Friday, June 1, 2018

“I Keep Working My Way Back To You, Babe”

Originally posted on www.dpitts.com, May 1, 2018 “I Keep Working My Way Back To You, Babe” The title of this article is both a hat tip to The Four Seasons, as well as a wish for talented workers to come my way. Today the unemployment numbers were released for May, 2018. In case people were not aware of it, the President of the United States tweeted that it would come out today and he was looking forward to it. Of course, Mr. President, you already knew what the numbers were. So why did you tweet them? Because they were very good – well above the expected. Something the sitting President is all too eager to take credit of. Not sure if the reverse were true if he would take credit for that, but I suppose with the next recession we will see. I’ve been a first and second line manager for more than a decade. At times it has been difficult to find good, qualified, eligible and available employees. However, in my current region (Washington, DC area) and in my current field (Information Security, Compliance and Risk Management), I have to admit, this has been a difficult adjustment. Unemployment is at its lowest levels in 18 or so years with May coming in at a staggering 3.8%. While it is good that 223,000 jobs were added to the economy in May, this also means that wage growth is also rising due to supply and demand. As an employee, these numbers are good news. As a hiring manager, not so much. I’m sure economists are saying things like “is the unemployment too low”. I’m not an economist. I’m a technologist and an executive manager. To me, when the unemployment rate gets below 5% hiring gets difficult. When they drop below 4%, hiring moves to a headhunting mode of operations. Add to the general unemployment numbers the locale and market mentioned above where anyone who is any good at what they do are already working, then this gets next to impossible. So, I have a few choices. First, I can choose to hire a less-talented workforce or second, I can raise salaries to entice people away from their current places of employment. The reality is, I may have to do both! The bottom line is that this is an employee’s market. To those of you in risk, compliance, information security and the cloud, look me up – I probably have a job for you. To those of you who are already employed, this might be the time to talk to your manager about a raise, otherwise, maybe you contact me instead. To the hiring managers out there, how are you coping with the current environment?

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