You know, I’ve been doing this kind of work (direct hire recruiting) for a lot of years, and one thing that has never changed IS change. I’m giving away my age (although, I began recruiting when I was 4-years-old), but paper, note cards, rolodexes (the actual physical things) and the telephone were the tools of the trade back then. And yes, I did walk through eight feet of snow to school, uphill both ways.
The business has changed so completely that the methods used to recruit do not even remotely resemble those on which I was trained when I started my career. However, this is still, largely, a people business. It’s about relationships, about making contacts in various business verticals, about keeping in touch with people you’ve met and always “keeping your ear to the ground,” to make sure you are at the forefront of what’s happening in your market.
Speaking of market and change (what a great segue!), I believe that we’re currently experiencing one of those major shifts in market conditions. During the last five years with the economy being what it was/is, companies have learned how to do more with less, workers have become accustomed to having additional tasks assigned on top of already jam-packed workloads and just dealing with it, management has had to deal with an inability to reward the workers who’ve remained after layoffs and cuts, even though they’re doing the work of, many times, what had been two or three people.
I believe that this has altered the way that employers look at budgeting for headcount – in that they’ve become used to working with fewer people. At the same time, it seems that additional positions, when approved, are being created with more exact requirements, more skills are needed – again, perhaps attempting to cover what in the past were two positions with one person.
As recruiters, not only are we tasked with finding excellent and qualified candidates for these expanded and newly created roles, I believe we are also responsible, along with our account reps, to educate both the clients and the candidates as to market conditions and changes.
As the economy continues to improve, we will see a shift (in many areas it is already happening) to much more of a “sellers’ market,” where good candidates are receiving multiple offers in relatively short amounts of time. We need to let our clients know, whether external or internal, our experiences in their market and manage expectations to reflect these changes in the market.
In the end, it is the client’s decision as to how to move forward with candidates, but as true partners in the hiring process, we should be advising and informing them of conditions affecting the search and eventual hiring of the best candidate for the job. Working together with our sales team, our clients, our candidates and our colleagues in recruiting will ensure the best possible outcome for all involved.