By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
It didn’t take long for the BV talent shortage to re-appear after the recession ended. Part of the problem, of course, is the unique DNA of the profession. If you’re hiring above a particular functional level in your practice, for example, only someone with direct BV experience will do.
The dynamics of that shortage are different, post-recession, however.
One of those changed dynamics has to do with the geographic distribution of demand. It was consistently the case, pre-recession, that strength of demand was a function of the size of the market. There were more jobs in Dallas than St. Louis. More in Chicago than Dallas. More in New York than Chicago.
While market size remains a factor, vacancies are popping up in smaller markets across the country. BV practices in those markets are growing (the good news) to the point that they require additional staff (or any staff) to execute the pipeline of work. The smaller the market, the smaller (or simply non-existent) the pool of talent and the more likely the need to entice someone to relocate. Yet, the smaller the market, the harder it can be to attract the talent. Catch-22.
A second changed dynamic is that the post-recession shortage seems to be stronger at slightly lower levels in the functional hierarchy of a BV practice. Chastened, perhaps, by recession-driven cost-cutting, practices seem to be adding primarily at lower levels; specifically in the 2 to 4 year experience range. By contrast, pre-recession hiring demand more or less resembled a bell curve tipped sideways and centered on a manager level.
A factor that complicates demand is that experienced professionals in the 2 to 4 year range can be more prone to pivot to new career opportunities outside BV, putting even more pressure on the practices that want to hire them.
More and more smaller market BV practices facing the talent shortage are shifting to a “grow your own” strategy hiring at even lower (and, ostensibly, easier to find) experience levels and focusing, instead, on training and retention.
BV hiring isn’t what it used to be. Contact us for an informed and confidential perspective on the challenges you might face.