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Staffing Advisors Blog

Washington DC Association/Nonprofit Job Market Update (Early April 2020)

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 7, 2020

This is the second of our periodic updates on what we're observing in the local Washington DC association and nonprofit job market. (We handle more senior staff searches than most executive search firms, so after completing 800 searches we know what the job market numbers should look like.) 

Current Situation with Employers

We are not seeing layoffs from any of our clients, but we are seeing a few hiring freezes on non-essential positions. This appears to be a simple way to hold the line on budgets until things stabilize. It's mostly a case of stopping to reevaluate. I expect many of those freezes will thaw when offices reopen, events can be held, and budgets can be adjusted for lost revenue during the shutdown.

For essential positions, with very few exceptions, our searches have moved forward to offer and acceptance. This has been true even when a hiring freeze was announced. And from what I am hearing, even those few exceptions will only be delayed until early June.

At the senior staff levels, the local DC job market is just as competitive as it was two months ago. It's kind of amazingly normal actually, especially by comparison with so many sectors in the economy where layoffs are the norm. In our sector, we are still seeing candidates considering multiple job offers. We're not seeing desperation from most candidates, nor any willingness to accept lower salaries. (We have more information on compensation trends below.) 

Our recruiting timelines are the same as before (just as fast as always), but we are finding that interview scheduling with our clients is becoming easier because hiring executives are traveling less. We are seeing some "creativity" with scheduling video interviews on nights and weekends. (Really, who among us can even tell what day of the week it is anymore?) 

The bottom line is this: if you have a key opening and need somebody to start work when you reopen your office, get started now. Jump in, the water is ... kinda normal.

Current Situation with Job Seekers

In our job postings and direct recruiting efforts, we are still not seeing a meaningful change in the numbers of people applying, the caliber of people responding, or the salary expectations of people applying. In our sector of the economy, it is not getting any easier to hire great people nor is it getting any harder. And we're not seeing any shift in compensation trends (except that most people are probably not expecting a bonus for their 2020 work).

The biggest change in candidate behavior we are seeing occurs at the time of job offer. Candidates have been perfectly willing to accept video first, second and third interviews, video panel interviews, etc.. What happens now is that candidates want one final conversation to reassure themselves before moving into the offer phase. They want a real heart to heart about the employer's expectations for remote work, they need to understand what drives the financial health of the organization, and be assured of the importance of the job. Fundamentally this boils down to, "Will I have the support I need to be successful in a remote environment with this organization? And if I am successful, can I be assured that my new employer will not make me, 'The last one in and first one to go' when times get tough?" 

Employers need to think carefully how to handle these valid concerns, signaling their capability and flexibility in supporting remote work, and confidence in their plans for moving forward in this chaotic environment. 

Our Status at Staffing Advisors: 

Because we have always been a fully remote company, we've had no interruptions in our operations and are continuing to interview candidates at a brisk clip. Our clients are becoming increasingly familiar with virtual interviews and we're continually developing new resources to support them as issues arise. That's why we recently published guidance about how to avoid the pitfalls of video interviews

Sharing the Best Advice We’ve Heard From Others:

In our monthly newsletter we share the most useful research and perspective from a variety of sources, but our monthly newsletter seems waaaay too slow in these times of constant change. So I have included a few links to the most useful content I've seen in the last couple of weeks: 

If you are a hiring manager, and you don't want to wait 2 weeks for our next labor market update, or a wait a month for our next newsletter, just follow me on Twitter (or you could kick it old school and pick up the phone and call me.)

If you want to see the latest news and trends on who is hiring, and other advice for job seekers, you can also follow Staffing Advisors on Twitter.

 

 

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How to Evaluate a Video Interview

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 6, 2020

We have quite a few clients who are conducting first, second, and third interviews via video conference software like Zoom. If you are new to doing this, the first thing you'll notice is that it's just different than face-to-face interviewing.

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Career Advice in a Recession

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 1, 2020

When economic times are good, most people with common skills usually don't have much trouble finding and keeping a job. But in an economic downturn, it's far more important to be strategic about your career choices. Things are going to be very uneven in the job market, with some skills remaining in desperately short supply, and other skills enduring massive layoffs.

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Washington DC Association/Nonprofit Job Market Update (Late March 2020)

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 25, 2020

Because of the disruptions in the economy, I plan to periodically share updates on what we are seeing in the local job market. I am not claiming to speak for the whole job market, just for the senior staff level of the association and nonprofit sector in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area. We conduct more searches in that sector than most search firms, and from our years of experience, we know what the numbers normally look like.

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Video Interviewing Tips

Posted by Brooke Lockhart on March 24, 2020

During this time of social distancing, our clients are conducting video interviews instead of meeting candidates in-person. So here are a few tips for a productive video interview.

If you are an employer scheduling the interview, we recommend planning an extra 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the call to test technology and work out any kinks. You might also want to offer alternate times (i.e., after your kids are asleep).

For candidates, best practices include:

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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Status

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 23, 2020

Since 2007, we’ve completed more than 800 searches as a fully remote operation. Our capacity remains unchanged. All our employees continue to work safely and securely from their own homes, using company issued laptops with the most advanced IT security protections (endpoint protection, virtual private networks, two factor authentication, password management, anti-virus, etc.) supported by the experts at Optimal Networks.

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Video Conferencing - Betchya Can't Pick Just One

Posted by Brooke Lockhart on March 23, 2020

As a completely virtual company (we've never had an office) we are often asked, "Which provider do you use for video conferencing?"

And our answer is, "Several of them."

Because we like having options. And that's true now more than ever as some conferencing providers are getting overwhelmed. Redundancy is comforting. We're scheduling our calls with a backup plan now.

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Why we Love Microsoft Teams

Posted by Brooke Lockhart on March 20, 2020

In late-2018, we made the leap to a new file management system, Google Suite, and Office 365 - including the most transformative element: Microsoft Teams. Now 16 months later, we cannot imagine life without Teams.

We've been getting requests from organizations who are just now migrating to Teams so we created a short video to illustrate our approach:

MS Teams structure (3-mins)

Here are some of the insights we learned along the way:

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Remote Work Myths

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 19, 2020

So, you've been told to work from home for the first time. And you've read a few blog posts about how to be productive. Meh, most of that advice might not be right for you. As someone who has worked from home since 2002, I'm here to tell you that you are not likely to be terrifically productive right away.

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A Remote-Work Perspective (After 18 Years with No Office)

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 10, 2020

 

Covid-19 suddenly increased attention on remote work, and many employers and local governments are strongly encouraging it. But because remote work is still uncomfortable for some managers, I wanted to share a few thoughts we learned in the past 18 years.

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