September 8, 2021

Hirewell Data Insights Q3 2021


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Highlights

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Three months ago, we released the first installment of Hirewell’s Data Insights series.  We crunched the numbers that we had seen over the previous 12 months to paint a picture of the hiring market.  The job market flatlined (Q2 2020) and then rebounded  (Q1 2021) in the span of 9 months.  

Another quarter is in the books. We are back with the latest installment.  And guess what?  The numbers point to even more hiring activity. To give you some context, Hirewell has 75 recruiters that focus across 6 functional areas.  Hiring was up significantly in all areas:

  • Tech
  • Digital/Marketing 
  • Human Resources, 
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Sales
  • Real Estate Services

In Q2, we completed nearly 500 hires across 100+ different clients. I don’t say those numbers to brag (though I’m extremely proud of our team).  This is real hiring data from companies on a national basis. We continue to see some fascinating trends.

They included:

  • 355% – increase in year over year activity (Q2 2020)
  • 38% – increase in quarter over quarter activity (Q1 2021)
  • 32% – increase in demand for Software Engineers (no surprise)
  • 57% – increase in demand for Recruiters (continues to be amazing)
  • 73% – Software Engineering Hires were fully remote
  • 50% – Recruiting Hires were fully remote
  • 0 – Number of Software Engineering Hires that were fully onsite

And much more, so check out our video!

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Episode Transcript

Welcome everyone to the Talent Insights podcast brought to you by Hirewell and Careerwell. Today I’m joined once again by someone who doesn’t need an introduction, but I’ll give him one anyway. The founder, managing partner at Hirewell, Matt Massucci. Hey, James. Thanks for having me. I know how excited you get whenever we have these conversations.

Anyway. So special segment today. We vowed to do this once a quarter. So this is number two, second time we’re doing it. Hirewell data insights, the hiring trends for Q3 2021. Technically it’s the hiring trends for Q2 since we’re actually talking about last, but whatever it’s Q3 right now. So I’d like to timestamp it thought in case people are watching us in the future, so they know exactly what we’re talking about. It’s been a weird year, in a good way. And I know you put together a bunch of data points for us to kind of talk about here and I think you coined this, like literally 15 minutes ago, when we were kind of prepping for this.

There’s always a lot of takes out there about how crazy the market is, how nuts hiring is, but we don’t see a whole lot about any numbers behind that to give people context. And I think a lot of our audience, a lot of our audience internally that’s recruiters or HR they kind of know this inherently, but they might not actually know the numbers behind it.

And I do think also a lot of our audience isn’t focused on recruiting. There’s some stuff here that especially when we talk about the market for recruiters themselves they might be completely unaware of. But anyways, why don’t you, so I’ll let you kind of take a floor here. Talking about kind of the first section of this.

We want to talk about kind of what our numbers have looked like internally because I think that’s kind of an interesting story as a recruiting firm ourselves. Yeah, absolutely. We made a focus over the last year to try to use more data to tell our stories as you’ve coined it, data-driven storytelling.

Pretty sure I stole that from someone else, but whatever. I’ll trademark anything I can. Exactly. Especially something that can’t really be trademarked. As we’ve grown throughout the years, and we do a lot of different things, we have some interesting data to talk about. So it’s kind of a little bit of a pain to pull, but once you do it, you see some interesting stuff and it’s nice to see some context.

And so when we got together three months ago to do this Q1, that was an interesting one because as we talked about then, the rebound from the disaster that was Q2 of 2020 was kind of a distant memory. And we got off to an amazing start in Q1 of this year and then kind of looking at our numbers from Q2, the crazy thing is, it was up even more.

Internally we stopped looking year over year. It made no sense to start comparing to 2020 as soon as we got into Q2. But just for a way to think about it, the two numbers we’re looking at are both hires and job orders. So I think it was a kind of two key metrics.

Our Q2 numbers are up 355%. So almost four times what they were from Q2 2020. We knew Q2 of 2020 was bad but that just shows how bad it was. It’s like looking at a stock market chart, if you could buy the very bottom and sell at the very top, that’s basically what this year looked like.

So anyway. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, obviously we didn’t quite do that, but at least we were living it. So we got to take a part of it a little bit. But I think it was interesting, was the difference from even Q1. So again, looking back on Q1 2021 was much bigger than I think a lot of people expected. Well Q2, our numbers across the border up 38% from Q1.

So when we start looking at quarter over quarter, numbers were different. Again, being up almost 40%. It was shocking. That’s sort of what we saw sort of industry wide. Not to- it might cut into your next point a little bit, but when I have been talking to people, just kind of anecdotally about like the growth we’ve seen, I go back to November last year, November 2020, it’s one of our top five biggest month ever at that point in time, which we thought maybe it’s a fluke.

