Hiring During A Recession: A Little Research
Posted by karldmoore on February 3, 2009
In a recent post I postulated that given the current recession and turbulent economic state, the good developers are staying in their current role rather than interviewing for a new position. This was only really guess work however, so I thought it would be useful to conduct a little market research. I decided to have a few conversations with companies looking to hire and recruitment agents to collate some information.
We recently produced quite a basic job specification with pretty standard requirements, a competitive wage with benefits and asked for several years of relevant experience. Having looked at all of the various job postings I would have thought there would be a wealth of talent looking for an opportunity like this. We were looking for around ten resumes to sift through as a starting point.
The number of available candidates and skills is a very difficult ask at the moment. There are simply not a huge number of candidates available with the required skill set. There isn’t just one problem; the number of candidates and skills are both big problems at the moment, there isn’t enough of either.
Our first thought was that wage might be an issue, so what if we were will to increase the wage offering?
Wages aren’t really the issue. It’s quite a general problem that people are unwilling to move jobs right now. The economic state is not conducive towards it. People just don’t know if the company is going to be around next month, or if they’ll be forced to cut costs. If Microsoft and Sun are having to do it, then who will be next?
But surely if there are scores of people being made redundant there should be talent available for hire.
Typically, most of the people being made redundant on the news aren’t highly skilled technical types. Some of them are but the majority are unskilled. Of those technical staff looking for work, many of them are contract staff who haven’t reach the point of really having to work yet. Some of them need to work, but many of them can “play it cool” for a while yet.
So is the industry really in crisis, or is it actually faring quite well at the moment? Are there tens of thousands of skilled developers out there struggling to find work, or just a few more than usual? I’m sure there must be a large number of skilled people who have recently lost their job, but if so where are they and why don’t they seem to be looking for work?