Morrissey Goodale Recruiting Flash
Vol. 4 Issue 1
By the Numbers
A/E Firms That Require Key Hires To Sign Non-Compete Agreements
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Does your firm expect to increase headcount in 2017?

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Recruiting Brief

A Look Ahead at 2017

The inauguration of President Donald Trump promises to bring considerable change that could impact your firm’s staffing decisions in 2017. As you plan ahead for the coming year, here are several items to monitor:

Labor market. With hopes high that the Trump administration can enact a huge infrastructure program, regulatory reform, and tax cuts, many A/E firms are bullish on their prospects for 2017, particularly if the White House can convince a fiscally conservative Congress to spend as much as $1 trillion on highway, waterway, airport, and bridge projects. If a surge in work does occur, though, it promises to make a tight labor market even tighter. Only firms that have adequate staffing will be able to profit, which means recruitment and retention will be even more critical to success in 2017.

H-1B visas. Firms looking overseas to address the tight labor market will need to monitor potential changes to the H-1B guest worker visa program as the start of the annual application process approaches on April 3. President Trump, who pledged to “forever end the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program” during the campaign, is considering an executive order to make it more difficult for firms to bring on foreign workers, while a bill before Congress would raise the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders from $60,000 to $130,000.

Overtime rule. In November a federal judge blocked a US Department of Labor proposal to double the minimum threshold at which employees are exempt from overtime from $23,660 to $47,476 a year ($913 a week). Given that the Trump administration placed a freeze on pending federal regulations when it took office, it’s probable that it will not appeal the district court order blocking the proposed rule, which would have likely impacted junior A/E professionals such as intern architects.

Affordable Care Act. One of President Trump’s main campaign pledges was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”). The House and Senate have already taken the first steps to repeal the health-care law. However, there is no consensus on what a replacement bill might look like and what changes may be in store for the mandate that firms with at least 50 employees offer health insurance or pay penalties.

Maternity leave. President Trump has proposed a measure to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave for working mothers, but the measure would need the approval of a reluctant GOP-controlled Congress.