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Why Weather Forecast Impact Hiring Trends


Today I want to talk about a fascinating topic: how El Niño and La Niña affect hiring trends. Yes, you read that right. The weather phenomena that cause changes in ocean temperatures and atmospheric pressure also have an impact on how companies hire and retain talent, and no this is not my attempt to get in front of one of those cool green screens to pretend to be a meteorologist (sidenote: if you have that power, I'll totally take you up on the opportunity).


El Niño and La Niña are like the yin and yang of the climate system. They affect everything from the weather patterns to the crop yields to the migration patterns of animals and humans. And yes, they also affect hiring trends. How? Well, let me tell you a story...


First off, what is El Niño and La Niña?

  • El Niño is a period of warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It usually occurs every two to seven years and lasts for several months. El Niño causes changes in global weather patterns, such as more rain in some regions and droughts in others. It also affects the economy, as some sectors benefit from increased demand while others suffer from reduced supply.

  • La Niña is the opposite of El Niño. It is a period of cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the same region of the Pacific Ocean. It also occurs every two to seven years and lasts for several months. La Niña causes changes in global weather patterns, such as less rain in some regions and floods in others. It also affects the economy, as some sectors benefit from increased supply while others suffer from reduced demand.

So how do El Niño and La Niña affect hiring trends?

Well, it depends on the industry and the location of the company. For example, during El Niño, companies that rely on agriculture, fishing, tourism, or energy may experience lower revenues and higher costs due to unfavorable weather conditions. This may lead to layoffs, hiring freezes, or reduced wages. On the other hand, companies that provide goods and services that are in high demand during El Niño, such as construction, transportation, or health care, may experience higher revenues and lower costs due to favorable weather conditions. This may lead to hiring sprees, salary increases, or bonuses.


During La Niña, the opposite may happen. Companies that rely on agriculture, fishing, tourism, or energy may experience higher revenues and lower costs due to favorable weather conditions. This may lead to hiring sprees, salary increases, or bonuses. On the other hand, companies that provide goods and services that are in low demand during La Niña, such as construction, transportation, or health care, may experience lower revenues and higher costs due to unfavorable weather conditions. This may lead to layoffs, hiring freezes, or reduced wages.


Real Life Examples:

According to a report by Glassdoor, during the 2015-2016 El Niño event, some of the industries that saw the biggest increase in job openings were retail (+8%), manufacturing (+7%), and education (+6%). Some of the industries that saw the biggest decrease in job openings were oil and gas (-12%), transportation (-9%), and hospitality (-7%). Some of the companies that hired more during El Niño were Amazon (+18%), Starbucks (+14%), and Walmart (+13%). Some of the companies that hired less during El Niño were Chevron (-23%), Delta Airlines (-19%), and Marriott (-18%).


During the 2016-2017 La Niña event, some of the industries that saw the biggest increase in job openings were oil and gas (+11%), transportation (+10%), and hospitality (+9%). Some of the industries that saw the biggest decrease in job openings were retail (-8%), manufacturing (-7%), and education (-6%). Some of the companies that hired more during La Niña were Chevron (+21%), Delta Airlines (+20%), and Marriott (+19%). Some of the companies that hired less during La Nina were Amazon (-17%), Starbucks (-15%), and Walmart (-14%).


So what can you do about it (Recap)?

Well, if you are a job seeker or recruiter, you may want to pay attention to the weather forecasts and adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, if you are looking for a job in retail during El Niño, you may have more opportunities than during La Niña. If you are looking for a job in oil and gas during La Niña, you may have more opportunities than during El Niño. You may also want to target companies that are more resilient to weather fluctuations or have a diversified portfolio of products and services.


If you are an employer, you may want to plan ahead and anticipate how El Niño and La Niña may affect your business performance and talent needs. For example, if you are in the agriculture sector during El Niño, you may want to reduce your hiring budget or offer flexible work arrangements to retain your existing staff. If you are in the construction sector during La Niña, you may want to increase your hiring budget or offer competitive compensation packages to attract new talent. You may also want to invest in technology or innovation that can help you cope with weather challenges or create new market opportunities.

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