How has COVID-19 affected the tech job market?

Webinar Transcript

Introduction & Agenda


Hi there. So we’re starting promptly at 4 p.m. Eastern right now. And first off. Let me say welcome to today’s webinar on how to navigate the current job market of text special. Thank you for setting aside some time out of your day to join us. Our speakers are really looking forward to Jumping right in so I’ll keep it quick before I hit it off to our host Bill. My name is Lindsay Lewis, and I’m be branded content strategy manager at IT Staffing and Recruiting firm Motion Recruitment,


the parent company of Jobspring and Workbridge and the founder of Tech in Motion. During these challenging times here at Motion we’ve been inspired by stories of people helping one another and here are the emerging from unexpected places. We see the healthcare professionals and essential workers keeping us safe in supporting our families as a shelter in place and we see the Tech Community pivoting to mobilize the workforce come back to security concerns and provider develop data analytics and products to help battle through the challenges facing us.


All these efforts around us. We wanted to bring our unique recruiting expertise some Help in Motion content for the tech industry. Well, we may not be on the front lines. Physically. We are excited to help our communities by contributing resources insights and data to answer some of the most important questions you in hearing day today. This is the series is as part of Help in Motion a collection of virtual events articles and guides to help detect Community through these uncertain times. For more information. You can check out


and I do want to note. While this is our first virtual event, our organization is not new to events in general. We founded Tech in Motion, an in-person event series with more than 200,000 members where Tech enthusiasts can learn from peers and leaders connect with others in the IP community and hear stories and Inspire due to today’s climate text emotion shifted to Virtual events as of last week. And today we’re excited to follow in those footsteps as we go live with Motion Recruitment.


First ever virtual event before we do that a few quick housekeeping that you may notice that you have all joined this webinar and listen only mode feel free to submit questions and comments in the chat box on your gotowebinar panel will do our best to address them during the Q&A session. Today’s webinar will also be available on demand after the live session ends will receive the link via email to view the video lastly. I love him, but you to follow us on social and interactive the conversation kicks off other on LinkedIn or on Twitter.


We’re there. You can see all of our candles on the screen. So feel free to follow us and interact. All right, it’s time to introduce our first industry Insider our host for the session. So Perkins standing at 6 3 and being a former college football player will might look like a fighter but he was actually raised of Buddhist.


He has however proven himself is a great partner in the trenches for our candidates and client with a wealth of expertise in the Staffing industry as shown by his leadership roles across Three major cities specializing in working with software and data engineering and data Science Tech professionals and teams in the past 11 years. So without further Ado, here’s the old to kick things off.

Meet the Experts

Thank you Lindsay. That was actually awesome.


I was not expecting that that intro really appreciate it, but I’m excited to be here with everyone today and definitely thank you for the current listeners and potentially the future ones since we are recording this link, so for– on Maya and I want to introduce the other folks that are going to be joining me for this call. I think it’s interesting. We thought we thought about tying in some a lot of times in these Tech in motion events. We tie in clients or candidates or external folks. But you know after doing a lot of soul-searching I’m the message. We wanted to portray.


We really wanted to make sure that the most relevant information was out there and I think one of the cool Parts about all the people on you know on this panel, but just in general is They have a unique perspective in talking to 10 20, 30 40 50 different companies on a daily weekly monthly basis across industry. So I thought you know definitely from a perspective standpoint. We pulled in some great folks. So leading off we have Chris Wallach who runs our work Bridge Philadelphia office is the managing director and tech-wise.


He’s got a real focus on the sort of devops and data infrastructure world and then Then I was in Los Angeles. We have Samantha Shannon Burger. She has a real focus on full stack software engineering with a real focus on the UI some sort of building that that JavaScript front-end side of the house and then last but not least we have Sandra’s wacky who is out of our Washington DC office also as a managing director, and she really focuses on that security Cloud networking and definitely, you know as we’ll talk about a very in demand.


That portfolio as well done in DC. So thanks for joining us guys and gals.


So a quick agenda we’re going to just do a quick kind of a quick intro on the state of the tech industry and just the job market trends we’re seeing and then I’m going to break down basically go through some different questions on industry and Tech and salary and compensation Trends and hide navigating today’s hiring process which each of them and really get their perspectives.

Overview of the Tech Job Market During COVID-19

So to get things rolling it the the state of the tech industry.


What a what a what a Odd question, I think you know if you’re watching the news every night after after you put the kids down like myself, you know, you’re hearing all sorts of stuff you’re hearing, you know more than 66 million us jobs are at risk of laughs admit and every day, you know more layoffs are happening. So there’s that, you know that innate fear and then you know, you hear things like okay Microsoft is slowing down on hiring. I think yesterday we saw Google froze hiring. It’s like oh, oh boy. Some of the big Tech players are slow.


I’m down. Like that’s a little scary and then the flip side of it though. You see, you know countless companies. I think when we highlighted here slack is has more demand than its systems probably than ever. You know, what company has seen a beer one month jump in traffic probably, you know, you can count that on the hands on your hand full of fingers as far as just the demand that’s that’s been generated since we’ve all gone remote. So kind of you know, the spectrum of emotions and highlights. They’re really in the headlines and you surrender.


You know, I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve seen such a drastic sort of sway between extreme positive and extreme negative at the same time Rob tech industry. So that’s kind of the backdrop and sort of the purview of why we picked this topic and I think a good lead-in to sort of so I wanted to jump in let’s start. Okay. So what is the data telling us? So yes, obviously unemployment is dat, you know, it’s up for sure.


And it is it’s just truth be told it’s up its up in Tech field to go back to that last slide real quick. I just want to make a couple quick points on that but that 2.4% Is it a 26% increase it was 1.9 percent in February, but that is 45 percent lower than the national unemployment rate. And so the reason I think that’s important is if you see, you know, those are March stats, we don’t have access to the April stats, but you can almost guarantee that there’s going to be more unemployment.


