"Is anyone even hiring right now?" "For what roles are people hiring?" "What jobs are available right now for me?"
This is the theme of conversations I've been having with a lot of people these days. So I thought it might be good to provide some context of what I am seeing in the market - both talking to my recruiter friends and also doing some research on job sites. I've told you before that we're very likely going into a recession. How deep it is, will be determined by how long the world-wide lock-downs continue. I also have told you that in spite of people saying life first, economy second, as an Economist, I disagree- purely because lives don't exist in vacuums.
I've been reading chilling tales of people in India who're walking thousands of kilometres and dying en-route to save their lives. Then there are the daily wage earners who are not as lucky as us in the corporate world, and who need to go out and work everyday to make sure that there's food on the table. So, to me the economy is lives as much as health is lives. Due to the nature of my experience and expertise though, there's little I can do to help the poor and the daily wage labourer. However, with posts like these I hope that you will have the abundance of money and food and will help people forward - people who are less fortunate than you. If you're asking how, a simple way would be - pay your cleaner or nanny, even if they're unable to attend work. But to do that, I need to ensure that you're well positioned with a job.
But what roles are hiring right now? This is what I am seeing:
Technical roles - These roles are in demand purely because most of the systems and organisations run on technology these days. Don't mistake it for fancy technical titles though like Chief Innovation Officer. Why? Because in downturns companies go into survival mode rather than innovation mode. I've heard of several data science teams being chopped because they were only running proof-of-concepts rather than delivering value. In a downturn, the key is to deliver value. If you can innovate and deliver value, great! But value first.
Senior strategic roles, especially ones created by people moving - No time like right now if you want to step up in your career and come in to provide a strategic perspective. Senior strategy roles are still in demand, but to be fair, most of them are being created by people moving around rather than new ones being created.
Minimal BAU roles required to run the organisation - Right now it's about lights on rather than posh events. People who are keeping the lights on are still in their jobs. Right now, it probably comes down more to BAU in technical roles rather than BAU across. What do I mean by this? If you're a key worker, your role is safe. So if you're the chef in a restaurant who has pivoted to be a take away, you're okay, but if you're a waiter, you are not. The roles that are key to making sure that the organisation continues through the crisis are the ones that are still hiring for.
Roles in supply chain and delivery optimisation - Other than Amazon, most companies weren't used to this new norm of taking orders, processing and delivering. So obviously companies are looking at optimising supply chains. If you're in the domain and if you touch supply chains as a part of your job, you're in demand. If you want to get into the domain, no time like now!
Healthcare roles - This one is a no brainer with the Covid-19 crisis. I won't go into more details but healthcare roles all across are hiring. And if you're a banker, a consultant or a PE house and work with the industry, you are in demand! :)
Contract roles - This is interesting but makes sense. During a downturn, companies don't want to commit to roles. So if they need work done, hiring contractors are much easier. So, if you're interested in staying afloat or want to check out the contracting market, this might be an interesting time. Though, if you're in a permanent role, I'd suggest staying put unless you've a year of emergency savings in place.
Finally, I've told you that my phone is still ringing and that's probably because of a combination of things. I blend technical knowledge and strategic thinking. So if you have multiple skills and you can leverage and reposition yourself you'll be always in demand, recession or boom.
What are you seeing in the market? Let me know!