Local recruitment agencies are working with many employers and workers to fill vacancies as companies continue to emerge from the pandemic.

“I’ve been doing this nationally for 20 years and it’s the Wild West right now. I think it’s a little messier than I’ve ever seen, ”said Robert Hawthorne, president of Hawthorne Search, based in Wilmington, of recent hiring trends among his clients.

There are several key recruiting issues that Hawthorne sees at his recruiting agency, including a large number of employers seeking hiring.

Business employers that Hawthorne’s company works with have tremendous staffing needs, he said.

“That applies to all disciplines of sales, marketing, operations, finance, whatever. Our phones are ringing at companies looking for employees, ”added Hawthorne.

Many companies want to expand their sales and service teams, including customer service, customer service, and account management.

The industries Hawthorne’s company works with include software, SAAS, and e-commerce, he said.

“They’re all hiring like crazy,” said Hawthorne. “Your business collar employers are hiring … I’d say we’ve got 50% more year to date than last year,” he said.

Employers also hunt down candidates who are picky about their employers and now have different expectations, he said.

A COVID-driven change in employee expectations is the ability to work remotely.

“I think it’s the number one driver for a lot of employees – and not every company will be able to handle it – but they want the opportunity to work from home,” he said. “During COVID, many companies were forced to naturally let their employees work from home and many people no longer want to return to an office.

“Some are willing to do it part-time, others are willing to do flexitime, but most of the employees we speak to don’t want to go back to an office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.”

Companies that are able to support a team that works virtually or partially from home will be better at attracting potential employees, typically younger professionals, he said.

“Your Millennials and GenZ [workers] don’t tend to go back to a cube and sit there eight or nine hours a day, ”said Hawthorne.

“What the employees want is Flex. They want to be able to go to the office a day or two a week, a day or two a week – have some fellowship, a chance to see their boss, see their co-workers – but they want them anyway Being able to work flexibly from home, at least two to three days a week, if not more. Employers who are open to it are likely to have a strong competitive advantage, “he added.

Wilmington-based nonprofit StepUp Wilmington has placed 66 candidates in positions this year, said Tessa Zak, business partnership manager at the organization.

The nonprofit recently announced that it is launching its new brand, Beyond Talent, a division of StepUp Wilmington and an initiative that will help get people into jobs, support regional business growth, and help the nonprofit find itself to obtain.

“Right now there are three major hiring trends, one focus on diversity and fair practices, another on remote working and finally looking for opportunities to fill entry-level positions or upgrade hard-to-fill positions,” said Zak.

Employers seek strong work ethic and self-management skills as many positions now work remotely and independently. The labor shortage also forces employees to “work at maximum capacity,” she said.

An employee who is knowledgeable about technology, “be it Google Suite, POS systems or CRMs, is also in great demand,” she said.

A number of people are looking for work and submit applications, she said. However, there is “varying degrees of severity among candidates looking for work,” she added.

Many applicants face problems such as the lack of childcare, which affects people’s ability to find work.

“These candidates, she said,” need to be selective in the jobs they pursue to overcome these barriers, looking for either higher-paying jobs or remote working opportunities. ”