In April, then there wasn’t March but I think what will remain steady and one of the key points in this whole thing. Is that correlation between the tech rate and how much it increases versus the overall unemployment rate is the industry. I think you’re going to see this significantly lower no matter how far along that unemployment rate. We progress there’s good. There’s that there’s a padding that we’re going to be talking about today being an IT professionals though, and it’s been really cool to see that develop over the course of the last few months.


So and then that next slide there for the 19,000 jobs were lost in March and that 8,500 were created and I think this point I think is really one that I think is the most underserved fan. Next draft I think is perfect right now graph here. It shows sort of this. So this is not open jobs.


He Jabs this is a this is from the SIA Staffing Analyst data, but I think what you see Is a real correlation obviously when there’s demand for Staffing there’s obviously direct implications for how many open jobs are on the market and how much how that Supply the supply side is so yes, it is down for sure. But I think what you’re what is interesting unlike, you know, if you’re in the travel industry or the hospitality industry, it’s down it’s down it’s down there’s no good news. It’s all bad news.


And there’s a lot of companies that did put hiring on hold or we did have to do not do layoffs. And yeah, there’s probably people on this call that were affected by some of those laughs but the interesting thing is it unlike other Industries. There’s also been a huge uptick in people that need to hire type people because of the situation that were in and that’s where you’re seeing that 800 number. That’s where you’re seeing.


You know that oh my God, you know, we have to hire 10 people or we’re not going to be able to succeed as a business because Tech is that important So there’s that hidden that hidden number and then that big spike you see in Q3 and Q4. What a luck whatever when I’m talking to you is saying and what the data is pointing to is that what a lot of folks are seeing is all those companies that are on pause and waiting to see what’s happening and maybe they did freeze hiring but probably are laying off tech people quite yet. What’s going to happen? Is that demand new demand for all these industries that we’re about to dive into that new demands not going to go away. It’s gonna stay there.


The digital transformation is only going to spanned and then all the old demand that went on hold to see how this whole thing was going to plan out when it comes back.


It’s going to meet the new demand and there’s going to be a whole new level of just pure scarcity as far as the resources and then the only other thing I’d add on to that is the whole concept of there’s also there’s the market for people that were laid off, but honestly the market for people that were not laid off that passive job Seeker is Not that the appetite for taking on that risk is not super high right now. So that that pool of talent who was open to New Opportunities back in February or January is much smaller. And so as the folks that were affected by layoffs start to get new jobs. There’s not going to be that replenishment of talent. And so that’s why you’re seeing that big spike in Q3 as far as demand for IT staffing services because I think it’s going to be a core economics 101 supply and demand functionality.


So I just thought that was an interesting graph in a good way to sort of kick off some of these conversations. So without further Ado, let’s get the panel involved. So big one big question.

Which industries have the most tech opportunities right now?

I hear this all the time. Everyone wants to know, you know, and people have different ideas on this, but I’m curious Samantha out in Los Angeles from what you’re seeing what industries have really seen an increase for the most opportunities right now in your personal Marketplace out on the West Coast.


So LA is obviously a big hub for entertainment and that’s a massive industry and itself. There’s a lot of different subsets of the entertainment industry film and television and music streaming and like gaming there’s there’s so many different companies that fall under that category and obviously La is a hub for that but it also just affects everybody in the world right now and it’s having a pretty big impact on everyday life.


Now that everyone’s home, I think the interesting thing is that there was a really big shift in the market even before covid and that came from video streaming. And so everyone’s pivoting right now throughout all Industries, I would say but a lot of these companies right now need to Pivot either toward streaming or partnering up with streaming companies because obviously no one’s own movie theaters film and TV. You’re not filming anything.


And so all the releases are going to be changed and then just the way that we’re getting our movies and our content is changing. So the biggest issue is the scalability and having the demand of millions and millions and millions of people who are now home and they want their content and they want it now and so that comes with a ton of technical issues like bandwidth issues or so much Network congestion. There’s latency issues and secure.


Daddy issues in terms of cloud storage and things like that, but the biggest thing is that user basically user expectations. So if I’m watching a show and it’s lagging or buffering I have the attention span of like my puppy right now. I’m going to switch the next platform, right and that’s a huge loss of revenue for these companies. So they’re going to invest in Tech and they’re going to make sure that they get those problems solved.


So yes, it’s big in LA but there’s also so many companies that Port the entertainment industry and there’s still a ton of jobs out there. You just have to obviously know where to look and what problems are being solved in them.


LOL, that was my first gut reaction. Just the the idea. You know, it’s like hey, yes. No, of course Netflix is probably hiring and you know, there’s some big big names in entertainment and streaming but there’s also just a lot of startups that are starting to support that industry and there’s a lot of ways that you can sort of tangentially, you know jump into that Revenue stream because you know, all those big companies if they can’t build it they’ll buy it right now and so it’s a really good opportunity for for startups across the country.


You know, that’s something you can search for and sort of opponent on.


So I’d love to hear thoughts from DC Sondra. I obviously very different economic scene than the Los Angeles. And yes, definitely very different. Well first off I would say in this probably is more nationally than just specific to DC.


We’re obviously seeing a huge uptick in hiring organizations that are part of any essential retail large ones and smaller ones are obviously needing to no improve on their online footprint improve on their Tech stack to keep up with demand from Samantha said so many people being at home and probably increasing their online purchasing even more than they have before and so that is an industry that we are seeing a huge uptick in more specifically these see the government is still, you know, fully online and and we’re not seeing a huge slowdown in some of those government projects that are local to this area from what we’re seeing that’s Similar for even, you know state level government as well as they fight a lot of this battle at the state level obviously and then you know anecdotally we typically in election years see organizations that have anything to do with politics or anything to do with the election process and cycle uptake particularly their contract hiring. I expect that we’ll start to see some of that this year as well and in particular since it looks unlikely that you know, these different political organizations are going to be able to do what they do.


