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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Direct Placement Comes Alive!

We at Staffing Journal have noticed a shift in the staffing market from temporary and contract labor services, which has been the trend for the last several years, to a demand from customers for specialized search and direct placement. For the Staffing Industry, this paradigm shift poses new challenges. The candidate pool is getting smaller and Recruiters possessing the competency to proactively source and attract top talent are few and far between.

It is a well known fact that Babyboomers are on the move into retirement which will eventually lead to a huge gap in the labor pool. The GenX population has been bruised and battered over the last few years by the downturn in the economy and the loss of high paying jobs they had come to depend on. Remember, these are the candidates that we were all fighting for on college campuses across the country, offering large salaries and compensation packages like never before. Today, these GenX'ers are concerned about stability and work life balance. The BMW sign-on bonus is less important than vacation time and flexible hours. Enticing candidates to make a move will become more and more difficult over the course of the next few years.

This change in thinking will cause candidates to evaluate opportunities based on stability and balance and will create a demand for Recruiters with very specialized skills. This is different from the ".Com" boom when the life was sucked out of the candidate pool. During the ".Com" boom any candidate that met the top 3 requirements of a job was hired at an outrages salary and entered into indentured servitude. Moving forward, as we have begun to see, client companies will be looking for candidates that are the total package and it will take Recruiters using an Executive Search approach to attract them. In the end, finding Recruiters that buy-in to a well defined skill based recruiting methodology will be the ultimate challenge.

Recruiters, as well as candidates, have enjoyed the ride of years gone by. Recruiters are Salespeople and will need to be great Salespeople to compete in the new market. The key to success is going to be developing very specific recruiting niches. Here is a good analogy; If you are a talent scout for a professional football team, it is your job to know every person that has ever touched a football and their skill level, their motivations and what type of environment and coaching it will take to make them successful. Recruiting within a niche is no different. Recruiters in the new market will need to establish themselves as the expert within their niche and be well networked with the best talent.

The new market is going to be difficult and exciting. Be smart, be connected and be nimble. Most importantly have fun!


Blogger Oryx Search said...

I make my living doing contingency search. I've been recruiting for 20 years for the technology market in Silicon Valley. There isn't a paradigm shift occurring, the only thing that is changing is the market and the market always changes. The search business has not changed and recruiting in general is no different than before.

There is nothing new in recruiting except email vs. phone calls, the Internet vs. Newspaper Advertising, databases vs. file cabinets.

There are new titles like Chief People Officer, Director Talent Acquisition, sourcer... But the duties are the same as always including the same old headaches that always plague all in-house staffing organizations.

The search business is the same it was 20 years ago. Concentrate on your numbers and measure your performance at collecting quality job orders and delivering high quality candidates. Great sales people need not apply. What it takes to win the war is some intelligence and a love of recruiting and filling jobs. The faster you are able to recognize a high quality candidate the more money you will make. So what if some deals fall apart, there will always be more deals.

No paradigm shift, fundamentally nothing has changed.

Best regards,

Jack Perkins

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