Employment Summary for September 2017

Employment Summary for
September 2017


U.S. nonfarm businesses lost 33,000 positions in September, according to the monthly employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the past year, the country has added an average of 172,000 jobs per month.

This is the first time payrolls have registered a decline since 2010. The BLS attributed much of the decline to the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Economists had estimated job gains of 80,000 for September, Bloomberg reported.

"I don't think this is indicative of problems in the labor market - it's because of the hurricanes," said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, in an interview with the source. "The economy is in decent shape, the labor market continues to improve and we'll bounce back to job growth in the final three months of 2017."

The unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in September, falling 0.2 percentage points from August. Also, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 331,000 to settle at 6.8 million for September.

Average hourly wages for private nonfarm employees increased by 12 cents in September to reach $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent.

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it is looking for wage growth as a signal to raise interest rates, which, last month, it said it would increase one more time by the end of this year, according to Bloomberg. Economists expect the rate hike to come in December.

Food services and drinking places employment was most affected by the impacts of the hurricanes, shedding 105,000 jobs in September. Over the past year, the industry has gained 24,000 positions per month, on average.

Healthcare added 23,000 jobs. Ambulatory care gained 25,000 positions, though employment at nursing care facilities declined by 9,000.

Transportation and warehousing added 22,000 jobs in September, while financial services gained 10,000 positions. Professional and business services added 13,000 jobs. Insurance carriers and related activities added 11,000 jobs during the month, with much of that sector's employment gain due to hurricane recovery efforts, the BLS noted.

Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in September.

The Trevi Group|  www.TheTreviGroup.com

Video: Preparedness for Impending Boomer Retirements

Nine years ago, the first of 78 million Baby Boomers turned 60, and 2008 was supposed to see a huge number of retirements. When the first Baby Boomers began to draw benefits, the Social Security Administration dubbed it the start of “America's silver tsunami,” but then the economy faltered, housing values plummeted, retirement portfolios shrank, and seniors who thought they had planned for financial security decided to postpone retirement for a few years. Now the economy is strong once again, candidates are in the driver’s seat, and statistics are coming in from a variety of industries saying that large numbers of their senior management will be retiring soon.

Click to watch the video.

For most employers, the first priority is still hiring for open positions and retaining high performers. They are aware of the challenges ahead of them, according to the MRINetwork 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Survey, with over 70 percent of recruiters and employers indicating that they are somewhat to extremely concerned about replacing Baby Boomers who are reaching retirement. While companies indicate concern, the vast majority have not proactively addressed it, indicating in the survey that they are largely unprepared to deal with a surge in retirements or a millennial-dominated workforce. Top areas of concern include feeling ill-equipped to develop programs to retain Baby Boomers, and lack of knowledge about how to accommodate the work-life balance demands of the younger generations.

“It is critical that companies begin to address retirements with more focus on succession planning and career pathing, advises Nancy Halverson, general manager, franchise operations for MRINetwork. “Instead of treating retirements as an afterthought,” she says, “their inevitability should be woven into recruitment and retention plans. Companies that craft a long-term comprehensive strategy now will not only survive the wave of baby boomer retirements, but will have the potential to ride its crest.”

Halverson suggests exploring the following questions to understand the immediacy of the baby boomer exit and to thoughtfully prepare for it:

  • What are your company’s demographics (age, gender, position, years in position)?
  • Does your succession plan identify people in your organization who are ready to assume leadership positions? Do you need to create new positions now in order to develop the bench strength you need in the years ahead?
  • What mechanisms and programs must be put in place to capture the key competencies and critical work knowledge of employees who will be retiring?
  • Are you ready to customize your current programs to provide what each group needs and wants, particularly in terms of career pathing? Your workforce will likely be comprised of both young workers and older workers, who have different learning needs.
  • Are you prepared to implement flexible work arrangements, such as working part-time or from home, that will both encourage Baby Boomers to continue working and satisfy Millennials’ need for better work-life balance?
  • Is your organization positioned to meet the needs of your over-65 customer segment when your Baby Boomers leave? What new skills and competencies will your younger employees need to service this segment?

“Most people don’t want to work forever,” concludes Halverson. “They may have decided to stay around for a few extra years to ride out the financial crisis, or perhaps even have come back as consultants, but planning on people to remain in the loop after retirement isn’t a succession plan. The only way to reduce the effect of lost leadership is through a strong succession planning program that identifies and fosters the next generation of leaders through mentoring, training and stretch assignments, so they are ready to take the helm when the time comes.”

The Trevi Group|  www.TheTreviGroup.com


Tech consulting firm to hire 500 employees in Chicago

Technology and management consulting firm West Monroe Partners plans to hire 500 new employeesin Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business reported. 