Additionally do which is, you know partly host rallies and door-to-door and all these kinds of things. I’m you know, we expect that their attention to how they engage with social media having a gate engaged just from a technology perspective with voters. This year is probably going to be even more significant than any other year given the social distancing that we’re all subject to so I expect that’s going to be the case not just for DC but you know, frankly across the country as these organizations book to reach voters Nationwide.


Absolutely. Yeah, that’s interesting. Not a lot of not a lot of Pep rallies happening out there right now. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t think so. No, that’s gonna be a while Chris. How about Philadelphia?


Yeah, yeah, it’s going to be good. We talked about this. I think one of the things I really enjoy about about what we do is that we get to be on the front lines and right now I mean, I’ve never received so many questions, right and and everybody that we’re talking to we’re getting these questions and it’s great to actually have some substance and you know, what’s Philadelphia has kind of been a Melting Pot we’ve got a lot of Industries here.


I think the obvious to that probably won’t shock anyone would be Care which is which is Big here a lot of the hospitals and a lot of research centers and they are booming right because they’re tackling a brand new problem that scale faster than frankly and then Financial Services, right? Those companies are still hiring for many different reasons, right? But, you know, I think try not to just classify maybe a top to what’s so fascinating to me. Is that what industry that you’re in?


In or whatever industry that’s out there every company has really been forced to make a right and that’s kind of been my favorite word with everything going on whether you’re a big company, you know, for example who are for the massive software company here. That’s a lotta different products.


But two of their big ones are Healthcare and education and while both have been successful they’ve shifted a lot away from education to focus on health care and actually even shifted a couple of their health care products because It’s really about what’s being demanded. Right? What do we need to deliver the quickest to Market what our customers asking for? And how do we meet all these brand new challenges?


And so every one of these companies were seeing a lot of change with almost regardless of industry and what’s exciting about that is it’s creating some very Mission driven opportunities, which you know from my experience with Engineers, they really like that right they want to be important and have kind of a purpose and what they’re building so You know, we’re seeing we’re seeing a lot here which is exciting and and I’m glad to be to be able to actually watch things on old and some are surprised that frankly.


We do work with a company that is responsible for building ticketing systems at amusement parks the right when you get there the systems that scan your ticket you’d think with everything going on and they are Force hurting business today because of no one going to amusement parks, but actually they’re they’re hiring because As they need to meet the new market conditions of creating ticketing systems throughout the parks now because because of this they have to meet the fact that they have to track constantly traffic throughout their amusement parks and regulate how many individuals are in a certain area to make sure that they’re limiting future exposure and just you know, being more conscious of things like this.


So, you know, it’s not it’s a lot of I would say in general A lot of unintended consequences a lot of things where people make decisions and spend money whether it’s you know, the federal stimulus package or whatever and you know, we’ve definitely seen a huge uptick in just Regional Banks who have a great business model honestly did a lot of business in person who are now Distributing that you know, 250 billion dollar stimulus packages and I just don’t have the technology to do it and they need it’s not an option.


They literally have to hire whether it’s contract or full-time like if they Do not do this. They will not survive. And so it’s again another interesting sort of unintended consequence of just the current the current atmosphere.

Which tech skills and tech roles are in highest demand right now during COVID-19?

So let’s dive a little deeper. Just So within the end obviously from a technical perspective what tech skills and roles are really in highest demand and you know, what? What are you hearing clients? Like someone who has XYZ skills had Sandra. Why don’t you why don’t you get us started on this?


Well security was mentioned in the earlier. I think that’s a huge factor that a lot of companies are paying attention to right now. You know, we’ve got everyone working from home and point security network security. All of these things now are more challenging for a lot of organizations than they were in the past because their exposure risk is gone up significantly with their Workforce spread out over different locations. Where as before maybe they were more centralized right?


So we’re seeing and hearing from a lot of our clients that their up taking their Expanding on their security teams that goes for security engineering folks. But it also you know spreads out into some of the software teams right and looking to build out new security applications within the business to make sure that their systems are protected properly. I’d also say that we’re seeing a big uptake in companies hiring for cloud Engineers, you know organizations looking to expand on their virtual footprint expand their capacity expand on their server environments in the cloud to keep up with user demand.


Or you know customer demand bandwidth demands and then you know as it pertains to the to the government given that that’s a large part of our Market here in DC. You know, we’re hearing about a lot of old Legacy systems that are now coming under unprecedented pressure, you know, unemployment systems being one of them where these systems are built with technologies that really are not designed for the level of traffic that they’re currently getting right?


So we are Our seen some opportunities for organizations that specialize in digital transformation that are hiring to Aid in the in those efforts to really bring some of these Legacy government systems both at the federal and state level up to more modern standards with microservices and things along those lines to really be able to support the efforts to manage through the covid crisis from a technology standpoint within those systems. Yeah. It’s interesting cybersecurity in Boston.


So I mean, even we have a publicly traded Rated cybersecurity SAS company where they really focus on emails security and they were saying just because everyone’s remote they their system has to handle this 7 a Sevenfold increase in just the amount of emails that they have to analyze every single day. Like you could have never predicted that that was gonna happen, you know three months ago. So there’s just security cyber security in general. We’ve seen definitely a big big uptick Chris anything to add on that.


from your perspective over in Philadelphia Yeah, definitely Fordham and we’re seeing right now I’d say Devops and Site Reliability Engineers are way up there. A lot of companies have not stopped hiring those and frankly added more which makes sense, you know, not only to push to remote and in supporting these distributed Workforce has Devops Engineers become incredibly valuable, but also to make sure that we’re maintaining is low operating costs as we can. We’ll see.


