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June 26, 2018 • Richard Neisz

What Employers Need to Know to Hire in Richmond’s IT Candidate Market


 

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With the rapid expansion of the Richmond labor market, many in the area are feeling growing pains. Finding tech talent has become increasingly difficult, and companies are placing major emphasis on retaining current professionals. In order to gain the competitive advantage, it’s critical that employers understand the breadth of the current market. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know to hire in Richmond’s IT candidate market.

Unemployment

Richmond’s diverse economy has drawn professionals and employers alike to the region. Home to both the US Court of Appeals and a Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond is known for its contribution to law, economy, and the government. Furthermore, growing industries like tech and healthcare are attracting even more individuals to the region. 23,000 professionals are employed in computer occupations in Richmond, with employment in the field growing faster than any other industry.

Last month, Virginia’s unemployment rate sank to 3.2%, the lowest it’s been since October 2007. This year, Virginia has gained an average of about 9,300 jobs per month with the state’s labor force expanding for the fourth month in a row. In the Richmond area alone, employers added a net of about 8,000 jobs between May 2017 and 2018, a growth rate of 1.2%. With such a low unemployment rate and thriving demand, competition for top talent is inevitable, especially within Richmond’s IT candidate market, where supply and demand are wildly disparate.

The Future of Richmond

There are quite a few notable developments occurring in Richmond, some of which have the power to completely change the marketplace. Facebook is currently expanding its empire into Henrico County, investing $1 billion into a new tech data center known as “Project Echo.” The center is expected to employ 100 full-time workers. The decision to bring the project to the area was made following the county’s recent tax breaks on computers and data center equipment, signaling that Facebook may be the first of many to take advantage of the tax cuts.

Ultimately, these developments, along with many others, mean that employers will need to get increasingly competitive to attract talent. The mass of new jobs is exciting for the region, but existing companies need to know that retention will be more important than ever, while those looking to hire Richmond’s top IT professionals will end up in battle against both new startups and expanding corporations alike. While salaries in the area are so far on par with national trends, understanding market rates will be key to recruiting the best of the best.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that Richmond is attracting Millennials at one of the highest rates in the country. This generation is changing the way many companies hire and manage their workforces, opting for greater flexibility, creating more opportunities for growth and development, and ensuring that their workers feel they are making a difference. These are values that Millennials are reported to look for the most when in the job search.

What Employers Need to Know to Hire in Richmond’s IT Candidate Market

Staying on top of the current trends and future developments in the area is imperative to longevity in the Richmond market. While focusing on benefits programs and company culture can assist in finding and retaining IT talent, recruiting efforts must be top of mind in such a flourishing economy.

Are you struggling to find qualified IT professionals in the Richmond market? Tell us what you need.

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