The bulk of the hiring will be for technology-related positions, with the company intending to hire 350 to 400 new people in this area. The new hires represent a larger plan to bring on 1,000 new employees across the country, the source noted. 

The hiring in Chicago is set to take place over the next five years, with CEO Kevin McCarty noting that the company intends to recruit about 100 new employees each year. West Monroe Partners also plans to expand its office space in Chicago by 35,000 square feet in January. 

Some 43,000 people work in management consulting in Chicago's Cook County, a 17 percent increase from 2012. 

Professional and technical services employment across the U.S. continued to increase in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Situation Summary released today. The sector added 22,000 jobs during the month, bringing the total number of jobs gained over the last year to 262,000. Some 8,000 jobs were added in computer systems design and related services. 

The Trevi Group |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

JavaScript most important coding language for programmers to learn, according to ranking

A poll of 500 software developers by analytics firm CAST found that JavaScript and Java are the two most important languages for programmers to learn, TechRepublic reported. 

C++, Python and SQL were found to be the next-most-important computing languages. 

"Within the IT world, Java still accounts for the lion's share of development, and when you look at something like HTML5 development, that's all JavaScript," said Lev Lesokhin, EVP of strategy and analytics at CAST. 

However, COBOL, a programming language from 1959, did not appear in the ranking. Though dated, Lesokhin was suprised that it was not included. 

"If you want a high-paid job for life, you just need to learn COBOL. Something like half of the applications in financial services are still COBOL."

Another tech ranking that recently made headlines was LearnVest writer Drew Howard's list of the most in-demand jobs in the industry, based on reviews of activity on LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed. 

Howard found that the No. 1 in-demand job was data scientist, which had an average base salary of $129,938. Second was dev ops engineer, with an average base salary of $123,165, and cloud engineer, with an average base salary of $118,878. 

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

BLS Employment Situation Report: August 2017


The August Employment Situation Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a slowdown from 209,000 jobs added during July, to 156,000 nonfarm payroll positions created. According to The Washington Post, August's number notably undercut federal economists' expectation that about 200,000 jobs would be added to employers' payrolls. However, some private-sector analysts, like Indeed.com Chief Economist Jed Kolko, noted that this reduction in growth may be somewhat deceptive.

"Growth was slower in August, but that's because there were fewer gains in growing industries, not because we're seeing more losses in shrinking industries," Kolko told the Post in an interview. "We're actually at a point of unusual stability."

Additionally, although the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent from July's figure of 4.3 percent, the latter is a 16-year low, and because the Post reported that the uptick is considered small enough to remain within a reasonable margin of error, it is unlikely to worry public- and private-sector economists. CNBC noted that within a year, unemployment in the U.S. could easily fall below 4 percent.

On a sector-by-sector basis, manufacturing, construction, and professional and technical services saw the largest gains in August, with 36,000, 28,000 and 22,000 jobs added, respectively. The jumps in manufacturing and construction employment are particularly notable: Manufacturing grew by 155,000 roles since an all-time low employment total in November 2016. Meanwhile, construction remained relatively unchanged for the last five months, but received a notable boost from residential specialty contractors, whose businesses accounted for 12,000 of all positions added within the industry.

Healthcare employment did not grow by as much as it did in July - with more than 20,000 jobs added in August as opposed to July's 30,000-plus positions created. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most fastest-growing industries in the U.S., with 328,000 jobs created thus far in all of 2017.

Other industries including food services and drinking places, wholesale, trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government changed very little over the month.

Some metrics noted in the BLS's August report bear with them more uncertainty than the individual industry gains and essentially unchanged unemployment rate noted above. Average wages grew by 3 cents in the past month, a drop from the 9 cents seen in July. Also, the labor force participation rate for August 2017 held steady with July's 62.9 percent, a total that analysts generally view as sub-par if not necessarily dangerous.

The New York Times noted that economists also believe the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates on federal loans before the year ends, likely in December. Though the Fed will meet in September, a rate hike isn't expected then. Wall Street traders, meanwhile, have reduced their own expectations of a rate increase from 50 percent to 30 percent. However, this does not necessarily indicate a negative perspective, as Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, pointed out.

"There's no sign of inflation, which keeps the Federal Reserve on hold in terms of interest rate hikes," Slok said to the Times, "and it suggests stocks should keep doing well."

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com 

Video: Employer attitudes on traditional degrees vs. online degrees

The working world has changed: No longer must job candidates have traditional four-year degrees to be considered for professional positions. Not only has online education become more popular, it has also become more sophisticated, with virtual learning experts developing immersive, dynamic online courses that are as valuable and informative as their on-campus counterparts.

Click to watch the video.

