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Good News

Good news – we are seeing real signs that the economy is on its way to recovery. There are lots of good signs indicating that the worst is over. Not that I expect hiring wars by the end of the summer, but I do believe that we are slowly regaining our economic legs.

Companies continue to engage us on executive level hires ($100K+) at a rate seemingly unaffected by these economic times. This trend is supported by companies willing to take advantage of this market to upgrade their staff. Unfortunately, this is great news if you are being recruited – bad news if you are looking for work. The trend continues in demanding the “perfect” candidate. I am only half-way joking when I say that clients don’t want to interview unless the candidate has 12 of the 10 job requirements.

But in my opinion the best news is from the contract / temporary front. We are finally seeing companies moving forward on projects. This is great news for a variety of reasons: first, staffing is a leading economic indicator. When the demand for Contract Staffing goes up, the overall economy is not far behind. Second, it means that companies are becoming less fearful of the future. They are optimistic about the economic outlook which translates first into flexible contractors and eventually permanent employees.

I heard on the news this morning that the “worst of the recession is over, and that the economy is slowly improving.” The continued need for Executive Search and the increase in demand for Contract Staff supports that notion.

So what skills are hot?

Tax skills remain in high demand – especially exposure to Corporate Income Tax and FAS 109. CPAs with large CPA firm exposure followed by corporate exposure remain sought after. These CPAs are most often being considered for roles ranging from Staff to Senior Accountant.

Industries that have weathered these times well include:

• Service – We continue to see the highest demand from Companies in the Service arena, especially with companies who offer low dollar / high volume transactions. For instance, we have seen a great deal of business from the fast food industry – but much less business from upper scale restaurants.
• Alternative Energy – We are starting to see the demand from companies who are in the business of supplying the technology needed to generate energy from alternative energy sources. This is a new, but very exciting addition to the Atlanta market.
• Technology – I have to be careful here. Some technology has been hit by these economic times. Other areas of technology are thriving. Painting with a broad brush, smaller companies who offer value driven products or software companies with a relatively low price point seem to be the organizations that have negotiated these times most effectively. We have served these organizations at all levels, but we’ve been most successful recently in helping these companies search for a Controller.

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