2015 ‘By the Numbers’ – A Look at the Year in Review

As 2015 comes to a close, we pulled key data points to illustrate the state of our jobs market.


We found that:




  • The BLS released its Occupational Outlook handbook which predicts that jobs in healthcare and social assistance, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and construction will see growth over the next several years, while jobs in manufacturing and federal government will decrease.


  • Employers estimate wages will increase by an average of 3 percent in 2016, compared with the average annual increase of 2 percent that we’ve seen for the past five years, according to this Bloomberg article.


  • Private-industry employers in New England spend an average of $37.64 per hour worked on employee compensation, compared to the national average of $31.53 per hour worked. Wages and salaries accounted for 70.5 percent of New England employers’ total compensation costs, while benefits accounted for 29.5 percent.


  • Nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. employers continue to seek workers with skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and 55 percent said finding the right talent remains a challenge, according to a recent quarterly survey.

Massachusetts economy doing ‘quite well’ after winter slowdown

A recent article in the Boston Business Journal details great news for the local economy. Indicators such as Massachusetts’ real gross domestic product, unemployment rate, and the growth of wages and salaries are all strong and are also doing better than their corresponding national rates.

Read the full article here.



Boston is Popular with Recent College Grads

A recent report from the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) ranked Boston as the third most popular major American city among young college graduates.


This trend appears to be a reversal of a study two years ago that found a “brain drain” occurring as recent college graduates were leaving New England at a faster rate than any region in the country.


Among the eight economic and quality-of-life factors in AIER’s Employment Destinations Index that influenced migration patterns of college grads ages 22-35, the most important were:

  1. A high density of people with a college degree
  2. A low unemployment rate
  3. The ability to get around without a car


Other factors in the Employment Destinations Index included bars and restaurants per 1,000 residents, as well as earning power, rents, competition for jobs, and ethnic and racial diversity.


Massachusetts’ unemployment rate recently fell to its lowest rate since 2008 and the unemployment rate for workers with college degrees is about half the national average.


Despite the MBTA’s recent troubles, Boston takes public transportation seriously. Several PSG clients have chosen to relocate to more accessible, urban locations when upgrading their office space. This is an important consideration for attracting Millennial workers who may be eschewing car ownership.


PSG clients, and other Boston-area employers, are also attracting younger workers with state-of-the-art office design that promotes collaboration. Benefits such as providing free and healthy meals are also popular recruiting and retention tools.


What is your organization doing to attract younger workers? If you’d like help recruiting and hiring talent from this demographic, give PSG a call today.







2014 Forecast for Boston Jobs

By Frank Gentile

2014 looks to be a good year for job growth; it might even be the best that Boston has seen since before the recession.  All of the surveys – including those of employers, hiring managers and job seekers – are pointing up, and most companies will tell you they have plans to hire in the New Year.

This means we’ll likely see a shift toward an employee-driven job market (away from an employer-driven market) in which candidates may receive multiple job offers and employers have a more difficult time with retention and with finding candidates who qualified for their open positions.

Beginning in 2014, here are some trends I forecast we’ll start seeing:

Companies will get creative in their efforts to attract employees – With a tighter labor pool to select from, we’ll start to see companies get more aggressive in attracting candidates. The last time this happened, with the tech sector in the late 90’s, we saw employers highlight workplace perks like foosball tables and bring-your-pet-to-work policies. Similarly, I believe we’ll see an increase in sign-on bonuses and perhaps stock plan offers to attract highly-skilled workers.

Health insurance benefits will feature more prominently in job offers – The Affordable Care Act has changed the healthcare options for numerous workers and helped emphasize healthcare plans overall. For employers with premium benefits, expect to start seeing job offers that specifically highlight healthcare benefits.

Baby Boomers will finally retire – The first Baby Boomers turned 62 in 2008, making them eligible to claim retirement benefits. However, the U.S. economy took a nosedive that same year and prompted many Boomers to stay in the workplace. Now that they’re eligible for full retirement benefits and the economy has stabilized and is starting to improve, we’ll see a lot more workers from this generation begin to retire. This will open up jobs at the managerial level and, as companies train younger workers for these roles, it will create opportunities at lower levels too. Employers will need to add employees to fill the subsequent gaps in the workplace.

Employers will enhance workforce diversity plans – There are many reasons to hire diverse workers, and now one of the most pressing is the need to find and retain quality employees. Faced with a shortage of qualified job applicants, employers will need to tap into new pools of skilled candidates. Organizations that have effective plans for attracting a diverse workforce will be at a competitive advantage. Recruiters will target passive candidates –In 2014 recruiters will have no choice but to look for passive candidates, i.e. candidates who aren’t actively seeking a new job. This means using social networks like LinkedIn and industry associations and organizations to search for and communicate with prospects.

