How long before we get back to ‘normal’? Will another Covid wave happen when we open up? Can you catch Covid a second time? How long before a vaccine? Will the economy be a ‘V’, a ‘U’, or an ‘L’ shaped recovery? These are just a few of the many questions being asked. There is unending talk, but no certainty and certainly no answers.
The one thing that is certain is the value of technology and the people that implement and support it. From the massive ramp up that was needed to support a completely ‘work from home’ world, to the delivery of strategic applications that are not only keeping businesses functioning but making them more competitive. The value of tech is more important than ever and so are the people that deliver it.
Covid 19 will slow some hiring for a while and some projects may be put on hold. What happens next??? In order to see the future, let’s look at the past…
The 2001 recession was largely technology led. There was the Y2K hangover, then internet bubble and then 9/11 happened and the world changed. Tech jobs and the tech sector took the hardest hit of all. It was so bad that many chose to leave the fleeting technology world for something else. We recovered and it started by hiring contractors. After a few years, things were booming again and housing values peaked. It was 2007 and how great it all was and how happy we all were with our home values. In business, hiring preference had evolved from hiring contractors to hiring full time staff.
Then… the bubble burst. It was 2008 and we were now in a financial led recession and particularly hard hit were the banks and real estate markets. For most, the home is our greatest asset and those values plummeted. It was painful and more pain occurred with the layoffs that followed. However, work still needed to be done, so contractors were hired on a project by project basis. It was easy to bring in contractors since when the project ended, so did the assignment.
Growth was fairly slow for a number of years, which continued to fuel the market for contractors. Then, in the later half of 2016, the markets really took off and business felt confident so full time hiring along with ‘contract-to-hire’ options became more attractive.
Now we are suddenly in a biologic recession and facing life threatening uncertainties. Many companies have had to go through painful layoff, most have put hiring on hold and our professional and personal lives have been upended. However, technology is more important than ever, work still needs to be done and projects need to be delivered. So as in the past, the answer will again be to hire contractors. Contractors are easy to hire and also easy to fire if conditions change. They can be brought in quickly and in fairly short order, begin to deliver results.
We’ve been through dramatic slowdowns before and we will eventually come out of this one. Medicine and biology will lead the way and it will be supported by technology and technology people. Other segments will be critical as well and some segments will recover faster than others. Contract talent is an easy as well as safe choice for business and staffing companies will be there to provide the talent.