I don’t know. And then obviously this year kind of started off strong, which we talked about in our last show, but we’ve essentially for the first six months of this year we had like our biggest month ever every month. Six months in a row, which is like- it’s so silly that like, you can’t even believe something like that

would happen like a year ago? It’s not even something to be in my mind, but yeah. Whether it’s sustainable, you know, probably not but we’re going to ride it while it’s there. And then I started looking at just kind of what the sequential quarter over quarter numbers were. Q4, again using that Q2 2020 is a low point, by Q4 it’s up by 56%.

Then kind of the next quarter is up 64% and then up 38%. The runaway explosive growth might be slowing a little bit, but it definitely hasn’t stopped.

Again, everything was up but where we saw the biggest ones was a little bit surprising, both marketing and then finance and accounting. And obviously you’re kind of our resident marketing expert. Do you have some thoughts on that one? Marketing’s always the area that- I think we had some sales data to be interesting. I would say that it’s always kind of the- I guess that’s an offensive thing to say now. Are we allowed to say it’s like the stepchild compared to sales how it’s looked at from senior management?

I mean it depends if Dawn is listening. No, but it’s just I feel like the spend always from like, especially from my company, from SaaS companies, everyone else, like everyone pumps money into sales, gets more directly tied to revenue right now. At least that’s the perception. Whereas marketing is seen as more of a, it absolutely moves the needle but I think not as many companies prioritize it as highly as they should.

And it’s not until they hit that next level when they want to continue growing that they pour money into it. So it doesn’t surprise me that it lags a little bit further behind. Yeah. And I think finance and accounting was even more so, at least from what we saw because it’s just it’s an area that’s conservative.

It is always a bit FNAs, and that we see being a little bit slow Q1 just with kind of year-end close for a lot of companies and audits and busy season. So it’s natural. There’s a little bit of a heavier rebound in Q2, but you know, it was to the tune of a 250% increase from Q1, which was quite large.

So the next section I want to talk about here was actually just the hottest roles. The first one’s going to shock everybody who’s not in recruiting. It’s not going to shock anybody who’s in recruiting, but I’ll let you- so I’ll lead this off. Hottest things we work on: recruiters themselves, which people don’t always know that

we do that. Like, yes, we have a team that places recruiters at our clients. We’re not just a firm that has our own recruiters and the hiring for that’s been absolutely insane, which Matt will talk about in a second here. The second area, which will be no surprise to anybody, software engineers.

Give everyone some context on the recruitment numbers because I think it’ll be eye opening for people who aren’t kind of in the know of this stuff. Yeah. I mean, so Q1 we definitely saw like, that’s when that trend really started to come to life. I’ll take it back to last year when, for those of you that didn’t tune in to our Q1 insights, which- what were you doing? That you were that busy, but say you were, the market for recruiters from Q2 through Q3

was dead. That practice of ours, I think did one recruiting hire in six months. By Q4 it started to open up and then Q1, they were doing probably 10 a month. So it got big. Giving context, that practice typically that position for Hirewell, typically it always is our second, like most commonly filled position behind software engineers any year.

So for them to do one deal in the span of five months, is abnormal obviously, but continue. Yeah. And luckily they were busy doing some other things. So it was, you know, it all worked out but it was obviously not a sustainable business practice to have one of our largest areas only do one hire in six months. Anyway, so Q1 was large.

But again, the biggest growth we saw from Q1 to Q2 was in recruiters. The market for recruiters or that the demand was up 57%. Again, any metric you want to look, whether it was hires that we conducted or you know job orders that came through or had open jobs.

I mean, it was massive. In our newsletter that we put out this week Ryan and Rosanna did a talk about it and it just again, it’s things we’re seeing across the board. It’s been huge. One thing we didn’t do that I want to start doing more of is the salary trends.

Again, pulling this data gets a little bit cumbersome, but you know, we are getting better at it. And then we saw the average salary for recruiters, top over six figures at a 102k, and again, those were for placements that we made. And again, that was roughly just under 50 for the quarter. The average salary being, 102k. So it’s up. I think we’re seeing it both internally when we look at people we’re trying to hire, but then also people that are going to our clients Yeah. I think that for those who aren’t in the know about this stuff, like the amount of the demand for recruiters period across the board has companies- it all stems from software dev. So maybe it also makes sense to kind of get into that. But the demand for recruiters comes from the demand for software devs is so extremely high that companies are hiring recruiters, either firm services like ours or recruiters outright, just to kind of fuel the demand they have for more dev work.

But continue on that point. Yeah. I guess one further point I’d make is, if you’re not aware of kind of what the big tech companies do, I mean, it’s massive. Their internal TA functions are huge. You know, you look at a place like Google or Facebook. I mean, their internal TA is hundreds or thousands of people nationwide.

