Growth Opportunities Remain Promising in New Year 2020

Cyndy Fuhro

CDI has always overcome IT staffing and recruiting challenges by creating opportunities for motivated employees to discover their passions, sharpen skills, and drive growth while also working with a talented team, completing shared goals, and building new memories as part of its growing business community. In this article, Cyndy Fuhro, AVP of Staffing and Recruiting explains how CDI is positioned to maximize the opportunities ahead and shares her insights on the economy, job growth, hiring trends, and recruiting.

By Cyndy Fuhro, Associate Vice President of Staffing and Recruiting, CDI

Despite a few rumbles of thunder, including interest rate declines and weaker-than-expected monthly job growth numbers, the hiring frenzy that characterized 2018 and 2019 appears to be rolling steadily along as a new decade arrives with mixed but generally healthy economic data infused with strong technology trends and opportunities.

Advanced medical devices, machine learning, solar panels, electric cars, blockchain, technology convergence, new connected devices and mobile apps, audio sunglasses with wireless earbuds (a personal favorite), augmented reality, AI, and other innovations we could only imagine just 15 years ago are now everywhere.

Based on the latest quarterly job data and trends we’re seeing at CDI, we are optimistic about the new year; however, we also find ourselves, like other industry leaders, embracing a sense of reserved caution and renewed focus.

Above all else, we are noticing a significant trend away from traditional in-house staffing. Companies are no longer interested in finding and developing their own direct new hires. The funding, expertise, and time to develop that new growth is just not there—it’s risky, and expensive, and so much talent is available through contractors right now who offer substantial value in terms of what they offer. Instead, we are seeing strong use of the consultant labor pool with short-term contracts and right-to-hire engagements.

In this blog, I’ll share some economic data, provide several observations, and then offer some advice about the job market.

Employment Numbers

Today, in calendar year 2019 Q4, we are still experiencing steady monthly job growth. September added 136,000 new jobs. However, for the year as a whole, 2019 average monthly job growth is down 27.8 percent from what it was in 2018. Even so, I think we’ll see continued steady growth through 2020 because 2019 numbers are steady and tracking well, and also because the advancements in technology look so promising.

Last month alone, our economy added:

  • 34,000 new jobs in professional and business services
  • 22,000 in government with most new hiring in local government
  • 39,000 new jobs in healthcare

Some analysts are quick to emphasize the downward trend and caution against new hiring, while others remind us that our economy added over 40,000 more jobs than were originally forecasted for July and August.

Either way, at 3.5 percent, we are enjoying the lowest unemployment rate since 1969!

Staffing Observations

CDI, our partners, and enterprise accounts are excited by the growth opportunities ahead including cloud automation and analytics. Watching AWS, Azure, and other cloud platforms carefully, we are positioned for parallel growth. What was a highly specialized focus on DevOps has crystallized into a mainstream business requirement, with every industry from manufacturing to retail jumping on board. Organizations will continue to automate more of their businesses.

At the same time, advances in data analytics are penetrating every industry. As a result, our consulting services business for enterprise accounts is increasing exponentially. Our clients are thrilled, and our staff are happy to help architect and deliver in all these areas.

Leadership in our Professional Services division is actively evaluating new and established markets, following the business development approval process, and making decisions about where we need to hire based on revenue goals. As a staffing professional, it is then my responsibility to identify new candidates with the requisite skills for these posted openings. The largest portion of my time is invested in finding and assessing top talent.

One thing people often don’t immediately understand about my profession is that my staffing goals extend beyond internal hiring and talent development into the realm of exterior or client-facing staff augmentation. Our installed base of clients relies on our partnership to fulfill their recruiting needs, ranging anywhere from a short three-month engagement to a one or two-year placement with an option to hire.

Advice to Recruiters and Job-Seekers

Looking at the past year, I would say the following common staffing and recruiting questions and answers will continue to shape the hiring landscape in the new year:

What role does social media play? We like social media a lot! So if you’re talented and want to work at CDI or you want to engage us for your next project, we look forward to connecting online. Check out our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages, where we always post our latest career openings.

Do we look at resumes on job sites? We do look at job sites and we want to find you. More importantly, we want to interview you and get to know you. To help us do that, we enjoy working with recruiting vendors, partners, and other sources who cultivate meaningful hands-on contact. Beyond your resume, we want to know how you’re unique, and we feel your authentic best self is revealed only through strong recruiters who understand people first, and technology second.

Can I submit my resume to CDI directly? Sure, and we will give it our full attention. However, we recognize market dynamics and often see more success in acquiring top talent through indirect recruitment. By courting the best candidates through an indirect route, we leverage active recruiter relationships, pre-screen for key presentation skills, and end up with the right balance of character, charm, and competitive expertise.

Why is the same job posting still up after 90 days or more? You might see us post high-demand roles on a revolving basis because we need to keep an active roster of candidates. Typically, these jobs require multiple hires with special knowledge, skills, and industry experience. Filling multiple positions on a rolling basis means multiple interviews for multiple candidates, and thus, job postings that remain up indefinitely.

Do you hire more candidates on a permanent or temporary basis? Lately, we are seeing a slower pace on new permanent positions and also fewer sponsored foreign labor visas, reflecting perhaps a mix of the current political climate and the significant paperwork requirements. For niche skills such as ServiceNow, virtualization, and workload automation, we can instead leverage our partners to find the right talent on a W2 or 1099 basis.

How do referrals factor into the hiring process? Network, network, network! If you know someone already working here who can attest to your skills and abilities, it does help. Almost one in three new hires is the result of an employee referral. We’ll also admit we prefer to promote from within the company. Referral relationships promote a shared sense of culture, trust, and familiarity.

What resume advice do you want to give to job-seekers? Fact-check your resume. Yes, we will verify certain information. We do background checks, of course, but we also invest a great deal of time in pre-screening candidates. We want to assess how articulate you are about your passions, uncover your own personal brand and communication style, and gauge where your values align. We like to see candidates who are prepared to support their experience and qualifications.

Thinking about joining us? Visit our careers page here and view CDI’s open positions!

Source for the labor data cited in this article: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Cyndy Fuhro

Cyndy Fuhro, Associate Vice President of Staffing and Recruiting, CDI

Cyndy Fuhro, Account Manager, Computer Design & Integration LLC, is a proven IT innovative sales representative with over 25 years experience in the retail sector. In her current role, Cyndy is responsible for selling hybrid IT technology solutions that solve today’s complex business challenges for the retail marketplace, while cultivating existing account relationships and generating new opportunities. Cyndy is a seasoned sales veteran that knows how to service clients while partnering with various technical advisers. Cyndy holds a BA in psychology/business administration from Wagner College and is active in her local church community.