Ordering these new scales that we have to meet with so many more active users throughout the day and that’s kind of where the Cyber liability comes into and making sure that no nothing is going down right now, whether you’re you know e-commerce whether your education doesn’t matter down right now throughout the day at night is really affecting them.


So I’d say those two are big and then the other one is actually product managers which makes a lot of sense right because very quickly again kind of On that pivot right companies have to figure out what what products are actually being the most demanded right now kind of recreate user stories figuring out what features are going to be demanding because they have to meet a brand new world in a lot of ways and they need a new Jewels who are experts at assessing that and directing them in the right direction. So I’d say those are the two that are some of the biggest for seeing right now.


Awesome, Samantha. How about Los Angeles Los Angeles and everywhere were seeing a lot of Fullstack Engineer’s there’s still heavy needs there. I think obviously Security here too is big and just Networking Infrastructure. But a lot of companies are doing as much new development as before. They’re really focused on making sure that their businesses internally are up and running and then also focusing on what their clients want.


What their clients are demanding they need to prioritize what’s going to make them money obviously right now and Fullstack Engineers are bringing this level of agility to companies. No one really knows what’s going to come down the pipeline. So they whether they need their UI rebuilt or fix their back-end systems or their apis a full stack engineer can execute the entire process and really build out the end-to-end features of a system and so they can help these companies.


Say more liquid and agile as they are meeting these changing market conditions that we haven’t really seen before. So I think everything in Tech right now is big but we’re seeing a lot of development while still yeah, and I would say the other thing I would add is sort of piggybacking on the product management. So I think you know, the fact of the matter is with all the increased traffic.


There’s just so much more data and it’s going to be readily available and And on these servers so storing it properly analyzing it properly. You know, we’ve seen a huge uptick in data science demands obviously in Boston. There’s a massive Biotech presence.


I was I was talking to a guy who actually was running one of the data science teams analyzing the the whole covid response for one of the big Pharma companies yesterday my basement which is kind of odd, but there’s Data Science and data Engineering and data infrastructure and then they fuel that data up through The product managers and those product managers have to use that data to then decide. All right UX and UI in front-end team. You need to build this new product and you know Cloud Security Guys is data was wrong. So fix it. And so it really is you know, it’s interesting to see how many different sets of it are but I would say, you know, that’s the one I wanted to make sure we also hit on but it really is across the Spectrum. I think a lot of whatever it is. It’s keeping systems up and running and then figuring out how to continue to monetize traffic on your platform.


Should I be open to searching for new tech job opportunities during COVID-19?

Next question next topic. This is a big one. I think this is one we hear a lot. It’s kind of a you know, all right, let’s go. I’m going into 2020 I was this was the year. I’ve been at the same place for four or five years. This was my year. And now this happens should I should I be open to searching? You know, is it is it a bad idea? Is it a good idea my dumb flu looking for a job right now? I get I feel like I had that conversation five times a day right now.


And you know, there’s there’s there’s no right or wrong answer to this but there’s a I think there’s a there’s some good strategy that I want to talk through Chris what I’m sure you’ve been having this conversation. What what do you feel?


Like what are the main points that are really Landing with people that you feel like we should we should discuss Yeah, you know mentally common one. You know, you got to be smart, right? This this to me is not a yes or no question. It’s very situational. It’s up to the individual. I think you mentioned it Phil, you know part of what we are seeing a part of what is going to watch the demand that we predict and a figure and next year. Hopefully, is that a lot of the the job Seekers, you know, there will call passive job Seekers, which is a lot of them.


Get those are they’re less likely to look right and most of those individuals were noticing an incredibly strong Tech market and it’s like why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? Right? Why wouldn’t you keep your phone on in case you know Elon Musk called right? If you want to go get to Mars or something and then you know, they figured I think that the consensus was, you know, I’ll just stop looking because of the market and then there’s a lot of individuals with very very strong reasons.


As for looking around that are it’s not changing and there still may be unhappy or unsatisfied with their job whether it’s short term whether it’s something like I’m keeping too far, and I know that eventually I won’t be working from home anymore or if it’s more long term if it’s career growth, you know, someone’s been just maybe it’s senior engineer for five years and they don’t see that next step or no talk to them about that again good reasons to to look right now really so it’s a yes.


To know it’s something you have to navigate some you have to be smart about but I think what’s most important right now is instead of just saying yes or no. It’s going to be a well-thought-out thing. Right? Why am I looking understanding what you’re looking for and navigating the market the right way what I will say about some of probably the pros from people that are looking right now is there’s definitely left and what I mean by that is when the mic when the markets so good and there’s really worth it.


Been an insatiable appetite for Tech Talent companies would leave postings up for a while though. They’d collect resumes. They want to see what’s out there and you know, they always have something for really good engineer write a lot of that has gone away which makes sense in the short term because of what’s happening and what that means is the roles that you do see and have access to their ones that are very all mapped out. You have an awesome roadmap behind that.


It’s well thought out and what we’re seeing right now is probably actually Be the most stable jobs that will exist for years to come because it’s not maybe the flash in the pan the proof-of-concept the R&D work. This is truly solving a very obvious problem and began coming back to that kind of mission driven idea, which you will get really passionate about you want to tap into those. You know, I think if you’ve got something well identify and you know, what you want to do next what you’ll see out there is maybe fewer opportunities, but ones that really are going to speak to you and and will probably be a home for a longer time.


So So that’s a to I think you’ve been if you are if you are unfortunately involved in a layoff. I’ve talked to a number of really good Engineers that were involved in last in the Boston area myself and you know suppose the said, you know, should I just hold out for three or four months until the market rebounds and then look then because you know, I don’t want to take less money or I don’t want to take a bad job and you know, that’s and I’ve talked to people that might be what’s right for you.


