The Economy is Dismal…Right?

A great recruiter is part analyst, part researcher, part interviewer and full-time student. In today’s tech climate, as a recruiter, it takes a very minimal amount of time to figure out that the role of a recruiter is becoming harder and harder. The term “War for Talent” is abundant here in the Silicon Valley, but also other areas of the country, which is why this post is of particular importance.

According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, the overall US unemployment rate is 7.8% at the time of this posting (March 2, 2013). On the surface, this seems like a high number. If so, then why are companies and organizations struggling to find the top talent in the tech market if 7.8% of the current workforce is unemployed?

That’s because their is a flaw in the data when comparing jobs and specifically TECH jobs. The US Department of Labor Statistics classifies all jobs as part of the total unemployment. However, the Unemployment figures as of Q4 (2012), reported the tech market’s unemployment rate of 3.3%.

That statistic – 3.3% Unemployment – is a vitally important number we will reference often in this post. Again, on the surface, a low unemployment number like that appears to be one of great interest by many financial analysts, staffing industry experts and venture capitalists alike. However, there is something under the surface that needs to be explored as well.

The recruiting industry is based on the principals of Supply and Demand. Investopia.com provides my favorite definitions for the laws of Supply and Demand.

- The Law of Demand states that, if all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of a good, the less people will demand that good.
– The Law of Supply demonstrates the quantities that will be sold at a certain price.

With a current tech unemployment rate of 3.3%, which has dropped every quarter in 2012, was the prime indicator for 5 percent increase in the median salary of a tech professional, from $81,327 to $85,619. In fact, the salary of a tech professional is the HIGHEST it has been in MORE than a decade.

So, I think this is a good time to pause and ask the question:

Q: Is the economy DISMAL?
A: It depends on who you ask.

Over the course of the last 6 years, the tech market hasn’t seen this kind of explosive growth since the late 90’s. The advent of the Mobile phone, Machine Based learning, practical 3D capabilities, Big Data and a generation of tech professionals who grew up with a these devices at their finger tips will only allow for an even higher growth curve in the tech hiring market.

However, it is the DEMAND for tech products – motion sensor based technologies, monetization, mCommerce, digital wallets – which will continue to drive the demand for the tech professionals.

As a recruiter, this is all very positive and encouraging news, but it does come with a level of concern.

With such low figures of unemployment, we are in the midst of a pretty severe talent shortage; especially for certain skill sets such as Mobile Application Development, Big Data specialists, Application Development, etc. And, depending on the geographic region in the country, some areas experience a near non-existent talent pool.

On the positive side, there has quite literally never been more opportunities on the open market for talented tech professionals and skilled recruiters to create long-lasting partnerships.

Elite recruiters who will excel both now and in the future must combine a high degree of technical skill and proficiency with the ability to forge long lasting relationships within the technical community.

In the next few posts, we will discuss the “New Breed” of Tech Professionals on the market.

Happy Recruiting,
Ross

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