Our Bright and Shining Future

I’ve seen five recessions and—fortunately—five recoveries. This last crash was a major thumper! The recovery is, for our purposes, opportunistic. The Dow is recovering, the economists are watching and the hope of many is high.

A brief recall of the mid 2000s
We were rockin’! It was a glorious time to flourish in a candidate-driven marketplace. Many industries were in good health and optimistic. In these times of recruiting affluence, the vendor exhibit halls were populating the recruiting conferences from coast to coast. Their latest and greatest “Holy Grails” of recruiter tooling included very slick products capable of seining the internet for candidates, position openings, hiring companies and they worked! Then the missing link was something that could organize and recall for distribution to hungry clients, the candidates mined from the myriad of technology based watering holes in cyberspace.

Thus we were presented with the next grand advantage, ATS and contact management tools, some of which would mix and match faster than a box stuffer at Whitman's candy factory. This was very cool stuff and their proliferation throughout our industry was massive. Many a recruiter earned a respectable living and some actually created measurable wealth using these tools. Many of us fell under the delusion, self-created or expressed by others, that only we, the recruiters, knew of their existence or possessed the ambition to master their ultimate potential as gold mines.

After October 2009
Our industry started suffering the largest attrition of practitioners I have witnessed since the advent of employer paid fees. By my observation and personal collection of the opinions of many recruiters across this country, about 70% of recruiters in business in early 2009 are in alternative careers now. For the last year, our industry attracted few new practitioners as either independents or franchise-based recruiters. The once rising movement of researcher implementation abated as well. Tough economic periods are often seen as cause for hunkering down. That is debatable by some but not in this forum.

The Brave New World of Recruiting
I've made it my career quest to extinguish every bad practice and behavior that denigrates recruiters resulting in the “stereotype” we face every day, every call. Our future could not be brighter. We are faced with the opportunity to forge ahead providing surgical, custom recruiting processes as the best solution to providing the people who make things happen in this frenetic economy. We, and only we possess the artful skills and techniques to penetrate a source company. We gain the attention and cooperation of the industries thoroughbred talent. We present these solution saviors to cooperative clients who pay attention to our counsel and pay our full fees. Many retain us so we do not drift away from finding the answer to their urgent dilemma. Alas, the days of our option to surf the “Net” and seine in the applicants, then cast them by handfuls to a client who catches them from many others is now and likely forever gone.

The very practices that formulated our bad boy reputations have been mastered by our clients. I say, “let them go for it… and when they fail as their predecessors did at digging up the very best people who make things happen; we will be their prodigal recruiters, ready to come back and solve their greatest recruiting challenges.”

Of course, the moral to this story
Wise recruiters have an opportunity now to master higher search practices, precision recruiting techniques and a process of service that will command the attention of those clients who have already seen the folly of this “poaching pandemic”. Exercise your very best ability to say no when confronted with those enticing opportunities to revert to the good old days. This evolution of recruiting is not a tale of things that may be, no; rather a fact of what is here today, and likely, it is going to remain. I love it! It is time to cash in.

For all you veterans now working as independent sole practitioners, it can be a lonely existence. I recommend with all of my confidence that you take a hard look at AGR (Agents Recruiting Group). They have been around for a decade. I tried hard but could not find a chink in their armor. You can find all you need to know and the support that will make you a top producer in 2010 and for the balance of your recruiting career.

By Doug Beabout
 BlackDog Recruiting Software Inc.
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