They’ll have more people in their talent acquisition function than most companies have total employees. So that’s what you’re competing against. And then the next wave of unicorns is trying to emulate it. And again, they’re all fighting over the same talent and so how do you find that talent, like hire more recruiters?

There’s literally places who have bought recruiting firms as a way of bumping up their own- which is something I thought I’d never see in my entire life. But as you said, what’s driving it or the straw that serves the drink is engineers and product.

The numbers there are massive. I mean, that is always going to be our biggest area. Looking through just kind of the raw hires we conducted in Q2 is just under a hundred you know engineering product hires. That was up 32% from Q1. This was by no means a lack of demand from clients,

it’s purely a lack or inability to find more engineers. Again, obviously that’s why companies are coming to us but it’s also there’s not enough of them out there. And it is a challenge. Then the other trend we saw there was 119,000 for the average salary for an engineer.

Which again, that was of the good probably 10% from even six months prior- and that’s all levels, right? Like junior. Correct. So yeah, that factors in some junior, everything from junior- The salary for juniors, I mean it’s 80k+. There’s not like, obviously we’ve been out of school a long time.

No idea of when you and I got out of school that anybody who was making 80k at any position in their first job is like mind numbing. But where did we go wrong Matt? They’re smart enough to be engineers James. That’s. I come to grips with that a long time ago. So again, a trend we’re hearing, we’re talking to is obviously remote work, work from anywhere, hybrid work or onsite and what are companies looking for?

And you see tons of studies, you see tons of information out there but it’s still more anecdotal than I’d like. So what we did is we went through every hire that we did and was it fully remote? Was it a hybrid remote, or was it fully onsite? And had a feeling where the trends were going to come in, but seeing the numbers was pretty fascinating. I ran some LinkedIn polls. I’m not going to go through the numbers of LinkedIn polls because they’re freaking LinkedIn polls, but it was pretty obvious just from talking to people that you significantly cut down the size of your recruiting pole

or your recruiting talent pool, if you’re not open to complete remote or hybrid. Like if you’re trying to bring everybody back on site in these skill sets, you’re doing yourself a disservice. So here are the real numbers of clients who they actually hired through us, for both your engineers and recruiters. Engineers, 73%, 73, fully remote,

27% hybrid, remote and onsite, zero onsite. Think about that for a second. Zero onsite. That’s what you’re competing against is every single engineer who’s out there has opportunities to be both either fully remote or a hybrid situation. Recruiters is not that far off either. Recruiters we placed this year, 50% fully remote.

So 50% of the recruiters out there now have fully remote jobs. At least the ones that we were able to place. So that’s how popular the opportunities out there. Hybrid also 50%, once again, zero fully onsite. Why would anyone- like there are so many jobs out there that either give you the hybrid flexibility or the fully remote you’re looking for.

If you think you’re going to be able to hire anybody good at scale, I should say, it’s just mind boggling that any company who doesn’t realize how hamstrung they are by trying to get people back on site. And I hate to say it even- I guess in certain situations, I mean hybrids clearly working. 50/50 on the recruiter side but when 73% of our engineers are taking fully remote positions, even being hybrid you’re kind of hamstrung.

Yeah. Yeah. I know you’ve put out a lot of content on LinkedIn about the fully remote or hybrid and it’s interesting. I mean being based in Chicago, our client base is very diverse with a pretty heavy emphasis on financial services. And that tends to be the area that still is holding out and wanting their people

onsite some or all the time. We’re not going to go too far down that path, but where it really is interesting is engineers because those firms have tremendously large tech and engineering groups. And so I have to think that there’s a lot more flexibility there because all those companies may be a little bit stubborn,

they’re not stupid. And I think like if you’re competing against Google or Facebook or these companies that, you know, Amazon that made it very clear that their people can sit anywhere, how is Goldman or how’s Morgan Stanley going to keep up and that’s the level of talent that they want.

So I’m kind of interested in that but you know, again, the amount of calls we get from prospective clients looking to hire has been high. I mean we’re fortunate to be seeing a lot of inbound stuff, but for the places that can not flex, I mean for anybody

who’s looking for heavy, heavy onsite. It’s probably our single biggest, like, “Sorry, we unfortunately can’t help you because there’s just not a market for it.” I like the term, the great resignation about as much as I like the term rockstars when referring to candidates. But that being said, I don’t think it’s happened yet even because the way the Delta varient has picked up, even the places that we’re talking about bringing everybody back full-time, they’ve kind of punted.

