AI hiring is slowing down due to the pandemic, LinkedIn says

HR Report | June 19, 2020

  • Demand for artificial intelligence (AI) talent did not escape the economic crunch triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • AI job posts in the U.S. slowed their growth by almost 10% according to a review of AI and machine learning (ML) job postings from LinkedIn.

  • Between Jan. 6 and March 15, AI and ML job posts on the site grew 14% compared to the same period in 2019.


Demand for artificial intelligence (AI) talent did not escape the economic crunch triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. AI job posts in the U.S. slowed their growth by almost 10% according to a review of AI and machine learning (ML) job postings from LinkedIn.

Between Jan. 6 and March 15, AI and ML job posts on the site grew 14% compared to the same period in 2019. But in the 10 weeks following March 15, that growth dipped to just 4.6% year over year, as companies enacted temporary hiring freezes and retooled onboarding procedures.

In the context of an economic contraction and stay-at-home orders, AI and ML jobs actually grew 8.3% during the 10-week period after March 15, when normalized against trends in overall job postings. The stat indicates employers are prioritizing these AI and ML specialist roles despite the broader lull in talent, according to LinkedIn.

Read more:   AI is driving changes in recruiting, learning — but employers must proceed with caution, report says

At the start of the pandemic, business leadership looked for ways to cut back on tech spending as revenues took a shellacking.

Half of chief financial officers proclaimed their intentions to cut or defer IT investments, though just one in five planned to halt investments on digital transformation. Systems that enabled remote work gained attention in response to the sweeping stay-at-home orders.

For 23% of companies, the strategy called for a 90-day pause on all new hires until financial scenarios became clearer. In May, the tech sector lost 33,800 jobs, though the workforce contraction was still smaller than in the previous month, when the sector lost 112,000 jobs.

Staffing priorities indicate where companies will focus attention and resources. Despite the pandemic-induced lull, the overall job market for AI specialists continues to grow year-over-year, which signals the setback may be temporary.

Increasingly, AI may become a tool in the toolbox for solving business problems, with expertise spread throughout people in many different roles at a company.

- Zhichun Jenny Ying, senior data scientist and economist at LinkedIn


With business models and strategies thrust in uncharted territory, the appetite for AI as a booster of worker efficiency will rise. As they try to hit similar revenue goals with less staff and amid an economic contraction, business leaders will look to the tech stack to increase outputs.

Now is the time for companies to focus on filling roles in AI, as the generalized push to a distributed workforce makes talent available regardless of its location, according to Sudheesh Nair, CEO at ThoughtSpot.

Read more: How AI technology is influencing talent trends in 2020

"The whole world has opened up," Nair said in an interview with sister publication CIO Dive. Under a distributed model, companies can now provide equal workplace experiences to all employees, opening up talent pools that weren't available before.

Spotlight

We weathered the economic storm of the 2008 recession—but what does the future hold for job seekers? Here’s an infographic snapshot of upcoming talent trends that paints an optimistic picture for many hopeful candidates.

Spotlight

We weathered the economic storm of the 2008 recession—but what does the future hold for job seekers? Here’s an infographic snapshot of upcoming talent trends that paints an optimistic picture for many hopeful candidates.

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Job.com | August 02, 2022

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We're looking forward to the opportunity to transform talent acquisition with PrincetonOne and our portfolio and moving toward modernization by applying our technology and augmenting the hiring process.We will continue to acquire and add successful staffing and recruitment firms to our portfolio this year and in 2023, and we fully intend to see exponential revenue growth as well as tremendous advancements in our technology. It's a very opportunistic time to be at Job.com" -Paul Sloyan, Co-Founder and CEO, Job.com. Founded in 2002 by Dave Campeas, PrincetonOne has a nationwide footprint and a diverse clientele, with special concentrations in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, manufacturing, retail, wholesale, and supply chain industries, as well as placements in functional areas such as accounting, finance, and HR. PrincetonOne has built a reputation for delivering best-in-class solutions ahead of the curve and competition. In May 2022, PrincetonOne was named to the Forbes List of Best Professional Recruiting Firms in the country for six consecutive years. PrincetonOne brings more than 130 employees to Job.com, increasing total full-time core employees to more than 300. "We're delighted to be part of the Job.com team, With both companies working tirelessly to stay ahead of the curve through continual innovation, this is the ideal opportunity to foster growth and enrich PrincetonOne, while continuing to offer our clients the best possible service. The addition of Job.com's proprietary technology will help us bring PrincetonOne to the next level and we're excited to continue growing and innovating together." -Dave Campeas Founder and President, PrincetonOne. Job.com's technology aims to remove friction from the hiring process and every acquisition along with its inherent data enhances AI learning. 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