We came into this week hoping for a January bounce. What we got, was a mixed bag.....so far. Activity has definitely picked up. We are seeing more new jobs, interviews, processes moving along, and more clients' perspectives returning to normal. However, we are also still seeing a significantly higher than normal level of fear and reserve.
The economy and business conditions still have a lot of business leaders scared, concerned, or frozen. When looking at business conditions in general and how they impact the recruiting business, I'm reminded of the old line about how difficult it is to turn the Titanic around. It's a process and it takes a lot of steps and time. Business confidence took a huge hit this fall. There are companies out there that see orders coming back and they are moving forward to hire and make further plans to grow and run their businesses. There are many others that are at earlier stages in that process, still very uncertain and not seeing enough of their business returning for them to move forward with hires they wanted to make or to make plans to grow further. Government intervention (bailouts, public works programs, enormous stimulus packages etc....) is starting to sink in and become an accepted part of where we are. While big business failures and Government bailouts shocked the system in '08, it's not shocking anymore. It's still not a pretty picture, but it's a step in the right direction for those of us in the recruiting business. Less shock and more acceptance of current conditions does help bring people back to running their businesses, although in tougher conditions.
At this point I think we'll continue to see this process play out, where more and more companies come around to moving forward and handling critical hires. They'll be more selective on what they are willing to do and what positions they are willing to pay fees for. It's going to continue to take more effort to find the opportunities but the opportunities that are there are just as good and the motivation is just as high to fill those key positions as in more normal times.
Todd Kmiec & Associates
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