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    Entries in Jobs (36)


    Need to fill a technical job? It helps if you are in one of these four cities

    Some really interesting and detailed data on jobs, job seekers, employment opportunities and the interplay among all the moving parts of the recruiting game in the recently released report from Indeed titled Beyond the Talent Shortage: How Tech Candidates Search for Jobs.

    There is plenty of fascinating information in the report, but the one element I wanted to call out was the really pronounced and increasing preference by tech candidates for only four popular work locations - San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin. According to the Indeed report, "In 2013, interest in the 18 software-related jobs we analyzed was 3.3 times greater in San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin than in the US on average. In 2015, interest in those cities was 3.6 times greater."

    The below chart from Indeed shows how these job seeker preferences for the 'Big 4' tech hubs compared to the US overall have increased over time:

    So the Indeed data just puts some numbers behind what you have probably known for some time - if you are recruting technical talent and are not located in one of these Big 4 hubs, you're likely entering the competition already in a losing position. The Indeed data shows that while cities all across the US, heck, all over the world, are seeing increases in open technical jobs, that tech candidates are only honing in their efforts more on the Big 4 tech hubs.

    So while in the past, and especially in times of recession, candidate interest would have been primarily driven by the availability of jobs, the increasing candidate interest in these 4 tech hubs suggests further concentration on the part of job seekers on these locales. 

    What can/should you be doing if indeed, (pardon the pun), you have difficult technical jobs to fill and you are not located in one of the Big 4 tech hubs? The analysis from Indeed offers a few decent suggestions:

    1. Get yourself to one of the Big 4 citiies. This is the 'fish where the fish are' strategy, and of course it is easier said than done. But if these trends continue on their recent trajectory, it is only going to become more challenging to recruit tech talent to non Big 4 locations. It might be worth setting up a small, satellite office in one of these sought-after locations when compared to the opportunity cost of having important roles remain empty.

    2. Let go of your 'Everyone needs to be physically at HQ' policy. Organizations have seemingly gone around and around on the value/importance of having everyone on the team physically co-located versus embracing more flexible work arrangements. And I suspect these conversations and shifts in attitude will continue to go on pretty much forever. But if the talent you need has decided they (mostly) would rather be in Seattle or San Jose and you are in Pennsyltucky then you might have to make some kind of a compromise.

    3. Figure out how to better 'sell' what your location does have to offer to candidates that generally prefer the big Tech hubs. A while back I wrote a post about 'selling' your non-glamourous city to candidates, and the things i touched upon then I think are more or less still true now. The Big 4 cities may have a lot to offer candidates, but (hopefully) your city does too. And it might also be time to take a cue from politics once in a while and go negative - those Big 4 tech hubs are not all wonderful, and your city might have the edge in things like cost of living, open space, even the presence of 'winter', which I am told some people enjoy.

    There is plenty more interesting information in the Indeed report - take some time to look it over if you are at all interested on what their data shows and suggests about the market for technical talent.

    Have a great weekend!


    CHART OF THE DAY: More open jobs today than since... well, since ever

    If the title of this post sounds familiar, well it should because I ran a post with this exact same title back in June. At that point the chart that accompanied the post showed that open jobs in the USA as of the end of April sat at 5.4 million, at that time the most that the Bureau of Labor Statistics JOLTS report had ever reported.

    Fast forward a couple of months and we have yet another record high number of job openings in the USA as reported in the latest JOLTS report, climbing to 5.8 million as of end of July. Check the chart below and then, as you have continually demanded, some FREE comments from me after the numbers.

    Some quick takes....

    1. Wage pressure has to, has to be coming even more than in some of the pockets that we have already seen increasing wages. With this many open jobs, and the labor force participation rate still pretty low by historical standards, rising wages have to be one of the options employers turn to in hopes of filling some of these jobs. You can push 'great culture' and 'summer hours on Fridays' as much as you want, but at the end of the day many, many candidates have many, many more options than ever. 

    2. As I wrote last time I showed this chart, even increasing wages might not be enough in a candidate-scarce market. Are you still telling 37-year-old new hires they start at 10 days vacation, accrued in 4-hour increments every two weeks? Are you still making outside sales people show up at some central office every day when they really have no need to do that? Are you still making and enforcing rules that anyone with options will not tolerate for any longer than they need to?

    3. It could be time when you (finally) push hard for a strategic increase in your internal development initiatives. Certainly some component of the record high in job openings stems from organizations that just can't find people with the right set of skills and experiences. But since the market continues to send messages that it will not suddenly or miraculously begin producing more of these ideal candidates, you have to figure out some other means of filling these gaps. Maybe you have to get more creative with apprenticeships, college and vocational partnerships, and/or upskilling your own employees to fill the roles that the market can't seem to provide.

    I love this chart. I love it when people have options, have opportunity, and hopefully, some leverage in the typically employer-driven recruiting game.

    Good luck out there.


    Job Titles of the Future #14 - Cultural Intelligence Agent

    What kind of organization do you think would benefit from someone who could 'Harness industry trends, insights and resources to help fuel an environment of disruptive growth and innovation?'

    Additionally, the person who would excel in this role would also be able to 'Mine the cultural landscape to identify emerging trends and influences in the areas of Music, Gaming, Design, Tech, and Culinary.'

