Unemployed and Under Employed Candidate Flow is High, but Candidate Pool Still Only Half Full

When it comes to recruiting there are many aspects to focus on in the process. Some focus on the sheer quantity of resumes to provide with an acceptable pool of talent in which to choose from while others are more focused on the quality of the candidates and accessing more than just the individuals that are hitting the job boards to insure they are looking at the highest level of talent available to them.
As we know during a downturn in the economy many candidates that have been impacted through workforce reductions are actively seeking roles and are all too willing to send resumes to companies through job boards and directly through company websites, and this has created the impression within many companies (HR/internal recruiters/hiring managers) that they have a tremendous variety in the selection process. Unfortunately the reality is that they are only accessing a small percentage of the potential candidate pool. So even while many good companies are still growing and adding to staff many employed candidates are simply sitting on the sidelines unwilling to put themselves out there and waiting the economy out and looking ahead to better times. The irony here is that companies want to see these people and have the opportunity to hire them, but have no way to access them without really recruiting and let’s face it if you have 100-200 resumes on your desk how much time do you have to really recruit when you have to screen all of those resumes? Not much! So while the normal tendency has been for companies to run the search first before going outside to 3rd party recruiters we are now seeing an increase in our clients willingness to engage a recruiter to work simultaneously with the internal staff and so to speak “let them compete” for the placement. Sure companies don’t want to pay fees with such scrutiny on the bottom line, but they also want to insure that they get the best talent and the only way to have that happen is to view all of it at the same time.

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Comment by Becky Metcalf on June 10, 2009 at 1:43pm
Hi Bill,

It's been my experience on the inside that as this shift is occurring in the market it's becoming even more important for recruiters (internal and third party) to educate hiring entities on what is happening out there. We are the front line.

It's all about prioritization when you have "100-200 resumes on your desk" (it's really more like triple that at many times recently). True, this means a lot of time trudging through these but the real value of an exceptional internal team is being able to work under that kind of pressure and still let the best rise to the top (whether they be applicants or passive candidates we have proactively sought out - I'll be the first to tell you that sometimes that applicant is the better guy (or gal) for the job than the one I went out and "recruited".) Luckily there are third party companies that can supplement that internal team when necessary.

There may continue to be hiring managers who want to see a large quantity of candidates vs. just a select, highly qualified few, but as recruiters (on either side) we have to show the value in our service which rarely means quantity over quality.

I haven’t commented here on RecruitingBlogs in a while, I was compelled to share my thoughts as your post brought home a lot of what I’m seeing in my own role currently. Thank you for the post!

Comment by Slouch on June 10, 2009 at 2:00pm
It's a good post Bill and it's why this industry will be around a long time. The fees were established long ago and it works just not when those who normally give out the searches are told you can't give out searches any more until I tell you otherwise.

I took a look yesterday at some of the available jobs in the semiconductor industry and I was saying to myself there is no way these jobs will be filled without a recruiter. Sometimes it happens. It's like all of a sudden on some cosmic level all the companies together say lets collectively not pay fees for a while so we can all save some money. It lasts only so long.
Comment by bill martineau on June 10, 2009 at 2:10pm
Jason you're right about the boards and the number and difficulty of the jobs out there (same thing in IT)). Since only high ROI jobs with special skills are even open almost every job is tough and sure you can get a gold nugget or two from candidate that are unemployed or some "good buys" from the job boards, but finding consistantly high level candidates only occurs through the hard fought effort that is real recruiting. So even if a really strong internal recruiting team can fill 70-80% of those jobs that still leave 20-30% that will require recruiter assistance.
Comment by Gary Childers on June 16, 2009 at 12:35pm
I have been out of full time work since June of 2005. Where can I send a resume that I feel will not just be left in a huge pool of candidates for a job. I was a Computer Operations Specialist for IBM, but
was Outsourced to a Temp Agency. Please advise.


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