Election!: Winners and losers in the online recruiting world

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Crystal BallElections always have consequences, but many are not obvious until long after the elected party is long gone (Iraq, anyone?). But it seems likely that the U.S. election of Donald Trump will have implications for the online recruiting industry in North America and elsewhere. All winners come into office with a big list of stated (and unstated) plans for change. Once in office, they run up against the opposing party, the economy, bureaucracy, internal fights, and world events. So it seems reasonable to expect that a percentage of Trump’s plans will pass – and a percentage will fail. I always go with ‘easiest first’, so here’s my take on how 2017 may play out for job boards and recruiting sites:

Winners:

  • Oil & Gas: Expect regulations to loosen for all aspects of oil and gas exploration, drilling, and product. Energy-focused sites like Rigzone should benefit – although the ongoing oversupply and sagging prices may dampen the overall effect. Nonetheless, I’m betting more jobs in this sector.
  • Insurance: Even if Medicare isn’t privatized (I suspect a stiff wind against that one), Trump will move to loosen regulations on the industry, which should cause growth in new jobs. One possible counter to growth: dumping the individual mandate will probably lead to fewer insured – which could cause contraction in the industry and problems for sites like InsuranceJobs.
  • Construction & Skilled Trades: Two words: the wall. No matter what shape or form it takes, something will get built. Trump has also signaled interest in a big infrastructure push, which should drive up activity for sites like SkilledWorkers. As with oil & gas, this industry is very cyclical – so the boom may be shortlived. One counter to growth: deportation of immigrants, which make up a big portion of the construction workforce.
  • Finance: Expect a burst of activity from this sector as Dodd-Frank and other regulations are tossed aside. Sites such as eFinancialCareers will see demand for sales talent to push the new financial products that come from deregulation (a return to the 2000s?).

Not sure:

  • Healthcare: Repeal of ACA will not reduce demand for healthcare – but it will make delivery of it more complicated. Will this already labor-constrained industry get even tighter? Hard to say. I’m guessing sites like HealthEcareers will prosper either way.
  • Gig/freelance: Loss of health care access may drive freelancers back into ‘regular’ jobs – but the negative activity in other sectors may drive more into the freelance arena. Upwork will probably be fine no matter how it goes.

Losers:

  • Agriculture & Food Processing: This industry relies on immigrant labor – so the immediate deportation of 2-3 million plus potential additional deportations of the remaining 9 million means big labor shortages. Sites like AgHires may see contraction as industrial farms retrench. Same for the food processing industry – particularly meat-packing. This may drive a (painful) transition to automation – and fewer jobs.
  • Hospitality & Leisure: This industry also relies on immigrant labor – so it will feel the same pain as agriculture and food processing. This could be a challenge for sites like CareersInFood from the candidate site (although there will be plenty of demand).
  • Manufacturing: Ironically enough, Trump’s plans to dump trade agreements (including TPP) and impose tariffs on key trading partners such as China will have a depressive effect on the manufacturing sector. For sites like JobsinManufacturing, this could drive down demand for candidates as manufacturers react.
  • Tech: Lack of highly skilled non-US workers will cause big problems for the tech sector – and as Trump tightens immigration laws (which the Executive branch can pretty much do unilaterally), the talent flow (particularly from the MidEast) will begin to dry up. This could pose problems for sites like Dice and StackOverflow. 
  • Renewable energy: Expect to see subsidies for this sector (which is now employing 600K directly and 1.9M indirectly) to disappear. Could be tough times for sites like RenewableEnergyWorld.

There you have it – one Doctor’s opinion. What do you think? Let me know!

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