiring managers, and executives. Due to the perceived uncertainty of the two events (mixed in with other geopolitical events such as the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea), the new tendency is to wait and see what happens before a move is made.
Candidates are concerned that if they switch jobs, and the economy subsequently turns soft, they will be the victim of “last-one-in, first-one-out”. Hiring managers are afraid to hire someone only to later have the unpleasant task of firing the person if business prospects decline. Therefore, we have an entrenched inertia built in on both side of the hiring equation.
To compound the problem, the job market has significantly strengthened since the financial crisis and we have had very low unemployment. When it come to specifically skilled professionals, the unemployment rate is even lower. Although the pool of qualified candidates is smaller, companies have increased their requirements that they demand for the job. The firms want to get as much talent as they can for the lowest price, and will keep looking until they find it; even if it takes forever.
For mid to senior level professionals, the hiring process could take up to six months. It seems that corporations are reluctant to pull the trigger on hiring unless their is a proverbial gun to their head and absolutely, positively need to bring someone aboard.
There are some bright spots though. Cybersecurity, technology, and data analytics are some of the areas that exhibit a dramatic supply and demand imbalance, where there are significantly more jobs open than candidates with the requisite skillsets available.
Some once hot areas such as compliance have cooled somewhat as banks want to see the final outcome of potential regulatory rollback. The use of artificial intelligence and technology are displacing once highly paid people, such as traders on Wall Street. Instead of having highly compensated real-life traders, banks and hedge funds are deploying technology to do their jobs cheaper and faster.
The summer is also a factor. Historically, the July to August time period is one of the slowest hiring times predominantly due to vacations. Also, if you live in the New York area, the thought of taking a train that may or may-not work, and having to brave one hundred degree plus temperatures in the stations does not sound appealing. It is easier to wait until September when people are back from vacation, the weather improves, and the trains (hopefully) work again.
Here at CSG, we have been utilizing this time to add fresh ways to help our clients hire, and find jobs.
We now offer a full suite of Wall street jobs to our core compliance, legal, risk, and audit capabilities. You can check out ComplianceJobs.com to see literally thousands of international Wall Street, banking, finance, hedge fund, and other related jobs.
While the job market may be slow, we are hard at work helping you find the best new job, or hire a terrific candidate.