Luke Doubler, owner of RecruiterCentral, a Minneapolis-based, rapidly growing search firm specializing in delivering top talent for all positions, especially science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related roles, shared his opinion on what Q3 and Q4 of 2022 are shaping up to look like — with the overarching tone of change.
Up to Today
Luke commented that companies have had difficulty finding and retaining key technical talent even before the pandemic. As a result, engineers, scientists, nurses and many other roles with a technical component have all been in very high demand. He said that even though the overall unemployment rate remains around 3.8%, the unemployment rates for roles with a significant STEM component are still at zero or negative.
He shared that part of the remaining problem is that “we’re seeing a flat to negative growth in qualified STEM or skilled labor professionals entering the workforce versus those who are leaving. Adding to this problem, all the forecasts around college enrollment and those about to enter the workforce predict that this problem will be persistent for the foreseeable future.”
Doubler said he had noticed some changes since inflation began rising in October of 2021. While “things are fairly back to normal with the unemployment rate at 3.6%, we are still a little bit behind on total employment, which is down 1.6 million from the pre-pandemic levels of February 2020.” And he went on to say, “despite this, there are still more job openings than people to fill them, especially for skilled labor and corporate roles with a significant STEM component.
Over the last few months, Luke has observed employers and hiring managers reconsider job openings that haven’t been filled for months, “especially bigger companies, they are second-guessing their need for roles.” He added, “we’re seeing a lot of companies right size, meaning that they’re looking at what they need and what it takes to get things done. We also see lots of layoffs happening across the industry, not massive layoffs, but onesie twosies, type layoffs in middle and upper management.”
Additionally, “there’s a lot more scrutiny when hires are being made, employers are being more careful about their cash investments when it comes to talent.” So, the team at RecruiterCentral is seeing the job market shift away from the candidates’ favored market to an employer favored market.
His outlook is that this trend away from hiring and trimming the proverbial fat will continue on its upward trajectory as long as the looming recession remains on the horizon. He commented that “inflation, the petroleum shortage, and supply chain issues are causing employers to listen intently to what the future of the economy looks like before taking on employment risk.”
How Hiring Managers Can Navigate the Changing Times
With the continued shortage of qualified candidates and reduced ability to attract them with incentives, hiring managers should be asking themselves, “Would you like to work for you? What is your employment story? What are employees saying about your employment culture? Hiring managers need to think about and articulate the long-term value proposition that the company can offer. Then find candidates that share similar visions and career aspirations.”
Through their observations, Luke and his team see difficulty ahead. They are hopeful that a recession does not transpire but have watched Fortune 50 to 500 companies anticipate one over the coming recent months. “Maybe fuel prices will come down, and the supply chain issues will be fixed, but it’s sound thinking for hiring managers and candidates to prepare for the worst. The companies that have fared the best with hiring and retention during covid and the past couple of years have been the companies that have been listening closest to the candidate market, been nimble and adaptable, and made subtle or even large adjustments on their onsite work requirements, various other benefits, and long term career incentives.”
Luke Doubler founded RecruiterCentral in 2017. Since its inception, Luke and his team have been matching candidates with difficult-to-fill jobs in STEM and upper management. The company works closely with hiring managers and helps train them to find the best talent on their own. If you are a qualified STEM candidate seeking employment or a hiring manager with a tough-to-fill position, contact Luke and his team at RecruiterCentral, they have the skills and knowledge to help.