So I don’t think that’s even happened yet. So I think personally, like as much as I hate making predictions, whatever’s going to happen I don’t think has even shook out yet. So the fact that the numbers are already this high with a fully remote and hybrid, it will make it really interesting when the financial companies, or other places finally do start forcing people back either how quickly they adjust or how quickly they start losing people.

But that looks like a Q4 thing at this point. We’re saying it’s not the great resignation, it’s just the new normal. If you hate that term- the new normal has been turned into three or four different things for the past year too, so I don’t even know what that’s going to be. Agreed. I hate any catchphrase

I didn’t invent myself, but go ahead. Yeah. Yeah. So, and I think the last interesting kind of trend we want to talk about is the difference between staffing and then direct hire and for people that don’t understand, staffing could be interim temp, contract, whatever the term you to call it.

I mean, it’s always been a portion of what we do. We’re not one of the big kind of staffing contract shops. But we do a bunch. What we do do is meet with our clients where they’re at and go where their demand is and help them find talent kind of wherever it needs to be and kind of in whatever form.

And so looking at the trends for kind of our contract activity was pretty fascinating. Do you want to kind of go through those numbers? Yeah. So Q1, 46% of our hires were contract. 55% of HR roles were contract. So that ultimately means companies were not ready to hire full-time so they were looking for people who can start on contract basis.

Maybe rolled them into it eventually. Q2 where things got interesting. So 46 is your baseline. That’s what things were in the first quarter. So the interesting point was in Q2, 29% of hires were contract. So things got much more aligned with how maybe things were historically. Now I said, before the pandemic that contract to hire was dead because contract to hire became a model-

as things are really hot going way back, very beginning of 2020, no one’s looking to hire a contract to hire. Pandemic happens. I kind of ate my words because it became an employer’s market real quick and contract to hire without people were getting stuff done. So I had to take an L on that one. Even in Q1 this year, when things are still hot, things are warming up, things were hot in Q1 this year. There are still a good amount of contract to hire at that point in contract work.

But Q2, it just evaporated once again, like it’s back down. So kind of pre pandemic levels. And it’s just not really a way I think that’s feasible to get anything done if it’s a high demand position anymore. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, when we’re doing these numbers three months ago, I didn’t really look at kind of the- I looked at the total numbers and looked at some various things, but I didn’t look at the split between contract and direct hire.

I wanted to do it this time just to see what kind of the numbers showed. So that 46% kind of caught me a little bit off guard from Q1. I knew we did a lot because I saw our volume go through the roof. But it was just surprising. And you hit on the head, where it was really like the demand for contract recruiters was tremendous in Q1 and quite frankly, the demand is still there.

We’re still seeing the same number of job openings or kind of requisitions coming through for that. There’s just, there’s nobody looking for- nobody’s open to contract recruiting roles. I shouldn’t say nobody, that’s a generalization, but not a lot. And so companies realize, all right well, if we can’t find the talent we need on a contract basis then they’ll raise their salaries and start looking at FTs.

Yeah. I mean, I think people who did take contracts, were able to get long-term contracts, you know? So it’s just that when everyone’s locked in long-term, longer than normal it’s like- the talent supply for that’s obviously lower than normal. And here we are, we’re in a market where our number two, 57% increase in recruiters from Q2 over Q1.

Anyway. Yeah. And then the one other trend there was we did see the rates for recruiters up 10%, either just quarter over quarter, which is a huge jump. And again, I think that’s less, I think we’ll see even more of that because there’s some companies who, especially bigger firms, contingent labor is just a big part of their philosophy for talent.

And so it’s much easier for them to raise rates for consultants or staffing than it is for FTEs. Again, that’s a whole different conversation, but I do think those would be things we continue to see go up. So it’ll be fascinating. Again, hopefully when we do our Q4 data insights, which is actually talking about Q3- and we’ll do it a little bit sooner in the quarter

so it’ll be a little bit more timely, but I can’t promise that. So yeah. It all comes down to when you have the free time to pull some data together and figure out what’s going to be interesting. Yeah, exactly. You know, it’s exciting stuff. It’s a great market. It’s an interesting one and I think companies are getting smart to it and trying to get ahead of things

and we’re seeing places kind of listen and ask for help more than I have in the past where usually companies think, “Oh, we got it. We have it all figured out.” Where now, we see a lot more people looking to talk and looking to just get a gauge or a pulse on kind of what to do or sort of how to go about things.

I think this was a really tight episode. I think we just, we get better every time we do something together. Exactly. Alright everyone out there, thanks again for tuning into the talent insights podcast. If you want to hear more of what Matt and I have to say, you can subscribe to the Hirewell channel on YouTube.

You can check us out on our media site, which is another thing we launched this past quarter, You can also get to the talent insights podcast, which is available on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Amazon and Spotify. Matt, pleasure as always and everyone out there, we will see you soon.

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