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ZipRecruiter CEO explains ‘great diaspora of talent’ in America

ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss partnering with President Biden, the nationwide teaching shortage, working to increase the total pool of educational talent, and the state of the labor market.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Getting teachers into classrooms, that's the White House's new goal as shortages continue to plague schools across the country at all levels. ZipRecruiter is among the companies partnering with the administration to try to tackle those shortages. We're joined by ZipRecruiter co-founder and CEO Ian Segal. Ian, it's good to see you again. We talked to you a few weeks ago about your numbers. Now let's talk about this effort. What is this going to look like? What's the role that you guys are playing in trying to recruit more teachers and get them in the classroom?

IAN SIEGEL: Well, when the federal government approached us a couple of weeks ago and asked if we could participate in filling what turns out to be a dire shortage of staff at public schools-- and it's not just teachers. It actually spans the full gamut of support staff. So that's bus drivers and librarians and custodians, et cetera. Of course, this is something that aligns very closely with our mission. So we agreed to help.

And in order to get more of these jobs filled faster, what we've done is we've put up a website called schooljobsnearme.org. It turns out that last month on ZipRecruiter, we had more than 90,000 teachers searching for new work. And a lot of them are limiting their searches to very narrow areas.

So we thought we would make it easy for everyone to see all the opportunities across the country. And whether they want to be a teacher or they're someone who has wanted to work at a public school or is someone who's looking for a part-time job, you can go to schooljobsnearme.org, and you can see all the opportunities in public schools across America.

JARED BLIKRE: And Ian, you're doing the job of raising awareness of these jobs that exist. How are we working, and what are some of the initiatives to increase the total pool of educational talent? Because I think that's a big one.

IAN SIEGEL: Yeah. Well, I think a lot of people are asking isn't the problem not a recruiting problem, but one of how teachers are being treated and/or compensated. And if you look at where we have these shortages, it's actually an inequitable distribution. And by that, I mean, you can look at a place like New York. And they have actually got 2% more staff at public schools than they did pre-COVID. So they've been successful at getting teachers and the support staff to return.

Then you look at other places like Alaska, which is down 30%, or some very major states like New Jersey and California, which are down as much as 5%. And what you realize is that this is effectively a solved problem. So some states have figured out what the right package of compensation and treatment is. And I think that's a blueprint that a lot of different states are going to be following in the near future.

JULIE HYMAN: And if-- geography is part of the issue here and different municipalities trying to get that right formula. How does the willingness to move play into all of this? I mean, you said people are searching for specific areas, and you're showing them a broader geographic area than that. In your research and what you've seen on the site, how willing are people to move at this point?

IAN SIEGEL: Well, interestingly enough, this has been a time of great diaspora of talent across America. And it was really stoked by COVID and the move to remote work in so many different industries. And it's very clear that job seekers prioritize flexibility over everything except compensation. And when you look at the last six months of people who've changed jobs, 40% of them moved to jobs where they had increased flexibility, and 14% of them moved to jobs where they could work fully remote. So that literally opens up a canvas of the entire country for people who are willing to make these moves.

The question is for schools, can you get people to move for schools? And I think what we're going to see is a radical and rapid transformation in how schools compensate and treat teachers. And I think addressing some of the needs for flexibility is going to be baked into that.

JARED BLIKRE: Well, it would be a long time coming. I've got to tell you my mother retired from the public school system in Miami-Dade County over 10 years ago. And a lot of her colleagues were jealous that she was leaving at that time. So I can only imagine what's happening now. ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel, thank you for joining us.