That’s totally fair but Point I would make is there are still a lot of really interesting jobs out there and you know some of the interesting jobs that are hiring right now are solving problems that like we’ve been talking about that are just problems that never like we have a client who literally they are a largest digital grocery stores in the entire world and they’re hiring a lot right now in the problems. They’re solving are extremely interesting and you know, if you have the opportunity to go solve that problem.


Because the market’s down doesn’t mean you shouldn’t on the chance to increase your skills. And I think you know, that’s the biggest thing. I always thought, you know everyone in this day and age is worried about job security and everyone. It’s your would be silly not to be thinking about that. But you know, the thing I always talk to Tech folks about is the ultimate job security is your skill set if you have a really advanced in deep skill set you no matter what company you work for you’ll be compensated.


Well if your Also, it’s a little stagnant and a little outdated. You know, what it might make sense. Even if Fizzles scare you there to get yourself into a position where you can get that jobs. Can your skills to be at the absolute prime of where they could be? So I guess that’s a situational thing and you know, you have to be smart about it Sandra Smith anything to add on that one would be do you feel like we gave a good encompassing thought you guys did great. Perfect.


Awesome, and then definitely kind of alluding to what I was just mentioning.

How has COVID-19 impacted tech salaries and overall compensation?

I think the other question we get is okay. She look for a job and then all right. If I am going to look for a job. What are we talking about? Am I take a pay cut? Am I taking you know, we look at a 10% 20% like what realistically what’s the market bearing from cop from a compensation perspective that I think we have some interesting stuff sundry think we were talking about some really I would say interesting stuff on this topic you want to start off here?


Sure. Well, look. Let me first acknowledge that obviously there are folks that have been impacted by furloughs and layoffs. And you know, that’s not to minimize what that experience is, but I would say that generally speaking.


The market is holding relatively steady, right? I think it would be a mistake. If you’re a job Seeker right now to make the assumption that because the the global market or the national Industries are overall down if you look on the stock exchanges and go into your job search assuming that you have to take a pay cut because that’s not really what we’re seeing across the board. Now again, there’s going to be exceptions, right? There’s going to be some organizations that think that based on what’s going on.


They Good should get a better deal right when they’re hiring a new person and that people may be willing to take less money than they would otherwise and depending on each individual situation. If you have been furloughed or you are in between jobs, you know, perhaps you’ll have a slightly different approach. But what I would say is generally speaking don’t go into your job search assuming that you’re going to have to take a pay cut right? Let’s still use common sense negotiation strategies when you’re you know, approaching your search and talking about offers.


You don’t go buying a car saying I’d like to spend this but I could spend this much you’ll probably end up spending that higher number, right? So, you know, I would I would advise people to approach their search not expecting to take a pay cut and be prepared that you might have to and think through if you’re willing to or not, but I would not approach my search with the expectation that I have to because I think if that’s that’s the expectation if you assume you’re going to then I think you’re in a much likely or position that you ultimately end up taking pick up.


Yeah, and I would add just the other thing. I’ve been hearing on service of dovetail off that as I think most I would say long-term stable companies that have hiring managers that have sort of been there and done that recognized that if you low ball or just get below Market offers right now. The market is going to rebound eventually and you know, whether its Q3 or Q4, you know, if you bring someone in at a lower salaries and they really deserve right now.


Now and then Market rebounds and it’s to four and you spent the last six months training that person up and then they leave for a better job like managers are pretty in tune with the fact that that’s not something they’re interested in.


So most folks I’m talking to are very aware that you know, I don’t want to be that person and I want I want I want to I want to retain that talent in the long run and and are sort of thing accordingly at least, you know to date, you know, that could change a month, but that’s kind of a Out of work people that the drum people are beating in my circles at least Chris. I think you want to add something here too. Yeah, you know, I again we’re seeing it. All right, we’re obviously, you know, there have been layoffs.


Luckily Tech has been resilient which we’re all fortunate to be part of and and there have been companies have asked folks to take pay reductions and you know, those seem short term and everything the one thing I’d add here and it was kind of to your point fills is The one difference is right. Now there is very very obvious demand that companies have to match and so what that means is in certain cases a company’s going to actually spend more than they would have couple months ago on a roll because it is so much more necessary and it’s actually going to bring them more money save them more money, whatever it might be and so it could be folks are actually getting higher raises or offers right now. If they’re in these people will call Essential roles, right?


Um for the non-essential you have a particular skill. Absolutely. Yes 100% right and like for Devops Engineers I think is a good one Cybersecurity a good one where you know, if a company doesn’t have a good Security Engineer and right now they’re getting hit with more, you know phishing and security scams than ever before they’re probably going to pay more for that individual, right? And so and then there’s the you know for the non essential roles for the nice-to-haves.


I’ll companies going to have a harder time convincing their you know, CFO, whatever it might be He to invest in that and to pay above Market or even potentially a market rate because companies are being smart to write therefore protect the liquidity. They understand, you know, we have to be safe. We don’t want to lay people off.


We don’t want to put people in a bad position which I love how many companies have actually said that it’s a very like kind of in This Together mentality, which I think is a fantastic response and seeing companies do everything they can not to put people in a tough position or anything like that, but when it You’re looking tired. It’s the business case has to be behind it. They have to really just a yeah. Yeah, of course. Yeah.


And then this last point on this Samantha, I think I’m on your side of things. Yeah, I think in terms of marketability in terms of keeping your skills fresh. It’s a good time for people to consider Contracting that might not have considered it before. I think there’s a lot of fear around Contracting with at least what I hear is like, oh it’s not as stable as per more.


I want to make sure that I have job security things like that, but I mean it In reality, a lot of perm people are being laid off right now and a lot of Contracting budget has not really been affected as much so it’s a great way to number 1 get your foot in the door for some maybe larger companies that you they have a longer interview process or there’s more competition things like that.