Informational interviews will increase – Companies are starting to spend more time with informational interview candidates and on exploratory meetings, in order to develop a network and candidate pool. Some firms will hire top workers even if they don’t have a specific position available for that worker.

frank-gentile-2Frank Gentile is a 20+ year veteran of the staffing industry and an experienced recruiter. As a Director at Professional Staffing Group (PSG) Frank oversees the permanent placement division.  

Modest Job Growth is Forecast for Massachusetts over 3 Years

A new forecast by the New England Economic Partnership estimates that employment in Massachusetts will increase at an average annual rate of 1.4 percent, or about 45,000-50,000 jobs a year, through 2017. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts is projected to decline to 5.2 percent by 2017; it is currently at 7.2 percent. 

Read more about the forecast here.

Where the Jobs Are – and How to Find a New Job in Healthcare, Finance, Customer Service and Tech

PSG President Aaron Green spoke to the Boston Globe for its annual “Where the Jobs Are” special magazine feature. Aaron was one of several local jobs experts offering advice on where to look and how to land a new job. Read the article here


Ask A Recruiter: Finance Jobs

Q: What advice do you have for someone looking for a finance job today?

A: Boston has always been a strong job market for finance professionals. The city has is known as a hub for financial services and insurance businesses, and other industries with a strong Boston presence – such as healthcare and technology – have a growing need for finance talent as well. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of demand for analytical positions, such as financial analysts.

What does it take to land one of these jobs in finance?

First, a strong education background is important. Boston employers are often looking at candidates from top business schools in the area, including Babson, Bentley, Bryant, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and UMass to name a few. Some employers go so far as to specify a particular school that they want to hire from.

After checking to see whether you graduated from a ‘pedigree’ school, the hiring manager will next check out your degree and whether you have an advanced degree. Hiring managers will take notice of your grade point average and these days are looking for candidates with a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Master’s degrees, such as an M.B.A., master’s in finance or C.F.A. (chartered financial advisor), are increasingly important and sometimes a prerequisite for finance jobs. For candidates who are thinking about getting a master’s, consider that if you complete the degree right after college, you may be eligible for jobs that your peers aren’t as qualified for and you may be able to launch your finance career sooner.

When it comes to prior work experience, employers who are hiring finance professionals, and especially analysts, are looking for these things:

  • Experience – If you’re hoping to land a managerial position in finance, be prepared to demonstrate your budgeting, forecasting and financial modeling experience. We receive a lot of requests from clients who want financial analysts with experience creating financial models from scratch. Not only do they want to hire candidates who are power users with Excel and Microsoft Access, they are also looking for employees who are creative and independent thinkers when it comes to compiling and presenting data.
  • Industry knowledge – There’s a big difference between firms that sell investment funds and those that sell pharmaceuticals and their sales and accounting cycles will be very different, too. When filling analyst roles and other finance positions, hiring managers look for relevant industry experience. While a candidate may not need exact industry experience, it’s best if he/she can show an understanding of the business units and sales functions within the firm/industry they’re targeting.
  • Confidence – Finance positions are increasingly moving out of the back-office realm and becoming more forward-facing roles. A finance manager or analyst may need to work with the head of every business unit in the company to put together budgets and will need to have the confidence to deliver bad news when needed and to give formal presentations to board members on occasion. Some recruiters say they look for candidates with a “sales mentality and an accounting/finance body” to fill these positions.


About the Recruiter
greg-menzone-pic1Greg Menzone is a 10-year veteran of the staffing industry who has made hundreds of successful placements. Greg and the team he manages specialize in direct hire placement of accounting and finance professionals.

Economists Predict Hiring to Pick Up in 2013

While hiring for full-time jobs is relatively slow right now, which many say is due to uncertainty in Washington, economists predict the pace of hiring among Boston employers will pick up steam later in 2013. In particular, certain industries will see more demand than others, including construction, professional technology services, IT, and hospitality industries.

In contrast, the temporary staffing market is experiencing record growth. An annual survey and forecast from Staffing Industry Analysts predicts that the use of temporary staffing will hit record numbers in 2013. This year, temporary hires across all industries are expected to reach 106 percent of their historical high and some sectors, such as locum tenens physicians and nurses and IT and engineering/design professionals, will far exceed the average.