I've talked to several of my contemporaries over the past couple of weeks and the consensus was Q1 was not great for the IT Staffing business. Many of us haven't recovered from the usual drop in headcount at the end of the year and are wondering when things will start to recover. We've seen a couple of clients start to pick up and I am hopeful that Q2 isn't the disaster (maybe too strong a word - struggle?) Q1 was. I will stick with disaster personally because yesterday we were forced to cut 2 very strong and valued internal team members (one recruiter, one admin). We're a small office (11 total Friday, 9 today) and yesterday's decision did not come easy but it was necessary to get our financial ship righted. But here's the problem - now we're down 2 people who contributed. We're positioning ourselves to have a new struggle in Q2 - business coming in and a reduced bandwidth to handle it. Not to mention most likely losing a solid recruiter to a competitor. So what's the answer? How do you deal with this situation?

First of all yesterday is behind us. It was a day that I don't want to repeat and one that caused a lot of people a lot of pain. So where's the silver lining?

Well, I'm stepping out of my "hands-off" recruiting role and will be back sourcing, screening and selecting. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty again - I've been in a pure management role for over a year and a half and I miss taking someone through the process as their advocate, being a confidante and matching great people to great jobs. We made a lot of calls yesterday on behalf of the people we released - they're friends after all - and we had a job offer for our admin within an hour of letting her go. Hopefully it's a job that she'll enjoy, but if she's not interested we're going to continue to work our network to get her something. I connected with all my "friendly competitors" and our recruiter has 3 interviews set up. When we released her I told her that she's going to have a job soon - she's too good to be unemployed. (If anyone in the KC area is reading this and wants a solid recruiter drop me a line and I'll put you in touch). All positives. Long term everyone will be fine - the shock of yesterday will wear off and life will go on. We also get to learn from this experience and better position our business so as we grow again we do not set ourselves up to have another day like yesterday. It's no fun - laying people off bites.

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