Also you have I guess is the stat there’s for Contracting is dropping or perm is dropping 40% Point less than Contracting so it’s still a very stable place to be right now and you can keep your skills fresh too. Even if you look for a perm job after that, so I would I wouldn’t sleep on Contracting.


yeah, it’s just it’s one of the things you’ll see in this even this dates back to the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 is a lot of times, you know, individual VP of Engineering, CTO, Director of Engineering who has their own budget can use their budget to hire contractors to get projects done and that is outside the purview of maybe a CFO’s headcount budget and so point being is if you want to get creative and you work in Acted potentially by a layoff or you want to explore really cool new skill set or new technology. You know, that is a Marketplace that I think is still growing and there’s opportunity. And so, you know, don’t forget about it.


I think compensation and salary perspective that’s where you can probably potentially make an optic if you have the right set of skills in your in the right scenario right now, so and then one of the last things just before we do the the overall QA.

How has the tech hiring process changed in the current market?

The hiring process Process it’s obviously changed quite a bit actually been crazy to see how quickly companies have successfully pivoted and that able to go from I mean, I have so many clients who would have three months ago with a laugh in my face.


If I said Alright, you’re going to make a full-time hire without ever meeting the person in person and they’re going to be happy you’re going to be happy like but they’ve done it and it’s been really cool to watch but there’s definitely been I would say some pitfalls and some things that we want to make sure that we’re just covering that Can all really try and avoid sundry think you wanted to get us rolling on this topic. Yeah. Sure. I think the big thing right now from a job Seekers perspective is just really vetting the companies that you’re interviewing with. We are seeing a little bit of window shopping happening, right? So there might be some organizations that had plans for certain amounts of headcount this year. They’re still you know, continuing to look at resumes and on a few occasions doing first round phone interviews with real real intention to proceed.


We’d all the way to an offer until they perceive the worst of this crisis to to be over which could be who knows right could be a month or could be multiple months. And so we’ve heard from some from some job Seekers that they’ve been, you know, wanting to view into interviews in with a company and then been told that we’re actually not ready to make this decision yet. But you know, we’re happy to have spoken with you. Well, you know, if you’re working full-time or if you’re trying to balance time between your job job-seeking family all of that. Obviously you want that too.


To be well Spanish, so I would just say that it’s really important to really over communicate with the companies that you’re interviewing with and ask strategic questions. Like is this a position that you have ability to make an offer on right now, assuming that the interview process goes. Well, is this a role that you have planned for how you onboard remotely have you solved potential challenges with background check and fingerprinting and or drug testing? Have you created workarounds for those for your onboarding process so that you don’t get too far down the line?


With an organization that doesn’t have the ducks in a row so to speak and it ultimately ends up being a waste of your time. I think that’s what what we have to protect ourselves from if we’re looking for new jobs in this in this market since things are a little bit unorganized within some organizations.


Yeah, and I think you know that could those questions sound potentially intimidating to me be a software engineer who hasn’t looked for a job in four years and just got laid off but you know one thing that’s why you know people like us exist, you know, feel free to use anybody Services who really can help you in that space but also, you know, I think even if I was talking to my friend who you know had no intention of using a recruiter just the over communication and honest communication companies get they understand this is this is unprecedented territory, if you’re uncomfortable with something or you know, you want to be up front about those questions Sandra laid out like obviously do it in a tactful manner, but from what we’ve seen I think companies would rather either have an honest dialogue with the candidate then sort of hold their punches to the end and then have everybody be upset a week or two later. So I think really good advice Sandra for sure Chris. Did you want to add something on the topic as well?


Yeah. Yeah, I mean this changed like you said just immediately and drastically and I actually I think it’s one of the things that we’re going through this because we’re going through is actually going to increase efficiency on the road when we when we no longer have to do that. And if your point on communication is spot-on Right Where You know, it’s not just the on the interviewer. Are you a good fit for the job check or not?


And as the interviewee, you know, is this a place I want to work check or not. It’s got to be a conversation and you’ve got to bring in a lot more actually to remote interviews than you would when you’re meeting in person because even when you’re over a video there’s a lot of nonverbal communication you miss it’s hard to demonstrate excitement. As you mentioned people are slightly less comfortable maybe and asking certain questions and we’ve got to be very stronger than all right. We need companies that are willing to spend extra time with these candidates.


Pause they’re not sitting with their own person. You don’t get to shake their hand and these candidates are they are in a position where they might be accepting this job without never stepping foot in this office. I’m going to be very very cognizant of that. Right?


And so how a company is going to paint the picture of their culture and how a candidate goes to understand their culture is very very important which might mean adding more people to the interviews so that you get a better sense of how things work and kind of being a little bit more agile to meet the fact that things have completely changed her a lot of people no one’s actually really done this for that long. So, you know for candidates I would just say you got to do a little bit more crap, right? You’ve got to actually when you’re doing that video call where that final decision might come right after you have all your questions prepared. You have to really understand who this company is. What have I read online. What do I want to bring up in this conversation?


What are the must-haves for me so that when I get after when I get out of this conversation I’m actually ready to say yes or no if that decision is brought to me and a lot of what we’re seeing is in efficiency through the hiring process from both sides, you know, and I think people do need help in understanding that it’s not just these quick conversations. Let’s get through it and hope it works out. You’ve got to actually spend more time right now and and more preparation to make sure that both sides are as comfortable as possible and making a big decision like this.


And overall I would say in general don’t expect don’t expect the world. I would say especially if it companies never done this before, you know, I think work you be flexible.


The companies will be flexible, but from a candidate perspective, you know, it’s not going to be that Sleek shiny in-person experience where they offered you coffee water, you know, it’s soda, whatever like it’s there’s gonna be some bumps in the road and that’s okay, but it It goes back to having that honest dialogue with a with a potential job opportunity and really getting to know each other.

