After a recent placement I sat at my desk and thought, I really love this business. Client's Happy, Candidate's Happy, Recruiter's Happy, Me........we all win. That's the great thing about this business. When we win, we all win. And at a time like that, even a little dry period looks like a good thing in hindsight. It's over, but sobering and helps keep you grounded and focused. The problem is, right now I don't think this downturn we are in is anywhere near over. I talk to a lot of clients and prospective clients every day so I get a good sense of business conditions overall. What it seems like to me, is that maybe the worst of the downturn is over (the shocking first part when people running businesses realize things are really bad), but that this could be the mother of all downturns and take forever to really get out of. We hear a lot of talk of recovery and when. Back when this started people were saying first quarter '09 and we'll start to recover. Then it became summer of '09 and now we are starting to hear first quarter 2010. Any of these may come true with a small recovery statistically. My fear is for the people that expect a strong recovery in business conditions and are waiting for that to happen. Whether they are a real estate agent, small business owner, or recruiter doesn't matter. I'm afraid that there are folks that will be ground up with the stress of waiting and hoping for that significant recovery that, from what I see and hear, won't be coming for a long long time (10 years, 20 years, who knows???).
I believe that we are in the early stages of a long period of difficult business conditions. I believe we will have mini recoveries and downturns going forward for quite some time. The good news is that many of us are doing business. We peaked in '07 but are well ahead of our '08 pace at this point so even if this is the mother of all downturns, we know there is business being done. Additionally, little recoveries will be welcomed enthusiastically and smart companies will be able to grow and take advantage in those periods and smart talented recruiters will be able to participate and do solid business as well. As this happens, we should all plan conservatively and act aggressively to do as much business as we can and grow our businesses as much as we can. Then, store up your barns and be ready for whatever comes next.
I'd love to be wrong, but I'm going to be ready.
Todd Kmiec & Associates
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