Author Archive

Home / Author's Article(s) / Immanuel Johnson

Offering employees and prospective ones the possibility of cutting out their commute time completely by working from home has appealed to many in recent years.

Since 2020, there has been an influx of employees searching for remote opportunities due to the pandemic and finding the best fit for employees and their families.

There are different resources out there to help employees looking for remote roles, particularly with FlexJobs, which offers a membership for job seekers and analyzed approximately 100 companies that are hiring for remote roles while also factoring in about 58,000 organizations that posted jobs from last December until January.

Some of the top fields that are hiring for remote roles include computer and information technology, marketing, accounting and finance, project management, and more.

According to FlexJobs, approximately 62% of the job listings on their site are at either the intermediate or experienced level which would be ideal for an employee who has had some previous experience in different settings that is looking for a remote opportunity.

“We’re not seeing one industry dominate the remote job market like we used to,” Kathy Gardner, the vice president of communications at FlexJobs, says. “Three years ago, your best bet to land a remote job was to apply to tech companies, but now, there’s a much more healthy mix of industries offering flexible opportunities.”

Some companies that made it on FlexJobs top 100 companies include SAP, CVS Health, and UnitedHealth Group which have offered the autonomy and flexibility to encourage a healthy lifestyle while balancing work to their employees.

“It’s still a tight labor market, which means companies have to cater to what jobseekers want — and that’s remote work,” Gardner says. “But I also think a lot of companies who switched to remote work during the pandemic realized that it was a smart, long-term strategy for their business, allowing them to expand their talent pools, save money and make their employees happier.”

Organizations that have had to let people go for organizations such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon impacted roughly 40,000 employees.

In comparison to other years, one recruiter, Atta Tarki, who founded a specialized executive search and project-based staffing firm known as ECA partners offered their take on analyzing the labor market statistics and other variables.

From a historical outlook, layoffs in 2023 have been low in comparison to other years which translates to the labor market being tight and a challenge for some.

What makes this market favorable to employees is The Bureau of Labor Statistics has researched and tracked the labor force being laid off since 2000 which means about 1.5 percent of the non-farm private labor force is let go from their job.

Should that number approach 2.0 percent or higher, then Tarki says it would be an employer’s market and if the number is close to 1.0, it would be a candidate’s market or a tight labor market.

In 2022, there was an expansion of 2.5 million workers from Appcast’s “Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report” which assessed the macroeconomics of the labor market and recruitment metrics.

It was more cost-effective to find and hire candidates in 2022 and receive an abundance of applications according to the report.

“There are glimmers of hope, especially when looking at decreased recruiting costs, but 2023 will be another year of uphill struggles for recruiters working to attract and retain employees in this highly-competitive labor market,” said Heather Salerno, chief marketing officer at Appcast.

Layoffs have occurred in recent weeks starting the new year off which has left employees frantic to find another job to replenish what was lost.

Big organizations have also undergone some challenges in the technology field, specifically cybersecurity, and are looking to bring new talent on board.

Walmart has undergone challenges recently with its technology and cybersecurity and the company wants to focus on recruiting and talent.

“Talent in this field of cybersecurity is very scarce,” said Nick Givens, Walmart’s  Global Tech VP of security engineering. “It’s in high demand, and it’s a very competitive landscape. We are in constant competition not only with companies within our own sector but with almost every company in general because today every company needs some type of cybersecurity element or focus to be successful.”

Givens’ background includes having worked over two decades in Northwest Arkansas with Walmart as a tech employee and understanding firsthand the challenges that come along with recruiting talent.

Setting the foundation for recruiting and building talent is a priority according to Givens. That is why he has relocated to Atlanta since it is a place for Walmart to invest in being a technology hub along with other prime locations such as Toronto, Dallas, Seattle, and Reston, Virginia.

Walmart is planning to have 17 technology hubs in total in the foreseeable future.

Adapting and overcoming new trends such as having a hybrid working option or being fully remote is a pull factor for a lot of employees nowadays where they do not have to uproot their families and offer flexible working options according to Givens.

What can be beneficial to prospective employees is in cities such as Atlanta, Walmart is looking to non-traditional pipelines to recruit talent.

Some of the tech hubs like Atlanta could have programs that offer tech boot camps to train candidates in software engineering or software development.

With the start of 2023, there is a demand for jobs across the board to include those employees who were recently laid off within the last year.

