The recession is here, and there's no sense denying it, but I'm curious as to the realities of spending during tough times.

All my marketing magazines and bloggers talk about using tough times to gain market share, but it's rare that anyone increases marketing spend during a slowdown - it's just talk to prevent the bottom from falling out.

My sense of recruiting is difference. Recruiters are notoriously tight-fisted, a reaction to the feast or famine nature of our business. Internal departments do it differently (using contract recruiters usually), but all of us tend to be very careful with our money.

I don't really see a slowdown in recruiting spending coming, but then again, my perception is that we don't really see a large increase when times are good.

In 2009, are your or your company spending money on:

1) Conferences
2) Training
3) Infrastructure (computers/ATS/databases)
4) Perks (cell phone, car allowance)
5) Advertising (outside of job boards)
6) Referral programs

If so, is it the economy driving the changes, or is it our nature as recruiters?

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Todd Raphael of ERE posted something on this December 19 here. It ain't pretty.
I 'member that early adage, "It's the economy, stupid." I think it still applies.
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Ouch. That's a worst list than the marketing ones. Maureen, it looks like our work is cut out for us.

On the plus side, all I can say is that when times are tough, it's often the best time to eat your competitor's lunch. If you can afford your two slices of bread.
The ones left standing after this debacle will have HUGE market share, IMO.
Across ALL quarters.
We have increased our communication budget by 500% this year (ie phone calls).

Seriously, we have found that there is a tipping point beyond which recruiting can in fact almost completely dry up for agencies, but generally speaking there is usually some nuts to be found for the smart squirrels.

The biggest change in spending in our business? We can't invest in any additional recruiters at this point.

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