RALEIGH – Looking for a consensus about the state of the economy and job market in the Triangle?  You won’t find one as economists and jobs recruiters are hardly of one mind about what’s happening in the labor market even as more companies make layoffs or freeze hiring.

“The Triangle, I am not seeing any slowdown whatsoever, even with a possible pending recession,” said Christiaan Heijmen, managing partner of Focus Search Partners, a Vaco company, in an interview with WRAL TechWire on Monday.  “Every month, I get more inquiries than the month before—every month.”

Heijmen operates an executive search firm, and is based in the Triangle.  He told WRAL TechWire that has been the case for companies as large as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, who is hiring a new head of human resources.

Triangle’s once hot employment market is cooling at some major jobs boards

And it’s true as well as startups, such as the early-stage startup Exhale Home profiled by WRAL TechWire in January, which is seeking to bring on a chief technology officer.

Companies are becoming increasingly interested in making a match quickly, he noted.

That’s also coming from mid-sized companies, such as Intelerad, which recently moved its corporate headquarters to the Triangle, said Heijmen.

Layoff Watch: Job losses are mounting – from Oracle to startups

All are clients currently conducting searches for executive-level talent, and all remain bullish on the future of the region as one that is attractive for talented workers.

And for candidates and employers alike, the hiring process has really picked up pace since the first of the year.  Heijmen noted that a typical search, pre-pandemic, would take about 90 days.  That double to about 180 days in 2020 and in 2021, but has now decreased to take about 70 days.

“Companies and candidates are tired of the noise,” said Heijmen. “Urgency is there.”