5 Hot Jobs in D.C. that Can Mean Hiring Headaches

Published: Dec 06, 2017 By

Healthcare, services, managers and tech. And, of course, lawyers.

There are many ways to evaluate what’s hot and what’s not in the D.C. job market. No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, though, those five categories are infernos.

5 Hot Jobs in DC that Can Mean Hiring Headaches

That’s wonderful news for people working in those industries. If you’re trying to hire, the news is not so great.

In fields—such as management and tech—that touch most industries, it could mean reconciling yourself to paying more for top talent or letting positions go frustratingly unfilled.

In the long run, there’s time to chart another course. Forward-thinking companies can get ready now for a tougher hiring market ahead.

The Numbers

Where exactly to focus your planning depends on how you view the data.

One analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data is based on raw number of positions expected to be created in the district through 2024. The five hottest jobs are:

  1. Home health aides
  2. Lawyers
  3. Personal care aides
  4. Management analysts
  5. Registered nurses

The rest of the top 10 reflects national trends: service workers, marketing specialists and computer systems analysts.

Look at the projections another way, by percentage growth, and personal financial advisors, interpreters and occupational therapists crack the top five.

Use yet another method based on jobs growth and earning potential, as the D.C. Department of Employment Services did in compiling its Hot 50 List, and tech and management positions show up.

Need an information security analyst at your shop? So does everyone after Equifax. It won’t be cheap. Did a competitor just lure away your marketing whiz? Be prepared to pay for a replacement.

The “Grow Your Own” Solutions

Pay, of course, always helps. Wages increased only around 2.5 percent in the past year. With the low level of unemployment, the expected rate would be 3.5 to 4 percent, according to the staffing agency Adecco

Lowering your standards is another option. Sometimes it works. A programmer doesn’t necessarily have to have a bachelor’s in computer science. Examine your job descriptions and see if all the requirements are absolutely essential.

The best option over the long-term, though, might be a “grow your own” program that develops the talent already in your building and in the community at large.

Begin by looking inside, at your newest hires and mid-level managers. Who has the potential to grow and the passion to perform? Start a formal or informal program to raise them up to the next level.

Don't Lost Your Talent.

Hang onto your IT talent for dear life. They might not know the ins and outs of cyber-security yet, but they’ll be eager to learn. Pay them to do it, through either tuition assistance with the caveat that they commit to stay for X number of years or allowing time to learn on the clock. Both sides benefit. Bonus points: an employee who sees you as invested in them is likely to feel invested in return.

Connect with the next generation of employees.

Reach out to colleges and universities in the area. Send your leaders to guest lecture. Wrangle a professor emeritus invite. It will raise your company’s profile and help you connect with up-and-comers. Offer the top talent internships, externships, shadowing opportunities and part-time jobs. It’s another opportunity to build two-way investment.

Finally, look deep into the next generation and start programs in local high schools. Think it’s silly? More than one newspaper a few decades back saw a teen columnist become an ace reporter. Not every prospect will pan out. But if only one does, you’ll recoup your investment.

With tech and management showing up on most hot jobs lists, it’s going to be hard for any company to avoid the pinch of a tightening labor market. With forward thinking and planning, though, the squeeze need not be nearly as painful.

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