Technology workers that were laid off were able to find new jobs relatively quickly within a span of three months when they lost their jobs according to a recent survey from Zip Recruiter pertaining to new hires.

The Zip Recruiter survey also discovered that almost four in 10 laid of technology workers were able to find a job in less than a month.

“Despite the widespread layoffs, hiring freezes, and cost-cutting taking place in tech, many tech workers are finding reemployment remarkably quickly,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “They’re still the most sought-after workers with the most in-demand skills.”

From the federal job market and tech jobs, there have been over a couple of thousand job positions that have not been filled and many are wondering why.

“That’s a lot of roles, and that’s leaving a critical shortage across government, and we really want to use this fair as a way to fill some of those jobs,” Russ said.

For workers that have been laid off from their tech jobs, Jessica Watson, the chief experience officer and co-founder of U.S. Digital Response, which has focused on onboarding volunteers with a tech background for IT projects during the start of COVID-19 said employees are looking for a career shift.

“We would be remiss if we didn’t try to do something, knowing that there are tens of thousands of people who are going through a really big time of uncertainty in their career. At least some of them are probably questioning, ‘Is technology, with a capital T — big tech — the place for me?’” Watson said.

If you have considered a conventional job or one in technology, there are plenty of opportunities out there for employees looking to make a change for the new year.

Being able to explore what the pros and cons are for each may be subjective as well.

2022 threw a wrench in many plans that included everything from a rise in labor organizing, pushing for collective rights, layoffs, uncertainty, and more.

Specifically from an Atlanta perspective, there were some startups that laid off employees for a variety of reasons, however, the common consensus was centered around focusing on shifting from growth to a profitability mindset.

Looking at conventional jobs may be an option for employees looking at what is available from transitioning from a tech job to Gen-Z college graduates.

For those recently finishing up their studies and looking to venture into the workforce, Time Magazine found that in June 2022, employment had improved for those on the market. This included having the unemployment rate lowered to 3.5% and the graduate unemployment rate slightly rising to 4.1%.

For each person, what they find to be a priority in a work environment will vary, however, Gen-Z workers value certain aspects along the lines of environmental sustainability and work-life balance seem to be top priorities for those on the hunt for work.

MiMi Wood who is 22 years old and a recent graduate from Clark Atlanta University, told Business Insider that the job market is anything but a wealth of opportunities.

“It’s discouraging, because a lot of jobs will send messages — it’ll be an automatic message,” said Wood. “And it’s kind of like, how do I know what I’m doing wrong, if no one’s giving me actual, tangible feedback?”

What Wood is referring to are the automated messages that companies send to applicants that did not make it to the next phase of the hiring process.

What appeals to others in a similar situation as MiMi is finding a job and a culture that they are passionate about who see the benefits of quitting an environment they aren’t happy in and finding an opportunity elsewhere.

An employee that was in the technology industry, Priya Natarajan worked as a software engineer was looking for a job where she could “make a big impact on the world” she told the New York Times.

The next step for Natarajan was healthcare after spending almost 14 years at Amazon. She joined Optum Labs which is part of the healthcare industry and an organization that she feels that the organization strives to improve healthcare by using technology and data.

Garrett Langley, who is the person known for bringing Flock Safety to fruition as their CEO back in 2017, has made strides for his organization.

All that Flock Safety has done to this point has landed them in the number seven slot for Deloitte’s North America 2022 Technology Fast 500 Rankings.

Flock Safety focuses on making startup cameras for law enforcement and local neighborhoods to analyze license plates for investigations and cars.

The organization was able to raise approximately $150 million to reduce crime in the United States back in the Summer of 2021.

A news release the organization put out around the same time provided a goal on how they wanted to help reduce crime across the country by about 25 percent within the next three years.

How Deloitte is able to determine who makes this list by comprising the list of companies that have been able to attain the highest percentages of fiscal year growth that span over a three-year period from both private and public technology companies.

With Flock Safety starting to make itself a renowned name across the country, this is a trying time for any startup with many investors being laser-focused on bringing in profits and having valuations declining that has caused some organizations to lay off employees and cut costs.

Besides Flock Safety making it on Deloitte’s list, some other organizations in Georgia did as well; specifically, 18 others that are lower than 2021 that had 22 companies on the list.

Some of those organizations include but are not limited to Calendly, CENTIGIX, Wahoo, Fitness, and LendingPoint.

Flock Safety has managed to skyrocket with their growth rate at about 13,117% over a span of three years tops out any other Georgia company that was on Deloitte’s list this year.

