Hiring often comes in cycles. As a job seeker, you can take advantage of these cycles in order to apply at the right time. Here are several examples of hiring cycles:
Budget-based Hiring Cycles
Typically we see an increase in hiring activity towards the end of the fiscal year for government agencies as they seek to fill headcount and get projects done with their leftover budget. The federal end of fiscal year is September 30 and state of Texas is August 31. Many private companies begin their budget year January 1st.
Seasonal Hiring Cycles
Retail will start aggressively recruiting in the summer in order to bolster their workforce for the coming Christmas season. By contrast, construction and landscaping companies in colder parts of the country will slow hiring during the fall/winter and accelerate in early Spring as the weather warms up. Think about your industry and when do they hire most people?
Surge Hiring Cycles
Tax preparation, for example, is a $10.8 billion dollar a year industry. The Internal Revenue Service also must surge its workforce to handle all of the annual returns. These two entities will often start recruiting heavily around January 1, though the IRS will often keep workers well into the summer to handle all the tax returns.
Staffing firms are often used during these surge hiring cycles to help handle the need for extra workers. If you’re hired during one of these cycles, don’t be afraid to work for a staffing agency.
Project-based Hiring Cycles
The recently passed infrastructure bill, for example, will mean construction and public transportation across the country will see a huge boost. Currently, many of our customers have hired workers to handle COVID-19 -related projects. You can look at other macro trends in your area and your industry to anticipate what workers will be needed.
New-business Hiring Cycles
When a new business moves into town (such as Tesla here in Austin) they will need to hire a lot of people. Local news such as Austin Business Journal and Community Impact Newspaper can help give you a head’s up that there’s a newcomer in town. These businesses will need a lot of people and may want to see your resume!
Peak Performers employment agency is an active part of the recruiting and job seeking community and connected to many organizations and resources that may help job seekers find work. Here is our curated list of Austin job seeking resources:
General Job Seeker Services
Workforce Solutions is the operational arm of Texas Workforce Commission in providing various job seeker services. Peak Performers does not provide job seeker services and will usually refer job seekers onto Workforce Solutions.
You can turn to Workforce Solutions for services such as:
Free or discounted training and education opportunities
Workplace accommodation resources
Childcare assistance services
Resume and interview coaching
NEW! In response to the sudden rise in unemployment, Workforce Solutions has launched a “Jobs Now” website, which is a manually curated list of jobs that are still hiring despite current market conditions.
Additionally, they hold job fairs periodically throughout the year:
7701 Metropolis Dr, Austin, TX 78744 (South Austin)
Austin Job Clubs
Job seeking can be demoralizing, especially if you’re told “no” over and over. It can be valuable to join a community of other job seekers to keep you motivated and to offer guidance along the way. Fortunately, Austin metro area has three prominent job clubs which you can become involved in. They will often feature speakers, job fairs, and resume workshops. These are free to attend—they ask for donations from previous job seekers and from employer sponsorships.
Note: currently job clubs are suspended due to outbreaks in the COVID-19. This article will be updated when the job clubs are back in session.
Recommended Job Seeker Websites
There are a lot of websites out there to help job seekers find work and much of your time is going to be spent utilizing these resources. Gone are the days of walking into businesses and dropping off your resume at the front desk. “Help wanted” signs now hang in the digital window.
You should use all or many of these websites to aid your job search. Generally, these websites are free to job seekers and require minutes to start an account.
ZipRecruiter – this platform has taken the recruiting world by storm as it does a great job of proactively finding jobs that may be a fit and inviting you to apply. It is also pulls jobs from hundreds of other websites and centralizes them in one place.
Monster – this platform is used by many recruiters for its advanced search features. It also tends to attract many professional and information technology job seekers. From an employer side, the cost is rather daunting but that tends to attract larger employers looking for hard-to-find candidates.
Dice – this is widely used in the Austin information technology job search community. Dice tends to attract mid and senior -level professionals.
WorkInTexas – this is used in Texas by Workforce Solutions to post jobs. Jobseekers filing for unemployment will be required to build a profile….but take time to do it right—many job seekers don’t fill in all the information! Savvy recruiters use this website because it’s free and because it’s a snap shot of nearly all job seekers available, not just the ones who have their resume up on other platforms.
Glassdoor – jobs are posted to Glassdoor but perhaps more important are the tools to read company reviews and explore salaries. Glassdoor is an important part of your research toolkit so that you spend time engaging with reputable companies.
Austin Chamber of Commerce – in response to the COVID-19 unemployment crisis, the Austin Chamber of Commerce has launched a listing of businesses in Austin who are still hiring. Great for doing some research and discovering companies that you haven’t heard of before.
Additional Job Seeking Resources
Here is a list of other resources that I refer people onto who are looking for work:
AustinUp is a local nonprofit that connects older adults (ages 50+) with employers seeking experienced professionals. AustinUp also partners with AARP in order to connect older adults with a host of other services. AustinUp has periodic job fairs throughout the year as well as regular meetings.