What has surprised you the most about the tech market during COVID-19?

So and then last last but not least what has surprised you the most about the current market. I think we were going to lead off with Sondra on this one.


Gosh, there’s I think there’s there’s a couple of different things but I think for those of us that work through the last recession, you know, so comprehensive it was every industry was being impacted, you know, relatively equally and I guess it’s been a little surprising to me that it has been as resilient as it is, although you know, when you really dissect that right everyone everyone for the most part again with the exception of those unfortunate people that have been furloughed or laid off.


The larger bulk of the work force is still working and you know really engaging with it even more comprehensively than maybe they were you know to three months ago. So it has been really interesting to see just how resilient this industry has been and frankly how much it’s growing in some areas right here makes me makes me grateful to be attached to this industry rather than other ones and it’s been a little surprising just how resilient and how much growth there continues to.


To be within this Market.


Couldn’t agree more. We’re very fortunate to be in the IT world Trish. Did you want to add something or Samantha or is that are we ready to rule to QA just to add I I’ve been surprised like I’ve been surprised that a lot right? There’s been a lot of things but the thing is most great pleasantly surprising was and I think you mentioned it earlier the speed at which tech companies moved their entire performance remotely Ryan.


This is not just engineering to Is this is our whole company? And you know for me I frankly thought we were going into this it would be no hires for two months, right? Everyone would just be like, nope, nothing else and it would completely stop and it hasn’t been the case because tech companies I think by Nature are very very resilient in a lot of ways right there. Number one. They’ve got unbelievable Communications. They leverage tools like like slack and they often have distributed teams already which obviously is kind of just the world. We’re in now.


Now and that’s really helped and then they’re also pretty Diversified in the sense that they they have to be agile with with the world that they’re in things change constantly. They’re used to rapidly changing conditions. They’re used to changing, you know, one day a customer says something new and great. We’ve got it built, you know a couple weeks or a month from now, so they met this new world very quickly and actually a lot of them.


Maybe they, you know, put things on hold for weeks just to get their seed owners totally understandable, but They’re right back after I got all right. Well, here’s our new roadmap. And here’s our new Mission and we’ve got to hit that and I just thought that the speed of the pivot was so so impressive really just like a testament to what what the tech industry is all about Franklin.


It’s been it’s been a it’s been a wild ride, but it’s been fun to watch and I think I really do I think.


Going through and hunkering down and Q2 and getting into Q3. It’s going to be it’s going to be even more surprising to see what happens and just to see where this whole thing goes and I can’t tell you how many candidates I have talked to and clients. I’ve talked to where all of a sudden the clients like wait how many other interviews he have? And it’s like oh, yeah. There’s a lot of other companies still higher. Wow. I thought I was gonna be the only one so, you know, that’s not the case every single time, but it’s definitely been a lot more.


Live Audience Q&A

I’ve been I was thinking so let’s let’s see what the audience has to say. I’d love to hear some questions from let me get my queue here.


if you know a lot of fans coming and so let me hop in and help you out here one of the well, he’s I have been taking care of this whole conversation. So let’s hop into a couple of Deeds topics that I’ve seen here one of the big ones that I have seen as how to increase your skill set. So I know that for instant and a lot of it is actually about Contracting as well. So, you know that Ted said I feel like I need to increase my schedules and currently working as a computer teacher their contract opportunities on certain days of the week.


That’s one of the ones that’s coming down the pike and what we’ve got questions flying and guys just want to let you know we are hoping to do a part 2 and it looks like there’s a ton of Interest as well. So really excited to see all of this coming in here. So what are your thoughts on the appetite for Contracting world as far as full-time part-time? What do you think from?


Any that’s from Abby. I would say and I’ll start us off your room, please jump in team.


It really depends on the problem companies are trying to solve but a lot of the most Engine positions where people are saying I have to solve this problem in the next three to six months or else I will lose Revenue. We’ve seen a pretty big uptick in needing contractors. So things like for Contracting World things like systems engineers and network engineers and Cloud engineers and people basically that when you hit a button on your computer out there in the world, are you hit a button on your phone out there in the world?


And a lot of people are hitting that same button at the same time. I have the people that are making sure it goes to the right place and tells the proper data to go to the proper place. Those are the people that are really focused. I’ve seen a big uptick in the contract side of things where you know, that’s just bad user experience where you hit that button and you’re expecting your dinner to come and it doesn’t, you know, you’re probably not using that website again.


You’re probably not using that mobile app again, so, I don’t know if that if you guys have anything to add on that but I would say that those sort of Niche technology problems that are short-term tend to be contract heavy. Whereas the more longer term like this is going to be a multi-year, you know team meeting just continue to build our overall capacity to deliver software. That’s usually more on the full-time side.


I can jump it on that a little bit too that I think that’s a good point actually got that ties into I liked it the question that Ted had for just skill set. I’ll me because it is 1 I get a lot from candidates. They’re in a full-time job. I work 50 hours a week and they are expected a certain skill set. How do they go above that?


Ryan’s your point fill one of the things that has helped with that scale and help companies save costs and everyone wants to get into has been the All right. I think it’s a great example. Every organization is leveraging leveraging it in some way and I think candidates are noticing right if I don’t get that experience. I am going to fall time, but it’s not it’s not always that easy to do. I often say Engineers are like doctors are throwing brand new things every single year to keep up with with new rules and new demand and right when the cloud came out all of a sudden every company wanted five years of cloud experience and it’s like well unless you’re pulling from these perfect public Cloud providers, you’re not going to find that so I guess the answer.


Your question that Ted that you had was I think for skills. It’s got to be pollution. It’s not a light switch, right? So engine for tankers right start by tinkering, you know have the side project do something at your house spin up your own instance and start playing with whatever Cloud you’re interested in right AWS Azure Google Cloud, whatever you want, right? All right there and then from there you can often launch that into. Alright now that I’ve got my legs under me and I enjoy this, you know, go pee.