Around Atlanta, Virgil Fludd is well known for his time in office and over two decades of experience in areas from sales and marketing to consulting.

It goes without saying that Fludd is well renowned in Georgia, specifically the Atlanta area and he is taking his talents to another organization.

Caldwell Partners International has brought Fludd on as a partner to enhance their recruiting capabilities in their Academic, Non-Profit, Social Enterprise & Culture (ANSEC), Financial Services, and Technology capabilities out of the firm’s Atlanta office.

Fludd’s experience includes previously serving in the 64th House District that included south metro Atlanta with parts of the Fayette and Fulton counties where he focused on small business development, regulated industries, ethics, and more according to a recent biography.

Fludd joined Caldwell from the Carvir Group which is an Atlanta-based recruiting firm that he founded back in 1992 to help Fortune 1000 to find the best and most qualified candidates for mid to upper-level positions.

“With an unmatched legacy of experience in executive search, management consulting, public policy, government relations, and corporate sales and marketing, Virgil has exceptional insight into the tactical and strategic challenges that our sector faces today,” said Heather Ring, leader of Caldwell’s ANSEC Practice. “His demonstrated expertise in recruiting senior executives for a range of clients in the government, healthcare, technology, and financial services industries will be invaluable to our team and our clients.”

Fludd is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, the Georgia Legislative Institute, and Leadership Fayette.

Caldwell is known to be a leading retained executive search firm that bridges the gap between clients and talent.

Ordering food delivery at the touch of your phone is practical, however, one renowned company has been laying off employees nationwide including in the Atlanta area.

Food delivery giant DoorDash has been laying off workers according to a company spokesperson.

The CEO of DoorDash Tony Xu announced at the end of November that 6% of its global workforce of approximately 20,000 people were being laid off.

The employees that were let go included those based in the United States and non-U.S.-based staff according to Bloomberg.

DoorDash would not specify how many Atlanta-based workers were let go as well as the exact amount of people laid off in total.

A website that tracked the layoffs at different technology organizations during the pandemic, posted a spreadsheet of DoorDash workers that were affected by the layoffs. The spreadsheet indicates a total of four Atlanta workers that were impacted by the job cuts.

With employees impacted all around, the DoorDash CEO did not manage the team’s growth.

“We too are not immune to the external challenges and growth has tapered vs our pandemic growth rates,” Xu said in a statement. “While our business continues to grow fast, given how quickly we hired, our operating expenses – if left unabated – would continue to outgrow our revenue.”

Roles that were impacted in Atlanta included a senior associate of partnerships, director of grocery partnerships, senior manager of enterprise restaurant partnerships, and more according to the posted spreadsheet.

One employee whose LinkedIn profile said they worked at DoorDash was grateful for the opportunity to work at the company.

“I am grateful to have spent 4 incredible years at DD surrounded by brilliant teammates and working with some of the most innovative partners in the restaurant industry.”

Some years ago, it was often a given that when employees interviewed for a job and were given an offer, they would take it.

What one recruiting expert has found is that employees that are at their current jobs will look for other options, apply for the position and use what offer they receive to take to their current job and use that offer to leverage a raise at their current job.

Michelle Reisdorf has been in the recruiting business for over 25 years and can attest to candidates staying at their current jobs but applying to others to get a raise.

“Candidates are shopping more now than they ever have,” Reisdorf, a district director at the staffing firm Robert Half said. “They’re looking out for themselves, and because they have so many options, they really can explore and use what they know about other companies to get more in their current work situation.”

This puts organizations in a position to gather with HR and put together a counteroffer for employees shopping around as well as hiring managers conducting interviews for jobs those employees have no intention of taking and are just as frustrated for time being wasted.

There is a reason employees are shopping around with one is taking advantage of a national hiring frenzy and employees realizing that loyalty in some cases does not pay if they were to stay at their current employer.

During the Great Resignation, employees who switched jobs are estimated to be making 7% more from a collective standpoint than employees who opted to stay at their current employers.

There is risk that comes with employees shopping around to try and leverage a raise and also for those that took a leap of faith to switch into new roles during the Great Resignation.

For one employee in Georgia, Lafonta Fooks took a chance and left her job at a salon to become an entrepreneur.

“It’s definitely a scary move to make especially when you know that you have had a set income coming in at a certain time frame. So you know if you don’t work you don’t get paid,” she said.