As a professional recruiter since 1981, I have now experienced four recessions that impacted my profession. As a result of my experience, I have developed the “Recruiter Economic Barometer”. It may not be as scientific as other economic barometers but it has proven very effective.
Typically when companies are anticipating a slow down or hiring freeze, they either assign their corporate recruiters to other duties or lay them off. The contingent recruiting industry tends to wash the third party recruiters out who have not honed their sales skills. Therefore during a recession nearly 50% of all recruiters (corporate and third party) leave the profession.
As a result of these reductions in recruitment forces, you may forecast a decline in hiring.
When the economy begins to improve, lean companies begin to look strategically and realize they need to add recruitment resources. As a result, they begin to add recruiters, either corporate or contract, and contact contingent recruiters to alert them of their coming needs.
During November and December 2009, I saw a slight increase in the postings for new corporate or contract recruiters. Since companies typically do not hire a recruiter to recruit for one position, hiring recruiters is a multiplier for new job growth. As new jobs are created, consumer confidence and spending increases; creating the need for more jobs.
I forecast a slight increase in jobs in the 1st quarter, followed by incremental growth in job creation in each of the next three quarters of 2010.
The two caveats are:
1) Are the Federal and State governments going to take too much money out of the economy in taxes to prevent job growth?
2) Will a terrorist organization strike the US homeland in a way to slow economic growth?
Hopefully neither will occur and the predicted job growth will occur as it has in past recessions.
Have a Happy and Successful 2010!