This shift has caused recruiters and hiring managers to take a new look at how they evaluate a job candidate's education and experience. While several years ago, an online degree may have been considered inferior to a traditional degree, that sentiment has significantly changed.

The MRINetwork 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study found that more than 50 percent of recruiters and almost half of employers (43 percent) have no preference for candidates based on traditional versus alternative degrees. Another 13 percent of employers even prefer candidates with alternative degrees.

“To adapt to this changing landscape, employers should adjust their recruitment and interview processes to reflect the growing prevalence of online degrees,” says Sherry Engel, vice president of learning and talent development for MRINetwork. “This will ensure that they're not overlooking top talent for the positions they wish to fill.”

Engel recommends three best practices for what employers should consider when presented with a candidate who has an online degree:

1. Look for accreditation

With the sophistication of today's virtual learning software and models, online degrees can be just as prestigious as those earned from traditional universities. The online program might be offered by a brick-and-mortar institution, such as the University of Cincinnati or Harvard University, or it may come from an online-only institution. Either way, if the program is accredited, that’s a strong sign that it’s a high-quality, respected program. U.S. News & World Report recommends that employers look to see if the school is accredited by the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. There are also smaller state or regional accreditations that can also attests to a program's substance.

To further evaluate a candidate’s education, ask what their program was like, why they enrolled in it and if it enriched their learning, taught valuable skills and prepared for their desired career.

2. Evaluate experience

Clearly, the degree itself is not the sole determining factor of whether a person has the skills and perspectives necessary for the job - experience plays a key part as well. In fact, in a survey of 50,000 employers conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, experience outweighed academic credentials among all industries, particularly in the science/technology, services/retail, and media/communications segments. Internships and employment during college rose to the top of the list as the most heavily weighted attributes considered by employers.

Employers also recognize that earning an online degree is not easy, especially when many who chose this form of education are juggling jobs or family obligations at the same time. Undoubtedly this experience has helped them gain technology skills, discipline and time management abilities that are applicable in nearly every profession. Use interviews to not only ask candidates about their work, volunteer and travel experiences, but also to inquire how the e-learning experience has enabled them to effectively manage a diverse array of tasks.

3. Focus on cultural fit

In addition to degrees and experience, cultural fit has become increasingly important in determining whether a person would be well-suited for a job. During the interview process, employers should try to get a sense of whether the candidate would mesh well with the mission, values and social climate of the company. For example, a candidate who strongly prefers to work alone with little oversight may not function well in a company where collaboration is prioritized. Asking behavior-based questions such as "What do you believe is the ideal work-life balance?" and "How do you deal with stressful situations at work?" can help you get a sense of a candidate's cultural fit.

“While the negative perception of alternative degrees has not been completely eradicated, online degrees no longer have the stigma that they once had among employers and recruiters,” concludes Engel. “This is encouraging because it means companies are rethinking how they hire, to ensure they're bringing on the best talent for each role.”

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

BLS Employment Situation Report: July 2017

The July Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a 0.1 percent decline in the U.S.'s unemployment rate - to 4.3 percent - and a gain of 209,000 jobs in total nonfarm payroll employment. According to Markets Insider, projections for the unemployment rate's small decline were spot-on, while economists' estimate of jobs that would be added in July - about 183,000 - missed the mark. Total jobs added suffered slightly compared to June, which saw 220,000 jobs added.

Some industries that saw an uptick in June, such as healthcare, experienced further improvement, while other sectors, such as food and professional and financial services, showed new increases that hadn't been seen the previous month. Also, the number of Americans classifiable as "long-term unemployed" remained static at around 1.8 million as it totaled the previous month, but that trend has seen gradual reduction for most of the year, per previous data releases by the BLS.

Both food service and professional and business services saw large job gains - of 53,000 and 49,000, respectively. Employment within the healthcare sector increased by 39,000, slightly more than in June, and notably outpacing the 2017 average of 24,000 new jobs in the field per month.

Mining, meanwhile, saw minor growth of only 1,000 jobs added, and several sectors, including construction, manufacturing, information, transportation, retail, financial services and government, saw no notable movement in either direction.

As noted in The New York Times, many economists consider a one-two punch of strong wage growth and a high rate of labor participation to be among the most reliable indicators of a strong economy. The participation rate earned significant attention in 2016 due to its decline, hitting lows not seen in the past several decades and fueling perception of economic downturn in spite of a fairly low unemployment rate - around 4.7 percent for much of last year. Any significant increase in this metric would thus engender increased confidence in the overall economy. The labor participation rate remained steadfast at 62.9 percent for the month - where it has remained for the greater part of 2017.

Average hourly earnings for all nonfarm employees rose 0.3 percent in July, slightly above the 0.2 percent wage growth experienced in June. Although not as high as many financial leaders might like, news of this growth and the generally strong jobs report caused increases in both stock futures and Treasury yields, according to CNBC.

