Has the Housing Crisis of the Past Helped Tech Hiring Today?

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Apr 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, hiring trends

Several years ago, the housing crisis dominated headlines.  A record wave of foreclosures swept across the nation, dragging many families personal finances along with it.  The Great Recession followed shortly afterward, causing many people to become extremely insecure about their employment prospects.  While there are still some lasting effects of the Great Recession present in the job market today, most real estate experts agree that the housing crisis has passed.  This has brought several notable changes to the labor market and the field of IT staffing.  So what does this mean for hiring managers today?  A lot, actually.  

Increased Mobility and Candidate Pools  

The housing crisis of the late 2000’s forced many people to foreclose on their primary residences. Unfortunately, the result of so many properties being offered in short sales and foreclosure auctions was that the ”remaining” homeowners were deeply underwater on their existing mortgages. Because homeowners couldn’t sell their houses, their ability to move and accept a new job decreased dramatically.  While members of the Baby Boomer generation typically had enough equity to weather the storm, many younger professionals found themselves upside down on properties. Several IT staffing companies told their clients not to waste time offering positions to candidates who were “trapped” in the areas that were hardest hit by the housing crisis. 

An increase in housing prices, particularly in metropolitan areas such as Washington DC, New York, and Dallas, has meant that many of these previously unavailable professionals are now able to accept positions in any part of the country.  This has greatly expanded the potential pool of candidates for many companies.  Recruitment ads from IT staffing companies are no longer focused on a particular radius around a company’s headquarters; it’s possible to cast a much wider net to find the right people. 


Renting Creates Better Candidates Pools 

Another lasting effect of the housing crisis and Great Recession has been an increased reluctance to home buying among Millennials.  While falling home ownership rates have been portrayed as a negative aspect of the economy, it actually gives this generation much more flexibility and mobility.  Members of this generation who are not tied down by homes are much more willing to move for the right job.  Furthermore, they’re much more likely to accept a short-term project and/or consider part-time or contract work because they have fewer financial obligations.  This serves hiring managers well when they're looking for perm-to-temp workers or contractors and have to think outside of the box when recruiting top talent. It’s now becoming increasingly common for talented employees to work for a series of companies in multiple cities, increasing their skills along the way. 


What are the Benefits Beyond This? 

In addition to attracting a larger field of potential candidates for a job opening, companies are finding several other advantages to the end of the housing crisis.  A more mobile workforce means that they are able to assemble teams with highly diverse backgrounds and skills.  For example, technology professionals with experience in mining operations in Wyoming can now be grouped with software programmers from Los Angeles. IT staffing has become more flexible and advanced with location thrown out of the window. Diverse teams mean success and companies always love it when they are doing well. 

Because success breeds expansion, relocating a company headquarters or opening a new branch can be done in less than a month, rather than the years-long process that many businesses used to struggle with.  Furthermore, companies are not as likely to lose their top talent simply because an employee cannot sell their home. 

Taking advantage of these new opportunities should be a goal for all companies. When you want to improve the quality and diversity of your candidate pools or want to hire a workforce that is more mobile, collaborate with ICS.  We're an IT staffing company that has years of recruiting experience and can help you to find great people to meet the needs of your growing company.  In fact, check out our new 2017 Salary guide, it can open your eyes to tons of new trends and tips to maximize your staffing and company's potential.