Employment Market Trends are Booming for Business Continuity Professionals
We have seen tremendous growth in job opportunities for the Business Continuity profession all year long. What has fueled this growth? The unemployment rate has consistently stayed low. Companies are expanding their Business Continuity, Crisis, Risk and Security program strategies while struggling to identify top talent to champion their program goals. Additionally, economic reports have been and continue to be favorable. What advice can we offer if you’re currently seeking a new position or plan to shortly?
With over 20 years of expertise in recruiting and staffing in Business Continuity, I can confidently say that we’ve never witnessed such a booming employment market for the Business Continuity profession. To date we’ve tracked over 600 new job opportunities worldwide for 2019 - and these new jobs are dedicated business continuity/ resiliency personnel needs. On average there have been 31 new jobs posted per week worldwide with peaks during January, April, and May. Additionally, over 11% of new job postings remain open for longer than 60 days. (We’ve been tracking that statistic since July so it’s likely higher). Another interesting tidbit is that 18% of job postings in 2019 have been at the sr. leadership level while 34% have been mid-management and 48% have been at a junior level. Between 2010 – 2018 we typically tracked about 8-15 new job postings per week. So yes, 2019 has been busy indeed!!!
So what has fueled this growth? Well, the unemployment rate has dropped from 4.3% in 2017 to 3.7%. The labor market has also been going strong with job gains surpassing 100,000 in 30 of the last 33 months and wages continue to grow as well. Additionally, business confidence in late 2018 was at a high (101 in August 2018), which coincidentally many new hires were approved during this time for Q4 2018 through Q2 2019. Although these statistics are across different professions and industries, I would suspect that the Business Continuity profession is even tighter.
More than ever before, organizations are struggling to attract top talent as anxiety rises with their Business Continuity, Resiliency, Crisis and Risk Management programs. And they need to be concerned more than ever before! Our 7th Edition Crisis Event Impact Management Study* indicated that 75% of study respondents employed a response/ recovery team or plan in response to an event in the last year. The same study also highlighted that 23% of organizations were impacted by a workplace violence situation (bomb threat, disgruntled employee or shooting/ gun scare). In addition to increased workplace violence threats and weather-related events, executives are especially concerned with the more elusive catastrophes, such as brand/ social media damage, financial market disruption or a cyber-attack. With this increased concern comes the need to hire a business continuity, resiliency, crisis management professional who knows their stuff or engage with a reputable professional services firm. The struggle; however, is that fewer professionals are aggressively seeking a career change. Presently, most professionals are passive seekers who are happily employed and sourcing the right candidate for the job has been a top concern as jobs go unfilled.
What is the outlook for the job market in Q4 2019 and 2020? Although the economy has slowed ever so slightly during the second half of 2019, market forecasts point to a continued economic status quo with labor market gains remaining consistent. My recommendation for those aggressively seeking a new position is to continue to be particular with your job search and focus on the number of outreach connections you make per week. Be sure to pay attention to the years of experience the job posting is requiring versus the job title. Unfortunately, in the business continuity world, the job titles tend to be very indefinable, meaning that a Business Continuity Program Manager can mean different things to different companies. I find it is best to focus on the years of expertise required/ desired. If a job advertisement lists 3-5 years, they are likely seeking someone more junior. Also, if you are targeting a position in a different location, be completely transparent about your target geography in a cover letter or email message. Although the employment market is strong, many companies will still shy away from relocating candidates. Be patient and positive through the process too. Typically, the best time to find a job is between Sept through the end of November and then again from mid-January through the end of May. Fortunately, we’ve experienced a recent surge of job activity and we’re still tracking several prospect jobs. Be sure to opt-in to our BCM Career Alerts at https://www.bcmanagement.com/business-continuity-jobs and follow BC Management on social media for new updates.
* The 7th Edition Crisis Event Impact Management Study collected data from Nov 2017 to Jan 2018. Our 8th Edition Crisis Event Impact Management Study is live now through Oct 2nd - https://www.bcmanagement.com/bcm-program-research. Be sure to confidentially participate to receive a complimentary report.
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