The Inside Scoop from the 2016 Central Florida Employment Survey

We just released the 2016 Central Florida Employment Survey.  This year we talked to 139 companies about current and future needs, challenges in hiring, social media hiring and cost per hire.  All the results can be downloaded with this link.

So what is the “real” story with employment in Central Florida?  In speaking directly via the phone to so many human resource managers, talent acquisition managers and in-house recruiters, we definitely got an earful of some of the issues facing hiring in 2016. 

Here is the inside scoop:

Inside Scoop

1.  The hospitality industry has a record 245,000 employees in Central Florida. 

Employers didn’t mix words when they said how challenging it is to find lifeguards, house keepers, theme park staff, bus drivers and restaurant staff to keep up with the demand.  One of the biggest issues is the rising minimum wage some companies are offering.  Hospitality companies that cannot raise their own minimum wage will be at a disadvantage and internally, they are not happy about that.  As a matter of fact, there are so many jobs in this industry, recruiting departments are stressed because they have a record number of open job requisitions and also have to deal with record turnover in some instances.   Will lack of quality talent in this industry slowdown hiring?  We will have to wait and see.

2.  Over twenty employers mentioned that getting applicants who they want to hire get through background checks has been challenging. 

Technology is so good in background checks, some companies can now run more checks very cost effectively therefore exposing potential issues in other states as well as with work history.  While they are getting more information on a potential hire, some mentioned they also seem to think it is contributing to a record number of declines.

3.  Employers are using numerous resources to find great talent. 

Job boards are still a top resource.  Social media hires (page 10) are dismal at best.  Most employers are not really even using social media except for LinkedIn to find talent.  While LinkedIn is full of professional candidates, many companies surveyed made it very clear that they don’t have time to professionally recruit (like a headhunter) from the huge number of profiles.

4.  Many companies don’t have enough resources to handle recruiting demand. 

We talked to many departments that are over worked and having a very hard time filling jobs that require very specific job skills.  The biggest culprit is lack of recruiting budget and in-house personal dedicated full time to finding talent, interviewing and hiring. 

5. Cost of hire in Orlando averages $1,200.00 per hire.

($100.00 low end-$7,200 high end)

6.  Skills trades are in high demand.  HVAC, electricians, welders, plumbers and most others are holding back companies from taking in more work. 

The construction industry has about 60,000 workers in it right now (for an industry that saw 85,000 before the recession).

Since over 96% of the companies surveyed had job openings, the “war for talent” is definitely real in Central Florida.  One employer summed it up really well. “We post our jobs and I am still amazed how many people are applying to our jobs with less than 5% unemployment.  The challenge for us now is knowing that 70% of these applicants are not idea for the jobs we have open and this is driving us crazy.”

Many companies are seeing record number of applications in a city where the unemployment rate is 4.5%.  This is weird and employers are trying to figure out why this is happening because pre-recession (unemployment was 4.3%), they had very few applications for their job openings. 

What is happening is anyone’s guess.  I think we are still in a very under-employment environment.  The currently employed (who took jobs that paid less and didn’t require their job skills) are finally finding the confidence to leave their current employer to better their career and financial package. I also think we are seeing people relocate to Central Florida (possibly in record numbers).  With the addition of 55,000 jobs in 2015 (#1 in country in job growth for cities with over one million), Central Florida recruiting departments will continue to be the busiest in the country. 

Download the report here.

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