For one of these certifications. Maybe I’ll pay to take more professional course Ryan. So you’ve got that you get a little bit more experience. Right? And then the last piece is now Implement that in a production environment. I understand the fundamentals. I understand how these things work out played with it. But now I want to increase the scale and actually Do Contracting is a great way to do that where people look at Contracting as an investment. So they say, okay. I’m going to take on the six-month contract.


I understand the risk, but I will get production level experience with that skill that I Leave and then from there, you know, I’ll move into whatever full-time wants. So I think people are looking for a light switch answer a lot of times of skills development, but just like anything it takes practice. It takes repetition, right if I want to get good golf. I don’t just call Tiger Woods to say. Hey play with me, right I go to the driving range. I play around and I go get a lesson right? And then maybe I’ll go put myself into a newer tournament or something and get a little bit more competitive. So that’s kind of how I’d answer that.


And maybe Sondra you can weigh in as well because I know that Jason actually asked a similar question along those lines but specifically about this admin and being able to move up to the next level position. Yeah sure thing.


I think this was a question from someone who’s a technical support engineer for 10 years, but wanting to make the jump justice system administrator if I remember correctly, so I hear that a lot from folks that are maybe more at the desktop level or support level and they’re looking To take that next move into systems administration of systems engineering, you know, this might be a great time in the market to go out and apply for some of those jobs that six months ago. You couldn’t couldn’t get up Acacia or I couldn’t get an interview for I think with the passive candidate pool getting a little smaller right now with some of those passive candidates, you know, waiting a few more months before they look for a job again before they’re open to New Opportunities. Again, there are going to be companies that are forced for lack of a better word to you know Broad.


There, you know pool and to look at some candidates that maybe otherwise they would have said, you know, this person isn’t quite where we need them to be or they don’t have the hands-on experience yet but systems Administration and that might get you the foot in the door that you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten but what I would say though generally speaking is that I think part of the question also was what about certifications for the most part beyond your, you know, standard Windows might you know in Microsoft certifications.


It’s not the top of the list from the clients that I work with four things that they look for I would more so say that taking the time to set up a small environment at home to where you can showcase some of your systems Administration skills in an interview based on what you’ve learned at home similar to what Chris was touching on with practice and then really thinking of ways to sell that in an interview right because that’s skills skill set or that experience isn’t going to show up on your professional resume in your job description.


So you’ve got to practice and make sure that you know how to effectively What you know about that next level up so that in your interviews, you can make it clear to your potential future employer that while you may not have done that in a professional environment yet. You have a good handle on those Concepts and the aptitude to learn on the job. And so I think it’s part practicing at home and part putting your sales hat on a little bit even though that might be uncomfortable and you know, really really selling people on the fact that you can you can do that on the fly with you get the job.


Nobody answer shopping.


Yeah, I think that’s pretty too if I was if I was a systems administrator. Sorry, I think if you can get yourself, there’s a million code camps online. If you can learn at least some scripting languages or even object-oriented would be optimal but it even just scripting languages or if you can get to the object-oriented level just from stuff at home and then make a GitHub and put that code out there publicly with your tech support background and you apply for a sysadmin.


Job with your GitHub on your resume. You’ll probably get an interview. If you do this stuff Sandra’s saying you might just get that job.


So I think we have time for just a quick one last question and then a wrap-up we had a question is a front end developer role is still a good role to get into so just wanted to answer some of those and I think to them and thanks a week or submitting that question.


Yes, I think it is. I think with with any company or any role you have to figure out also again what the company is solving. So if it’s a product being built out that doesn’t need the best user interface then they probably won’t need a front-end developer.


But if something’s consumer-facing and they need really really solid kyi for that front end is still a very great place to be in JavaScript is so robust now to that anything if you’re Into front end I would definitely put a focus on getting into those Frameworks like react or few or angular still too, but I think it will make you more marketable but yes friends great place to be still I didn’t mean to be all these deaf.


That’s perfect. So we got a lot of questions about different technical skill sets devops product management data science. We’d love to keep answering those questions for you. So definitely keep an eye out. We hopefully with any luck and with all the interaction we’ve gotten will be hosting a part 2 if the demand is there so definitely that kind of goes into my next Point as we wrap up the please fill out the post-event survey so you can just do we know what we might be doing that.


That could help you guys out the most and the most assistance and the current climate.


Thank you so much for joining us in this conversation and keep an eye out. We have some additional Help in Motion resources coming out which industry insights and data will be sharing over the coming weeks such as our job search tool kit for 2020. Hopefully, there’s things will be helpful for you. And in the meantime, you can check out our 2020 Tech Salary Guide, which is actually available in the handout section of GoToMeeting for some additional tests.


– job intelligence and compensation data in the market for any Tech managers are senior Tech leaders out there or if anyone knows one, they like to pass along to we’re hosting a super series next week on the state of the tech industry for employer specifically talking about challenges and solutions for hiring manager sharing what some of our Fortune 100 and local clients are doing and answering some of the questions that we’ve heard in a similar fashion from from clients about how to set yourself and your team up for Success. So we’ll be picking part one off.


On Tuesday, April 28 the State of the Tech Employment industry insights for tech leaders, and then we’ve talked a lot about the impact of virtual. So we’ll be doing one on Thursday April 30th specifically about that for her the hiring managers and Tech leaders out there mobilizing remote work first.


So social and check out the helping motion homepage for all resources will be following up a link to the video for this session and thank X again for joining us and we look forward to hearing if you have any feedback or suggestions on the future event topics and thank you so much for this awesome panel here and appreciate all of your time.


Thank you. Thanks ever. Thank you. Thanks guys.