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What goes up must come down – right?

what goes upIt’s been a challenging few years, hasn’t it? First a worldwide pandemic, which in turn caused an economic crash, which was followed by an economic boom, which fueled an already-existing labor crunch. The shortage of workers (or workers with the wrong skills? in the wrong place?) led to a big, big boom for job boards and recruiting sites. Lots of financial records are being set.

But…all of that pent-up demand for goods and services (plus a screwed-up supply chain) has resulted in a jump in inflation – which often slows demand and spooks employers.

And…nervous employers tend to slow down their hiring. Right?

Well, maybe. Certainly layoffs are occurring, but the reasons vary – from bad management decisions, to a reaction to previous over-hiring, to changes in the investment market, and many other things. Yet the reality is that unemployment continues to be at a record low, most employers are continue to grapple with a lack of candidates, and business continues to be good for job boards.

Guess what? The economy is complex – and when you throw in disruptions like a pandemic or a major war, things happen. So for everyone in our industry that has been through the lows of March 2020 and the highs of the past year or so, it’s useful to look at the fundamentals of our specific business. Employers pay us to connect them to appropriate candidates. As long as employers continue to have a need for candidates, business will be good. From where I sit, there does not appear to be an oversupply of candidates – either now or in the near future. If anything, most developed nations are facing a long-term shortage of people to do the work of their economies. So at a macro level, there will continue to be a need for what job boards sell.

However (and you knew there would be a however) – we all live in the day-to-day. And that means we may see temporary drops in demand for candidates in particular sectors or locations. I don’t think we’re sliding into a recession – but I could be wrong. If we are, then the champagne-popping figures job boards are seeing now could fade away. Such is life. Having been in the industry since 1997 and having seen many lows and highs, all I can say is: what goes up must come down.

But then, you know what? It goes up again.

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