Data report from CEO on government hiring

July 28th, 2022
Anthony A. Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room right up front: recession. Some really smart people think one is imminent. But that’s not to discount the other really smart people who think it’s less likely. I’m a somewhere-in-the-middle guy on whether we’re heading for one, which might not be super helpful for this type of capital ‘c’ content, but I believe it’s more important to inject a moderate opinion into the fray than to pretend like I’ve got all of the answers.

But I’d be remiss not to start with recession, because every hiring leader is weighing their workforce planning against sales projections and the likelihood of more Fed interest hikes. Maybe my Q3 blog will strike a wholly different tone – I hope I’m not wrong but only time will tell. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, my general position is that global economies are, and will continue to be, strong if a little wonky. Here are some of my current thoughts based on what I’m seeing in our data combined with larger macroeconomic trends:

  • Government hiring continues to increase – a trend we’ve felt at HireVue since 2020 when we tripled our public sector growth
  • Hourly hiring continues to plague many companies – speed is still the name of the game, and companies can make impactful changes, but we need to start reckoning with immigration and the toll covid had on the workforce.

The HireVue numbers for Q2

We saw consistent hiring from our customers throughout April - June, backing up the stat that there are 2 job openings for every 1 person who is unemployed. These numbers are global and come from our 800+ customers:

  • Interview volume is down slightly from 2.1 to 1.8 million, but historically we see a slight dip at this time of the year between the end of stateside campus recruiting and the calm before seasonal hiring.
  • Our customers sent and received 17 million chat and text messages (up 1.4 million from last quarter). This isn’t surprising as we’re seeing more and more text utilization amongst hourly workers where the race is on for quick communication.
  • Our customers conducted 700,000 assessments (up 50k from last quarter). Screening for skills and looking beyond resumes will only become more important as labor shortages linger – we hope this number keeps climbing. 

Public sector hiring is evolving and increasing

We saw another quarterly increase in public sector hiring, this time at 17%. The first half of the year continues to show that government jobs are a high priority as the current administration makes more investments in government programs and state governments are flush with cash from covid relief and infrastructure investments.

Specific to hiring at the federal level, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order in June 2021 to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal workforce. We’ve partnered with 8 of the 10 largest federal agencies, and have seen firsthand that by using HireVue, these organizations can achieve their workforce transformation goals by accommodating geographically dispersed applicants while streamlining communications and scheduling for under-resourced hiring managers. These capabilities, alongside our evidence-based approach to hiring autistic candidates, will advance longstanding efforts to increase diversity and interview qualified candidates from a range of different backgrounds. 

Continuing to help the public sector achieve their vision for more equitable hiring is a key priority for us as an organization and our data shows a consistent drum beat of progress.

Labor shortages: let’s get systemic

At the risk of giving my communications team a heart attack, I’m going to get political: one of the best ways to solve our hourly workforce shortage is to create a better system of legal immigration. This will help us live up to our values as Americans and fill hiring funnels with qualified workers. 

Also, we need to acknowledge the massive toll COVID-19 took (and continues to take) on the workforce with deaths and as a mass disabling event. In the US alone, we need to keep in mind  that disabled workers are overrepresented in-person occupations – the type of roles that were particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Talent teams that are grappling with labor shortages have to create the best, most flexible and candidate-centric processes possible, but that is still happening in the context of slowed immigration and hundreds of thousands of people being removed or leaving the workforce altogether. Demographics are changing and you have to build this into your hiring ecosystem and overall expectations.

Looking ahead

As we look ahead to the next half of the year, I’ve been ruminating on one of my favorite phrases, “It’s not the big that eats the small, it’s the fast that beats the slow.” I’ve seen time and time again how companies that can quickly adapt to (or accurately predict) emerging trends beat out their competition – and this holds true for everything from product innovation to workforce planning. 

If you’re ready to put planning into action and systematize agility for your talent teams, let’s get you talking with one of our experts, so you can stay nimble in the face of recessions, the demand for emerging skills, and anything else the world decides to throw your way.