The Recruiting Hairball
Here’s what you read. TIME Magazine called it the “decade from hell.” Bureau of Labor Statistics posted data in 2009 that the U.S. private sector lost 4.6 million jobs. In 2010, the U.S. private sector added 1.2 million jobs. Unemployment was at 9.8% in Nov. 2010 and 8.9% in Mar. 2011. In 2010, SHRM surveyed companies (1,000 HR professionals) who reported lower growth than the BLS data: “Fewer jobs, tougher recruiting ahead.”
National Bureau of Economics Research determined the recession ended in June 2009. The Conference Board measured CEO confidence, which was improving last quarter of 2011. However they did say, “CEO confidence remains rather subdued.” The Federal Reserve said the pace would be “frustratingly slow.” As job openings are beginning to reappear (SHRM) and companies are actively recruiting for positions, they are also trying to recruit Recruiters. Where did all the Recruiters go?
When you compare recent recessions, 1981 was the most severe leading to widespread layoffs especially among Recruiters. Another wave and more layoffs hit in 1990. Then the 2001 downturn laid another blow and you wonder where the Recruiters are now. So, those few in staffing have a choice of where to work and for what conditions that would make their jobs easier.
Recruiters are telling us : Those organizations that want to attract the most qualified Recruiters and build the best staffing teams will make the Recruiter job as attractive as possible. Here’s how:
- All I want to do is recruit. Let me do my job.
- I don’t want to manage anyone. Let me do my job.
- I have a choice of where to work and what jobs as there are so many
openings for folks like me. Leverage the job to the next job.
- I can always change jobs if I don’t like what I am doing. I can be picky.
- Branding is critical; I want to work where others want to work. I can be picky.
- I can move around to get the compensation I want. I can be picky.
- I don’t want to deal with internal issues. Let me do my job.
- I have a choice so I want the latest “toys” (iPad etc.). I can be picky.
- Who wants to go into the office if we can avoid it? I want to work virtually. I can be picky.
- I don’t want to source; buy me name generation and I will call from that list. I can be picky.
- Recruiters don’t want to do administrative work. Let me do my job.
- If there is too much pressure, I can always get another job. I can be picky.
Those organizations that want to attract the most qualified Recruiters and build the best staffing teams will make the Recruiter job as attractive as possible. Here’s how:
- Recognize what Recruiters need and how to best support them.
- Realize the differences between the levels of Recruiters and their needs.
- Review the structure of the staffing function to be as streamlined as possible.
Could be more than one process to attract talent.
- Provide the latest in technology.
- Recognize that there is a limited number of people who are a fit in a large pool of applicants; it takes time to recruit.
- Be flexible as there are different types of profiles and skills to manage different types of functions. Expand the requirements/competencies.
- Don’t promote someone who is an individual contributor to a leadership role without “lots” of support and training.
- Give the staffing function the right leader who can give them the right support, training and budget.
- Recognize Hiring Managers really don’t care about sourcing; they only want the best as quickly as possible.
- Let Recruiters use whatever resources needed to identify the right talent.
- Tell them “thank you.”
So in this economy of volatility and uncertainty, organizations must treat their current recruiting team as “rock stars.”
Companies must focus on what tools Recruiters need, how to best support them, and, how to provide development plans so they are successful.
What worked in the past, doesn’t work now. What worked six months ago might not work now. As the staffing function continues to adapt to change, those who understand and embrace it will prevail.