WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE SEXY JOBS?

by Matt Thomas

Here in Colorado, the unemployment rate at the end of February 2020 was 2.5%. Last week alone, 105,000 Coloradoans filed for unemployment. In one week the unemployment claims eclipsed the total claims filed here in 2019. Roughly 22 million people have filed for unemployment in the last four weeks across the country. By the end of April, some economists believe unemployment will reach 20%. Others have stated on record that up to 50 million jobs are at risk because of covid-19 related fallout. That’s one-third of our workforce here in the states. Woof.

Just two months ago we were working to put together a training program for our recruiters to help them find strong candidates in a tight labor market. Things have changed quite literally overnight.

Just two months ago we were working to put together a training program for our recruiters to help them find strong candidates in a tight labor market. Things have changed quite literally overnight. The flood of talent is just starting to hit the job market and employers need to prepare to work as efficiently as possible to sift through the onslaught of resumes and the candidates they represent. If you don’t have a plan, and the proper mechanisms in place, you’re going to get buried.

The past few weeks my inbox and voicemail have been overloaded with talented people now on the hunt for new opportunities. Many have blinked and watched their dream job disappear. Several on track for a life-altering promotion are now considering filing for unemployment. I can hear the pain in their voice. It’s brutal.

A few have noticed that some of the “sexier” positions we were looking to fill are no longer available. “Business Analyst for VC Startup,” “Communication & Engagement Specialist,” “Development Director,” etc. All on pause for the foreseeable future. Here are a few of the positions we are actively looking to fill: “Roofing Sales Associate,” “Retaining Wall Foreman,” “VP of Operations” for a car wash chain. Sexy? Nope. But are they great businesses led by men and women of character who lead and pay their people well? Absolutely. So what happened to all of the sexy jobs?

Sexy? Nope. But are they great businesses led by men and women of character who lead and pay their people well? Absolutely. So what happened to all of the sexy jobs?

Let me cut to the chase. Like you, I’m hopeful that our economy warms back up sooner than later. People are suffering and the fallout is serious. Stimulus checks and government-backed forgivable loans are great but they have a shelf life. If you are hoping that you can buy some time and wait around for the next great opportunity you are kidding yourself. Recovery is going to take time and like many, I don’t think there will be any return back to normal. We are going to be stepping into a new world, shaped largely by our response (or lack thereof) to covid-19. Now is not the time to sit in the corner and suck your thumb. Our countrywide inflated sense of our own importance has taken a gut-shot and I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing. I understand that you were the VP of Strategic Culture Making Initiatives for cool company “x” but frankly, it might be time for you to go build a retaining wall or sell a roof.

Recovery is going to take time and like many, I don’t think there will be any return back to normal. We are going to be stepping into a new world, shaped largely by our response (or lack thereof) to covid-19.

Two months ago talent could pick and choose new opportunities, but that world has completely flipped upside down. Employers are going to have their pick of talent. It may be time to trade sexy for stable. After all, when did it become less than to work a regular honest job for solid pay and consistent hours? Sure, the perfect job sits at the intersection of your skills and passions, but there is an intrinsic good woven into simple, hard work. If you’re looking for a new opportunity we can help. But no promises that it’ll come with a fancy title.