Texas Veterans Commission supports Texas veterans and their spouses who are looking for work and other services. Texas Veterans Commission career advisors work out of Workforce Solutions offices.
For many of us, growing up is a time of exploring ideas and our relationship to life – to others around us and the universe in which we live. It’s a big and complex universe with an enormous number of choices to be made. Many of us spend the first 25+ plus years of life just figuring out which choices will aid our survival the most (and which ones are most harmful).
Most schools emphasize getting to college as soon as High School is done and that often means entering the full time workforce at the age of 22, 23 or later. And it can be a big parental (and personal) disappointment when you discover that you actually dislike the kind of work for which you have been trained – at enormous cost. And if you graduate with debt the shock and disappointment can be personally devastating.
How can you know what you love to do, until you do it?
So finding the job, the work you love, is a bit tricky. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem. How can you know what you love to do, until you do it? You may find that even the greatest job at the best company in the world can send you into your pillow crying if your boss is mean. Or you may find the menial tasks of your chosen profession drive you to a boredom not experienced since Middle school.
The days of going to work for one employer in one city, in one trade or profession are gone. The odds are very good that you will not work any one place for 30 years.
Job sampling, and temporary work, in today’s “gig” economy is the most beneficial way for you to find out:
Where you want to work
What kind of work you really enjoy
How your skills can be best deployed to help an employer
How and where you get the most personal job satisfaction.
Work is no longer just about the paycheck
For the first decade of working, I had no idea what kinds of jobs I loved, so I sampled multiple jobs, employers, and job types. From highly technical and precise map making, to highly imprecise and social sales jobs.
Prior to creating Peak Performers, I had jobs in…
A car wash, making dirty cars clean (until the next time it rained)
Mapping possible hydroelectric dam locations
Selling Persian, Turkish and other exotic rugs and expensive carpets
Selling electronic stereo equipment and home electronics
Mapping the back side of the moon
Analyzing the right level of staffing for large plywood manufacturing plants
Grinding steel plates in a machine shop (that lasted one day)
Selling insurance and annuity products to elderly people
Helping people with disabilities develop work skills
Helping minority and women owned small businesses get government contracts
Helping low income and minority workers get re-trained and placed into new careers
Helping older workers get trained to change occupations and helping minority youth access the workforce
I finally settled on helping people with disabilities develop work skills as my ideal type of work. That was after having 15 jobs! Some lasting years and some only months.
To give another example: our family dentist began his post-university career as an electrical engineer. He is a highly social person who likes talking to patients. Electrical engineering was not a good fit, to say the least.
Finding What you Love
No one really knows what they LOVE to do until they have done some various things.
No one really knows what they LOVE to do until they have done some various things. Employers are no longer expecting you to give them your whole life and they are no longer guaranteeing you a lifetime job. That’s a good thing for people seeking a well-balanced, happy and prosperous life because you don’t want to commit for the next 30 years either.
So, looking at the reality of today’s job market, all jobs are, in effect, temporary. And you as a candidate can make the best of this opportunity to look around and sample different jobs, in different sectors for different employers until you find the job you LOVE.
The whole box of chocolates might look inviting, but there will be one in the box that’s better than all the others. It’s up to you to find it.
-Charlie Graham, founder and CEO of Peak Performers
Welcome to the inaugural post of Sneak Peak, an on-going series highlighting the career path of one of our former associates – how they got started, what they’re doing now and what advice they have for current job seekers in Austin.
Our Peak recruiters ran into Darwin. recently at a local community meeting. In a city becoming synonymous with gentrification and displacement, Darwin is a 5th generation Austinite. He is also an active volunteer, community leader and board member for several local civic organizations. Darwin was gracious enough to share a glimpse of his journey in his own words.
How did you first hear about Peak Performers?
In March of 1998, I was referred to Peak Performers by a case worker with Project RIO of the Texas Workforce Commission. He mentioned that with my skills and resume, Peak Performers might be able to offer temporary job placement with the State of Texas.
What was your first assignment?
My first assignment was with the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program at the Office of the Attorney General as a Data Entry Operator assisting their accounting department with filing records and mail merging address labels for benefit letters to claimants. My contract was originally for 90 days, but it kept being renewed. I used my time on that assignment to teach myself 10-Key by touch, update my knowledge of Microsoft software applications, and gain viable office skills and on the job work experience to meet minimum qualifications for Admin Tech classification positions the state had available with the Attorney General’s Office.
What are you doing now?
Today I’m a Senior Accountant III and interim lead of Accounting & Finance – Internal Operations Division of the State Office of Risk Management. I began working for this agency in May of 1999 as an Accounting Clerk. It is where I made my career and this May will be 18 years that I’ve spent working for the same agency.
What advice would you give to current job seekers?
The advice I would give current job seekers is to never give up hope, and to be confident in your capabilities and potential. Use every assignment opportunity to do your very best and build a rapport and social capital with some of the people you work with because those very people may one day advocate for your permanent employment with a state agency.
Thank you, Darwin, for sharing part of your journey with us. We’re grateful for your presence and service in the community, and we wish you all the best in your continued career with the State of Texas.