Probability of an increase in Federal Reserve interest rates also strengthened, rising to 45 percent from the 41 percent noted as recently as Aug. 3, 2017. Overall, while the figures in the July BLS labor report did not show uniform improvements, its findings nonetheless constitute fairly positive news.

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com

As a member of MRINetwork, The Trevi Group is proud to have been ranked by Forbes as one of "America's Best Executive Search Firms" in 2017. Click here  to read what our top ten national ranking means for you.

As a member of MRINetwork, The Trevi Group is proud to have been ranked by Forbes as one of "America's Best Executive Search Firms" in 2017. Click here  to read what our top ten national ranking means for you.

Video: Working From Home - How Important Is It?

Recently, some large companies have curtailed the ability of their employees to work from home, now asking staff to work in corporate offices. These changes are focused on driving increased collaboration, creativity, mentoring and innovation, but may alienating top talent in the executive, managerial and professional labor market - a sector that has been candidate-driven and challenged by talent shortages for the last few years.

Click to watch the video.

This move comes at a time when many candidates express interest in working from home during the interview process. According to the MRINetwork 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study, 68 percent of recruiters and 53 percent of employers state candidates ask for work from home options somewhat often to very often. Over half of candidates indicate that having a work from home option is somewhat to extremely important as they consider a new job.

“The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, so failing to provide work from home options can put companies at a disadvantage in terms of attracting candidates,” observes Nancy Halverson, general manager, franchise operations for MRINetwork. “Technology has made communication, collaboration, security and other aspects of managing remote employee easier, allowing companies to implement this strategy as a way to attract and retain top talent.”

Halverson notes that work from home arrangements offer a number of significant advantages. “You can employ specialized people who live outside your geographic region, for example, and stay operational 24/7 with remote staff spread across different time zones,” she says. “You are also likely to maintain a more productive workforce and achieve higher long-term retention rates.”

The key to implementing a successful work from home program, Halverson advises, is the formation of a well-thought-out plan. “This necessitates drawing up formal guidelines and finding the right technological tools, as well as hiring the right people for the job of working remotely,” she says. “Once in place, the program requires oversight and tweaking to make it’s sustainable and successful.”

Halverson offers some useful guidelines for managing telecommuters on a day-to-day basis:

Set the right tone. Working from home has become more acceptable, and even desirable, to employers, so it should no longer be viewed as a reward or a privilege. Instead, you should treat it as a natural option for working. Set the expectation that remote working days are the same as in-office working days. Agree on goals and deadlines for particular tasks. Keep a close eye on how well the targets are being met and give feedback promptly and sensitively if things go wrong.

Determine metrics to measure progress. Monitoring and assessing the performance of people who work at home is perhaps the most significant managerial challenge. It can be helpful to measure their effectiveness in terms of their output rather than the hours they work to ensure that targets and deadlines are being met. You can set firm deliverables for work-from-home days (tangible pieces of work you can see have been completed), for example, or use time-tracking software.

Don’t forget about remote workers. Don’t just shoot off emails requesting updates on projects. Make informal calls to ask how things are going, allowing employees to express concerns and to feel appreciated and acknowledged. Take advantage of instant messaging and make sure that face-to-face meetings occur when possible or when needed. For times when it’s not possible to meet in person, video conferencing or Skype are great ways to provide a face-to face-element to brainstorming sessions or team meetings. These types of capabilities can make all the difference in helping remote employees see their co-workers occasionally, so that they feel connected and part of a community.

To further the feeling of community, treat remote workers the same as you do those in the office.  If it’s ugly sweater day during the holidays, encourage your remote person to do the same and send a picture or leverage that video technology again. If you let parents scoot out early to enjoy Halloween festivities with their little ones, allow the same privileges to remote workers.

Pay attention to warning signs. If a remote worker is missing deadlines or being asked to redo work, there could be a communication problem. Meet with the worker to discuss what communication channels could be used to correct the situation or if working from home is not the best option for the individual. Keep in mind that it doesn’t always work out for everyone.

Halverson believes that one of the biggest concerns of having virtual teams is that employees may feel their contributions aren't noticed or valued. "You don't want team members to feel as though they're just sending their work out into a vacuum," she cautions. "As a leader, you have to create a sense of involvement and inclusion so that your people don’t feel invisible.”

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com

Healthcare technology company to create more than 800 jobs in Palm Beach County

Healthcare technology company Modernizing Medicine will create more than 800 new jobs in Palm Beach County, Florida, by 2022, local station WPTV reported. 

The expansion will mark the largest jobs project in the county since 2009. Modernizing Medicine will receive a $6 million incentive package from the state if it adds 838 jobs in the next five years.

