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!

Views: 110

Comment by Ravi Goel on January 12, 2010 at 12:13am
Good observations.. in fact its a very true statement with each downturn 50% or more of the recruiters leave the profession.
Comment by Saleem Qureshi on January 12, 2010 at 7:47am
Hi Bill,

Interesting observation. You mentioned that you forecast a slight increase in hiring in Q1 2010, can you put a specific number on this.

I just received a report from our research team at Stanford University and they expect a 2.3% increase in Q1 2010 over Q4 2009.

I would love to see how far we are from the insights of other practitioners.
Comment by Bhavani Emani on January 12, 2010 at 8:42am
Good Observation..But currently are there any openings for people from outside the country esp if its in IT field?To say, am working as a DBA so am looking for opportunities in USA or European countries.. So do u think we have still openings from them?
Comment by Bill Humbert on January 12, 2010 at 10:12am
Hi Saleem,

My prediction is based more on trends than hard numbers. Therefore I cannot put numbers on the hiring. From a trending point of view, every person who begins a salaried position helps the economy by spending at least some of that money on consumer goods and paying bills (both of which adds money to the economy). This provides consumer stimulus to hiring which will probably begin at the retail level and then begin to move to back office.

Economists would probably discuss this in terms of micro-economics impacting macro-economics.
Comment by Bill Humbert on January 12, 2010 at 10:19am

I am sure there are openings. If you cannot see any Internet postings (or if no recruiter with European/USA DBA openings sees your question here), network with associates or past associates to find the openings. Generally speaking, someone is always hiring. The one area that the stimulus package stimulated was Federal hiring, long term probably not a great thing for taxpayers because the Federal Government typically only addds (extra "d" added for effect) jobs and rarely cuts them, even if they are no longer needed nor effective.


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