Staffing up ahead of a busy cycle is routine for many firms in the industry, but determining when and how many new staffers to bring on will be a harder needle to thread next year, according to one staffing expert.
“We’re seeing 3 percent unemployment in the DC metro area. So we’re definitely seeing an uptick [in hiring] as we start to get one year out,” said Chris Jones, founder of PoliTemps and principal at Beltway executive search firm CapitolWorks.
Part of what may impede hiring for some firms is that younger workers are less accepting of the nature of a cycle hire, Jones noted.
“Some of them are turned off by the fact that after the election, they’ll be downsized,” he said. “They don’t want to be in the same boat that they were in when they first started the job search.”
The most talented job candidates, he added, are looking for positions with growth opportunities and longer-term longevity. “It’s a great job market,” he said. “The talent goes quickly.”
Jones, who’s been in the political staffing industry for 25 years, has this advice for firms needing additional staff for 2024: Don’t wait.
“If someone is a star, make them an offer. Be competitive. [Offer them a] good salary, good incentives, good compensation.”
Otherwise, he said, that candidate could end up at a competing firm. “It’s going to be a wild ride,” he said.