"We are extremely excited to expand our presence and create more jobs across a wide range of fields in South Florida," said CEO Dan Cane. 

The company has more than 550 employees currently, with 400 of them based in Boca Raton, the source noted. 

According to the Miami Herald, Modernizing Medicine produces more than $100 million in revenues each year and is one of the most rapidly growing tech companies in southern Florida. 

"There are not many companies growing as fast as Modernizing Medicine - in the world," said Gov. Rick Scott. 

The new jobs will largely be software development roles and will have an average annual salary of $55,000. 

The company is also expanding its headquarters, leasing space in the building that formerly served as the home of IBM in addition to its current main office at the Florida Atlantic University Research Park. 

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com

Silicon Valley impacts widespread job growth

A new report from CBRE shows that Silicon Valley is fueling job growth far beyond its borders. 

The Scoring Tech Talent Report found that many cities located far from California have seen large increases in their tech employment, Venture Beat detailed. 

Madison, Wisconsin, had the largest increase in "tech talent momentum" as determined by the report, and saw employment in the industry grow by 30.2 percent between 2015 and 2016. Madison was followed by Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri. 

"What we're seeing occurring now is the impact and influence that Bay Area tech companies are having in markets all across the country," said author of the report and Director of Research and Analysis at CBRE Colin Yasukochi in a statement. "Bay Area-based tech companies are opening offices and creating jobs in strategic markets like Pittsburgh and Detroit for example, as they work in partnership with universities and automotive companies on integrating their technologies into self-driving cars."

Rural communities may stand to benefit from the employment and economic impacts of Silicon Valley with the construction of a new rail line between Silicon Valley and San Jose, California, Mercury News reported. 

The train would be the first high-speed rail line in the U.S., and is slated to be completed in 2025. 

The Trevi Group |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

Employment Summary for June 2017

The June Employment Situation released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs. This far exceeded analysts’ expectations of just over 170,000 jobs. The current unemployment rate is 4.4 percent.

Healthcare added 37,000 jobs, with 25,000 of these roles increasing in ambulatory healthcare services, and 12,000 in hospitals. Despite continued job growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the average number of monthly jobs added in healthcare in 2017 is 24,000 vs. an average of 32,000 jobs per month in 2016.

Professional and business services continued its growth trend, adding 35,000 jobs in June. Food services and drinking places also saw continued growth, adding 29,000 jobs throughout the month.

Employment in financial activities rose by 17,000 positions.

Industries such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, information and government were relatively unchanged throughout the month.

The New York Times reported that June continued building on the growth of previous months. The average number of jobs added to the economy from April to June was 194,000. For 2017, the average monthly job growth is at 180,000, a slight decline from the average 2016 monthly growth of 187,000 jobs.

The source also noted that analysts anticipate the unemployment rate will continue to stay down, even when taking a closer look at the number of discouraged workers and “underemployed” workers, or those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time roles. In June, the unemployment rate that accounted for these workers was at 8.6 percent, a slight uptick from the previous month. Yet, this number is also a full point lower than it was at this time last year.

In the midst of this good news, analysts continue to watch the slow wage growth.

“The wage numbers are certainly weaker than expected, so it keeps alive that whole debate about the relationship between slack and inflation and how far the Federal Reserve should allow the unemployment rate to fall,” Jim O’Sullivan, the chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, told the Times.

Despite these concerns, the hourly wage increased by 2.5 percent from the same time one year ago. The current hourly wage is $26.25 for private non-farm payroll.

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

The Trevi Group, as part of MRINetwork, is Ranked Among Top Executive Recruiting Firms by Forbes.com

Forbes.com, a leading source of reliable news and analysis, recently published its list of the best executive recruiting firms in the U.S. Thousands of recruiters, candidates who have worked with recruiters, and HR managers recommended the recruiting firms they perceive to be the best. The Trevi Group is part of MRINetwork, one of the largest search and recruitment organizations in the world, ranked among the top ten of this prestigious group.  

As an affiliate of MRINetwork, we know firsthand what it takes to earn that ranking. There are no simple formulas. It takes focused research, systematic search, determination and hard work. We take the time to learn your business, and we approach each assignment in partnership with you. We succeed because we are innovative, caring, tenacious and discreet.

It just makes sense to use a recruitment firm; when you need a proven-performer with a skill set that’s hard to find; when you need multiple people at once; when you’re backlogged and need people right now; or when you need multiple people for a short-term project. Recruiters who specialize in your industry build relationships with you to understand your requirements and work quickly when you are most in need. They have the connections and talent pipelines to fill hard-to-find skill sets, and they know how to present your opportunity in a way that motivates candidates to join your team.

We’re proud of our place in the Forbes’ rankings, and you can be confident that you’ll be working with one of the best recruiting firms in the U.S.

