True or False: Available Job Candidates Are Better Than Ever?

Many of my business friends and clients have remarked to me that the recession must mean that there are great people available for jobs. That is a tricky issue.

If someone is currently unemployed and actively looking, the question is why? Did the prior employer shut down a facility? Sometimes; and in that case, there could be very good quality people impacted. However, the more usual reason that people are available and looking during a recession is that they are the “B” and “C” players that companies realized they needed to let go first. Who lets their BEST people go when times are tough? Smart companies keep their best people, and make them work even harder, which means they don’t have the time or inclination to look at job ads.

In boom times, you might get 40-50 responses to an employment ad, and perhaps 5-10% (2-5 people) would be worth considering. In a recession, you might get 400-500 responses, and maybe there are 10-20 worth considering (drops to 5% with so many people applying). Will you be able to weed through 450 so-so people to find the good ones? Most “B” and “C” players still manage to put together a decent resume. So, I contend it is actually harder to find good people in this kind of a job market, and the best ones are even less accessible, because they are working harder, and wouldn’t dare be looking, for fear of risking what they already have.

My answer is False – not better – you need to get the “A” player to get you through the tough year ahead.

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Views: 77

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on November 5, 2010 at 9:55pm
i only hire people that are working...
Comment by Sarah Shook on November 9, 2010 at 3:21pm
This is a great post. Many candidates I speak with nowadays have been laid off due to their entire location closing. However, there are many reasons candidates may have left their most recent job (to take care of an ill parent, to move across country to be closer to family, etc.).

To not consider candidates who are currently not working only lengthens high unemployment rates across the country. I know several people with great work ethics, but cannot find a job for the life of them. Have you ever heard of the 99ers? If not, you should read this article:
Even though companies lay off their "B" and "C" people, why does it make them "B" and "C" candidates? There are varying factors that can affect someone's production and "worth" at their current/most recent position.

1) Do they enjoy what they do?
2) Do they have management that will help them develop, or is their management unprofessional? (I speak with candidates on a regular basis who tell me that they left their most recent position due to a lack of professionalism in the workplace, and management that condones the behavior.)
3) Are they motivated? (The less motivated someone is, the less they will produce...)
4) Do they feel appreciated?

"Bs" and "Cs" can become "As" working in an environment that suits them with proper training and development.

If someone has the initiative and willingness to learn and succeed, why not give them a shot? They might surprise you...


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