The Client Side - Where are they all going?

People are leaving the recruiting business. This really started in 2008 as business conditions got a little difficult and as conditions got worse the pace has quickened. This makes sense of course, as this can be a very challenging business in a downturn and by any account that I have heard, this is the most difficult downturn most if not all of us in the business have faced. It has been my feeling, based on conversations with recruiters, that many of the people leaving the business have the intention of coming back into it once things recover. The question came up recently.....where are they all going?

I have talked to people who have started completely different businesses (like publishing). I've talked to folks who took a job doing something unrelated just to get by and others who are still recruiting but doing other things like consulting or coaching to provide some additional income while they wait this out. Many people that I've talked to are doing fine, not really thriving with big numbers, but doing plenty of business to get by. So there seems to be the picture in our business at this time. I've heard numbers like 50% of the people in the business at the beginning of '08 are gone and have heard estimates that something like 75% or 80% will be gone by time the downturn is done. I don't know if any of these numbers on target but I do believe a good amount of the people that leave intend to come back (maybe half???). I also think that it may be more difficult to come back in than they think so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Would love to hear any insight anyone has into where people are going if they are leaving or partially leaving, and if those leaving recruiting intend to return.

Todd Kmiec
Todd Kmiec & Associates

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