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

The Recruiter's View: Top Hiring Insights of 2017

According to a June New York Times article, “We may be closer to full employment than it seemed.” Based on the May jobs report, the source asserts the possibility that this is as good as it will get for the United States labor market. Why? Slowed job growth with 121,000 new positions as the three-month average, and an all-time low of 4.3 percent for the unemployment rate - not because of more people finding work - but because of modest wage increases and a labor force that has been shrinking for the last few years.

Click to watch the video.

This dynamic is particularly apparent in the executive, managerial and professional job market where many companies are focused on expanding, but are finding it difficult to locate enough skilled talent. In this sector, which has been candidate-driven for several years, the lack of skilled talent is further complicated by top candidates who feel free to reject job offers and accepting offers from other companies. So as a hiring authority, what can you do to improve your odds of bringing in the talent that you seek?

The 2017 Recruiter Sentiment Study conducted by MRINetwork, reveals that the inability to find quality talent coincides with lengthy hiring practices, lower than expected compensation, and an employer sentiment that candidates should be honored to be considered for their job opportunities. Retention is also challenging, as high performers recognize more jobs are available and feel more confident about pursuing them.

Based on the Study findings, the following are the top hiring insights for employers to know:

Insight #1: It really is a candidate-driven market.

MRINetwork recruiters have been observing the shift to a candidate-driven market over the last five years and the according to the survey, 90 percent of recruiters still feel the professional labor market is candidate-driven in most industry sectors. By contrast, 47 percent of employers believe companies have the upper hand. The reality is the best candidates have other job options, so your value proposition must clearly articulate how coming on board would benefit their career. Assuming that candidates should feel lucky to be invited for an interview with your company is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made when trying to attract top talent.

Insight #2: Compensation has become the top deciding factor for high performers who are looking to make a job move.

Recruiters, employers and candidates agree that advancement opportunities and better compensation packages are the most important factors to candidates looking for a job. Over 50 percent of candidates selected competitive compensation packages most often, followed by advancement opportunities, suggesting that compensation is the deciding factor when considering a new job. Across all respondents, compensation was also one of the primary reasons an offer was rejected, along with the candidate accepting another offer. Ultimately, compensation needs to be competitive enough to convince high performers to leave their current employers.

Insight #3: Rejected job offers matter in a talent short economy.

Almost half of surveyed employers said offer rejection percentages were between 1 – 10 percent. While this may seem like a small amount, every bit of lost talent matters when there is a shortage of qualified candidates in many industries. Compensation is not the only reason for offer rejections; frequently it is the interview process itself. It’s critical to provide a streamlined and positive interview process that keeps applicants informed of where they stand every step of the way. Most importantly, everyone on the interviewing team should be providing consistent messaging about the role, and clearly articulating why your company culture and values make it an enviable place to work.

Insight #4:  Workplace expectations have changed. 

Today’s top performers want more out of life than the standard 9-5, in-office work scenario. Fifty-five percent of surveyed candidates said work-from-home options are somewhat to extremely important to them.  Additionally, an “emphasis on work-life balance” was the second most selected attribute by candidates who are consider a job move this year. While the tendency may be to think that candidates want to work less, or that working from home will decrease productivity, top talent want to work more efficiently, any time, and from anywhere. Providing this flexibility is not only attractive to prospective hires, but also creates the potential for happier, engaged employees who feel their work life does not overshadow personal interests and obligations.   

Insight #5: Most companies aren’t prepared for upcoming surge in Baby Boomers retirements.

When asked to describe the upcoming onset of large-scale Baby Boomer retirements, employers and recruiters agreed that most businesses are not prepared for the workforce changes involved with preparing for baby boomer departures. Employers also feel that programs will need to be developed to retain Baby Boomers to alleviate some of this pressure. Organizations that are able to prioritize succession planning and career-pathing now by making it part of their company culture will be better able to respond to baby boomer retirements.

When you consider these 5 hiring insights, it’s clear how they may be impacting your ability to attract top talent in an already tight candidate market. The hiring landscape and candidate expectations have changed. Companies that want to attract and retain the best talent, will need to revisit their interviewing and talent management approaches, to position themselves as a great place to work.

To view the complete Study and a short video recap of these hiring insights that can be easily distributed to others in your organization responsible for hiring, visit MRINetwork.com/Recruiter-Sentiment-Study.

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

Nashville named best city for professional and business services jobs

Nashville, Tennessee, topped Forbes' list of the best cities in the country for professional and business services jobs. 

The publication analyzed labor market data as well as job growth trends to determine its ranking. 

Nashville had the highest growth rate of any city in the country in the professional and business services jobs sector, according to Forbes. It has added 160,300 positions since 2011, representing a 42.6 percent increase. 