    That all sounds really cool and fun and vaguely hipsterish. I am pretty sure I am not qualified.

    But to go back to the initial question, what king of organization in what type of industry would you guess is right now looking for someone with these skills? 

    Smart guesses would be advertising, media, (especially 'new' media), entertainment, or maybe even old school publishing. How many guesses would you have to make before you arrived at Soft Drinks and Snacks? Because at least in today's specific example, the company that is right now looking for this kind of talent for a role they call a 'Cultural Intelligence Agent' is PepsiCo.

    More details from the PepsiCo job listing:

    PepsiCo is looking for a Cultural Intelligence Agent with a passion for culture and experience working within or across creative industries including Music, Design, Gaming, Tech &/or Culinary. This role will be responsible for leading a team to harness industry trends, insights and resources to help fuel an environment of disruptive growth and innovation. As an Agent in the Creator Culture Catalyst group, you must demonstrate the ability to become a trusted advisor and thought leader to cross-functional business, brand and innovation leaders. The Agent also will drive and manage cross-functional projects that support creative initiatives and foster innovation

    What do knowledge of music, gaming, design, etc. have to do with the ability to create and sell Pepsi?

    Well maybe nothing directly. But indirectly, understanding, interpreting, and responding to cultural trends helps you understand people. And understanding people is pretty much the key to success in any business.

    Cultural Intelligence Agent sounds like a pretty awesome job. Not quite as fun as Relief Pitcher for the Mets, but still pretty sweet. I hope the folks at PepsiCo see this post and let me know how the recruiting for this position turns out. Because the kind of person who will make a great Cultural Intelligence Agent sounds like a really fun person to know.

    What about in your organization? Does understanding culture matter?

    Note: Further reading for anyone interested in how culture impact business: Chief Culture Officer by Grant McCracken.

    Have a great week!


    Where in your job description does it say you're supposed to be happy?

    So I got caught up (again) in one of basic cable TV's ubiquitous Law & Order marathons over the weekend and (again) picked up a great little piece of workplace wisdom that I wanted to pass along. 

    In the episode, the actual details of which really don't make a difference, one of the Assistant District Attorneys laments to the District Attorney (the Boss), about how it was extremely difficult to prosecute a particular defendant, as that defendant was kind of sympathetic, had a tough life, and really didn't have a lot of good life options that culminated in his commission of some pretty serious crimes.

    After securing a 'guilty' verdict against the defendant, the ADA said something to the effect of 'Yes, I think the verdict was the right one, but I have to say that I am not that happy about it.'

    To which the DA, the Boss, replied, 'Get over it. Where in your job description does it say that you're supposed to be happy?' 

    That's a win right there. And a great reminder for anyone, not just folks like DA's or people in Health Care or in social work -but for anyone with any kind of a job, not just the ones where dealing with less than satisfying outcomes is a part of the job. 

    Whether your job is cooking burger, designing bridges, or creating advertising campaigns, (or anything else), there is almost no chance that being 'happy' is a part of your job description. Sure, most employers would like you to be happy in your job, and certainly most workers (and more importantly perhaps, most families and friends of workers), would like you to be happy with your job, but for the most part you actually being 'happy' is not something your boss or her boss or the company customer or shareholders are all that concerned with.

    Your happiness with your job, and probably with just about every other part of your life, is mostly only important to you. That doesn't mean it isn't important, I think it is, but the sooner you realize like the ADA in the TV show had to realize, that the machine isn't (primarily) concerned with your happiness the better.

    Wow, re-reading this and it seems like kind of a downer post. Fitting it is running on a Monday.

    Have a great week! 

    Be happy.....


    In Soviet Russia, (and America), Job Finds You

    For a 'don't believe anything you read on the internet' April Fool's Day, I submit for your consideration a really interesting, (and totally not made up), conclusion about how people in the United States find jobs courtesy of a recently published Economic Letter from our pals at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

    Let's start with the researcher's money line first, then we will try and unpack it a little bit:

    More than three-quarters of workers who switched employers did not report active job search in the previous three months.

    Did you take a second to process that statistic? 

    Of all the 'new hires' that the researchers examined, 77.6% of them had not reported being in an active job search in the previous three months. And we are not talking about internal job transfer types of moves here, these are employer-to-employer job shifts. So the vast majority of job-to-job transitions do not follow the standard interpretation of a labor market that matches workers who are actively seeking out job openings with the positions that are posted by employers.

    So essentially, according to this research, over three-quarters of hiring is coming from direct recruiting/poaching, referrals, and informal networks.

    Probably not a great surprise/finding for experienced HR/Talent pros, but a good reminder for folks who are still out there beating down doors in an active job search. Here's a summary of the data from the research, then one last point before we sign off.

    The researcher's data shows that while 77.6% of hires are coming from employed folks who were not searching for a new job, that still only constitutes about 2% of all employed people. Translated - your recruiting/poaching/referral processes are still only nabbing less than 2% of folks out there, underscoring how hard it can be to identify, engage, convince, and finally hire people out of existing jobs into new ones at your company.

    Net-net: At least according to this research, most jobs find people, not the other way around.

    Have a great April Fool's!