The consensus suddenly is that clients are putting the brakes on hiring and job orders are shrinking. I am hearing that the client driven mantra to outside recruiters is that “the economy is terrible, we need to tighten our belts and there are a lot of good candidates out there.” Attitude is 99% of this game and if you want to see doom and gloom, that is your prerogative. However, where there is chaos there is opportunity and right now there is a tremendous amount of opportunity for great recruiting firms.
Yes, there are a lot of unemployed people out there. That also means that there are going to be more resumes to sift through. This doesn’t mean that the aggressively seeking candidates are of higher quality as a whole than they were last year. It is the same alluring mirage that it has always been. Don’t be fooled, this only means that there are more potential candidates. Suddenly qualifying candidates becomes even more extensive. Is the candidate looking for a new position because, in the current financial climate, their small company has imploded (possibly as a result of having not aggressively recruited and hired the type of talent that would have insured stability in a roller coaster market)? Perhaps they are available because the large firm they have been working for has decided to trim the bottom 15% of the company vs. the typical annual 10%. There also is a lot of pressure to perform and sometimes it is the candidate that tells the company “Thanks but no thanks,” “you folks are no longer being reasonable.” Regardless, because of the volume of active lookers right now, the prize candidates are breathing a sigh of relief as their phones are ringing a lot less. However, it is a nervous sigh.
In a tight market these all-stars get approached aggressively and often by good recruiters that recognize that they are the most sought and placeable of candidates. In the whirlwind financial meltdown these are the people that are more open to considering change yet involved in less competing opportunities than at any time in recent history. For the recruiter that is willing to go the extra yard this is a true windfall opportunity. Now is not the time to get lazy and harvest resumes of the active seekers. I am not in ANY way suggesting that bad things are not happening to good and talented people. But when a rock star plants his resume on a major job board you are incredibly naïve to think you are the only recruiter out there calling.
How do you make your firm a safety zone for the passive superstars?
1. You demonstrate stability and experience.
2. You protect and respect your candidates confidentiality above all else.
3. You nurture business relationships with recession proof clients.
Go and get the very strongest candidates! They are more open to conversation now than they have been in recent history. Become a source of positivity for the people you talk to during the day. There is enough gloom and doom on the television right now for two lifetimes. Remember, it isn’t the recruiting firm with the most candidates that wins, it is the firm with the best.
Senior Managing Partner
Bluespeed Technology, Inc.