The source cited "low taxes and a pro-business regulatory environment" as two of the top factors driving job growth in the city. 

The Nashville city government and Chamber of Commerce have implemented initiatives to support business development and job opportunities in the city, the local NewsChannel5 Network reported. 

"We've very focused on long-term planning, not just planning for tomorrow," said Chief Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Courtney Ross in an interview with the source. "Now we're in the process of planning for the next five years, the next 10 years."

The No. 2 city in Forbes' ranking was Kansas City, Missouri, which has seen 28.4 percent growth in professional and business services jobs since 2011. 

Nashville, Tennessee, topped Forbes' list of the best cities in the country for professional and business services jobs.  The publication analyzed labor market data as well as job growth trends to determine its ranking.  Nashville had the highest growth rate of any city in the country in the professional and business services jobs sector, according to Forbes. It has added 160,300 positions since 2011, representing a 42.6 percent increase.  The source cited "low taxes and a pro-business regulatory environment" as two of the top factors driving job growth in the city.  The Nashville city government and Chamber of Commerce have implemented initiatives to support business development and job opportunities in the city, the local NewsChannel5 Network reported.  "We've very focused on long-term planning, not just planning for tomorrow," said Chief Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Courtney Ross in an interview with the source. "Now we're in the process of planning for the next five years, the next 10 years." The No. 2 city in Forbes' ranking was Kansas City, Missouri, which has seen 28.4 percent growth in professional and business services jobs since 2011. 

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com

Amazon Web Services delivers strong Q1 results

Consumers interact with Amazon daily - sometimes even without their knowledge. Amazon Web Services works on the backend of many websites, connecting sites around the world. Since being introduced in 2002, AWS is now responsible for 10 percent of the company's operating income - and powers websites like Netflix, The Guardian reported.

AWS operating income grew by nearly 50 percent from the same time last year, from January to March 31, Geekwire noted. It also saw a 42 percent growth spurt from the previous quarter. Can Amazon continue to grow AWS? And what does it mean for the tech industry?

As consumers continue to integrate IoT devices such as Alexa in their homes and utilize the ample amount of storage in the cloud, there may be no stopping the tech giant. Wa-Mart is one company that, after hearing news of Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, is telling its tech vendors to work with another provider other than AWS. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Compute stand as the two biggest competitors in the market.

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com

BLS Employment Situation Report: May 2017

The U.S. added 138,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate edged down from 4.4 percent in April to settle at 4.3 percent, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate is currently at its lowest level in 16 years, Bloomberg noted. However, the number of jobs gained fell short of economists' expectations, which predicted the addition of 182,000 jobs.

"Job growth is a little disappointing, but enough to continue tightening the labor market," said JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief U.S. Economist Michael Feroli, in an interview with the source. "This doesn't change the overall story of an economy that generally seems to be growing above trend and reducing slack."

Since January, the number of unemployed has dropped by nearly 780,000, and the unemployment has fallen 0.5 percentage point.

Both the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio decreased slightly in May. Over the year, the number of discouraged workers declined by 183,000.

Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 138,000 during the month. Average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll employees increased by 4 cents to reach $26.22. Average hourly earnings for private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were $22.00, an increase of 3 cents.

Sector-wise, professional and business services added the most jobs in May, gaining 38,000 positions. Job gains in this segment have averaged 46,000 per month this year.

Food services and drinking places employment increased by 30,000 jobs.

Healthcare added 24,000 positions, with 13,000 in ambulatory healthcare services and 7,000 at hospitals.

Mining employment increased by 7,000, bringing total job gains in the industry since its October 2016 low to 47,000.

There was little employment change in construction, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information and construction.

According to Bloomberg, the tightening U.S. labor market is expected to push the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates at their meeting June 13-14.

The Trevi Group  |  www.TheTreviGroup.com 

Video: Retain Your Clients By Retaining Your Employees

Suppose you have a client who deals with a specific representative within your organization on a regular basis. Then that client starts to see multiple employees being funneled through that position. Every time the client contacts you, they’re dealing with a new person. What does this say to your client about your company? Countless negative things can be inferred from a high turnover rate, which often results in the loss of your clients to another company they perceive as better managed and more reliable.

Click to watch the video.

“Most clients regard a revolving door of employee contacts as annoying at best, and a deal breaker at worst,” says Alicia Sinay, senior franchise development manager for MRINetwork. “Businesses are increasingly relying on relationships, and it’s much easier to maintain the relationships you’ve cultivated with your clients when you don’t have to brief a new person on your business goals every six months, or repeat work that has already been completed as a new employee is being brought up to speed.”

