Career CEOs: Hiring is getting easier, but the war for talent isn’t over


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Career CEO David Gitlin has seen changes in the labor market in recent months as the Federal Reserve applies the brakes on the economy and recession fears grow.

“It has become easier to recruit and retain talent than it was a year ago,” Gitlin told CNN by phone Friday after meeting with President Joe Biden and other business leaders at the White House.

This would mark a change from the recent labor shortage that has plagued manufacturers like Carrier and most other companies.

The number of job openings in the United States has fallen from its recent peak, although this indicator of labor demand remains at a high level. Yet at the same time, tens of thousands of layoffs have taken place in the tech sector in recent weeks, including at Amazon, Lyft and Facebook’s parent company Meta.

Gitlin, whose company makes air conditioning, heating and refrigeration systems, said the labor market has historically been hot.

“It is still a tight labor market. There is always competition for talent. “It is sometimes difficult to recruit and retain highly qualified talent in some of our factories.”

Carrier has sought to transform itself from traditional manufacturing to a provider of cold chain and smart building solutions — a move that Gitlin says helps attract talent from tech companies and manufacturers elsewhere .

“It helped us to go into the advanced market,” he said.

Gitlin said the carrier plans to continue hiring — its workforce has grown by about 20% over the past two years — but may also decline in other areas through layoffs.

“We will always be aggressive in terms of cost reduction,” he said. “We will be aggressive on all things [spending] early next year and that will include cuts in some areas where it makes sense.”

Gitlin said Carrier was “very calm” about the risk going forward, leaving no doubt that the economy would slow.

Carrier Boss, however, is encouraged by the billions of dollars in consumer incentives in the Cut Inflation Act, which is designed to spur demand for energy-efficient appliances such as heat pumps and water heaters.

Carrier said the push for energy efficiency will help fight climate change, as well as boost businesses like hers.

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