While losing clients means a loss of income for your company, a high turnover rate has the capacity to be even more far-reaching and damaging in today’s candidate-driven marketplace. That’s why your strategy to retain clients should include retaining the employees who serve those clients.

If your goal is to foster employees who are satisfied with their position, you should be aware they expect the following:

  • Ability to use their talent and skills in the workplace. Many of your people could contribute far more than they currently do, if their managers take the time to tap into their skills, talent and experience. Whenever possible, allow them to focus their time and energy on projects they enjoy. Show employees you trust them by giving them responsibilities that provide the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in other areas. Your business may benefit from applying their knowledge and experience to expanded job duties.
  • Frequent opportunities to learn and grow in their careers, knowledge and skill. Without the opportunity to work on new projects, serve on challenging and significant teams, and attend seminars and classes, they will stagnate - and ultimately leave your company. Career pathing is a great way for employees and managers to map out an upward mobility track, while placing the responsibility on the employee to achieve certain goals in order to receive a promotion, salary increase or both.
  • Awards and Recognition. A simple thank you or a congratulatory award often goes a long way in recognizing a job well done. That said, monetary rewards and bonuses, tied to accomplishments and achievements, can be even more motivating.
  • Communication with their managers. In addition to exit interviews when employees are leaving, routinely ask your employees why they stay. Ask questions such as: Why did you decide to accept a role within the organization? What are your nonnegotiable issues? What would you change or improve? Then use that information to strengthen your employee retention strategies.

Putting these effective retention strategies in place is key to retaining employees and better serving your clients. “Create an environment that stimulates employee satisfaction by incorporating motivation-building practices into your corporate culture,” advises Sinay. “Listen to your employees, respect their opinions, and be available to help with everything from ideas and concerns to assisting them with their career advancement.”

Employees need to feel valued and appreciated, be given feedback, provided with growth opportunities and work-life balance options, and have trust and confidence in their leaders. In this kind of environment, employees deliver higher-than-expected levels of service to each and every client. They take pride in their company and in their work, resulting in retention both of your workforce and your client base.

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com 

Demand grows for data engineers

As the use of big data expands, the demand is growing for professionals who can design the systems and network architecture that effectively gather, store and present this data. 

The value of big data is in the strategic insights it offers, which are uncovered by data scientists and analysts. However, it turns out that data engineers may be the missing element that makes company's big data initiatives successful.

Brian Hills, head of data at Innovation Centre noted in an article for Data Economy, "One of the key learnings from the past few years is that success with data cannot be dependent on data scientists alone ... Using only this approach within a business creates a cottage industry that limits ability to scale and generates a significant number of risks." 

He writes that data engineers also need to be part of the team, as they build the systems that enable data to be analyzed. There is growing demand for these professionals, with Stitch Data finding just 6,500 people with data engineer titles on LinkedIn and 6,600 job openings for data engineers in San Francisco alone. 

Some 42 percent of data engineers have a background in software engineering, research by Stitch Data showed, while the top five data engineering skills are SQL, Java, Python, Hadoop and Linux. 

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com

BLS Employment Situation Report: April 2017

The U.S. job market bounced back in April, adding 211,000 nonfarm payroll jobs during the month, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The gains exceeded Bloomberg economists' prediction of 190,000 jobs added, and followed a weaker-than-expected March that saw 79,000 jobs added, revised down from the previously reported 98,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate fell from 4.5 percent in March to 4.4 percent in April, which is the lowest rate since May 2007, Reuters reported. The unemployment rate has dropped by 0.6 percentage point over the year. The labor force participation rate was relatively unchanged in April at 62.9 percent.

Industry-wise in April:

  • Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs, gaining 55,000 new positions. Employment grew in the food services and drinking places sector by 26,000.
  • Professional and business services followed, adding 39,000 positions. Over the year, employment in the industry has expanded by 612,000 jobs.
  • Healthcare and social assistance gained 37,000 positions, on par with its monthly average so far for 2017.
  • Financial activities employment grew by 19,000, with the gains largely driven by insurance activity.
  • Mining added 9,000 jobs.

Average hourly earnings for all private nonfarm payroll employees increased by 7 cents in April to reach $26.19. Last week, a government report was released that showed private sector wages had their biggest growth in a decade in the first quarter of 2017, according to Reuters.

With the strengthening employment figures, the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates later this year.

"Labor market conditions remain robust and continue to tighten," said Chief Financial Economist Ward McCarthy of Jefferies LLC in New York, according to Bloomberg. "This data will keep the Fed on track for a preferred 2017 normalization timeline of rate hikes in June and September and the first step toward balance-sheet normalization in December."

Bloomberg also noted that income gains, particularly in real estate prices and stock, have contributed to a more positive consumer outlook.

The Trevi Group | www.TheTreviGroup.com