2011: What You Can Expect in Recruiting

As we close out 2010, I am very much looking forward to the coming year for The Fordyce Letter. Why? Let me share a couple of reasons:

  1. The Fordyce Letter is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2011. Can you believe it? Granted, other print publications have been around longer: the Wall Street Journal has been around since 1889, the New York Times since 1851, and Time magazine since 1923. But TFL is the only print (and web!) publication dedicated solely to the interests of the external search and placement world. That it has been around since 1971 and is still going strong is a milestone and speaks volumes about the rich tradition of the publication. We look forward to celebrating this year with you; we know that many (including myself!) “cut their teeth” on the recruiting industry by reading issues of TFL. If you have a fun memory of TFL, please do share it with us!
  2. The Fordyce Forum will be happening in Las Vegas in June. As you may have seen in the video interview with Jenifer Lambert earlier this week, we will be returning to Vegas and the M Resort this year for the 4th annual Fordyce Forum. The lineup is almost set and we are very excited to have you join us for a couple days of learning, networking, and sharing. We know your time is valuable so we’ve packed a ton of excellent, relevant material into our time with you. We’ll be launching the event site soon, but if you want to get an early-bird rate and reserve your spot now please contact Scott Baxt at scott@ere.net or call 212-671-1181.
  3. We’ll continue bringing you a wide variety of content, relevant to all aspects of your business. We have always prided ourselves in bringing you the best information from the best in the recruiting business. You can expect more of that in 2011. We are also dedicated to bringing you even more content relevant for all aspects of your business – including topic areas such as self-employment, taxes, work/life balance, team management, and so forth. If you subscribe to the print issue, you’ll notice an article this month from a CPA on business tax deductions. We understand that beyond recruiting, there are many other facets of running a business and we want to be a trusted resource for these areas as well as all things recruiting. If there’s a topic you’d like to see or someone from whom you’d like to hear, please let us know.

When it comes to business in general, I expect a few things this year that may make a significant impact on our industry:

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  • People are feeling overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated. According to a recent survey conducted by Manpower, 84% of employees plan to look for a new position in 2011. That’s a huge number – but it doesn’t necessarily indicate that hiring will go up or that more job orders will be rolling in. However, it’s still something to be mindful of, especially for those who own and/or manage recruiting businesses – some of that 84% may include your folks.
  • Temporary and contract workers will be hired in greater numbers. Businesses are still feeling the sting of the recession and as a result many are gun-shy about hiring employees. I believe that 2011 will bring about a rising interest in hiring temporary and/or contract workers. We have written about this extensively in recent months on FordyceLetter.com and many of you agree with this. Businesses want to “try-before-they-buy” and it is an excellent opportunity for diversification of business offerings for many in the search and placement world.
  • Search will become easier, but what happens after that will define your value. Whether you want to admit it or not, social media has made a huge impact on the accessibility of potential candidates. This doesn’t mean, however, that external recruiters will become obsolete. Rather, it presents this industry an opportunity to showcase what it does best: sell. Just because your clients can more easily find people doesn’t mean they’ve gotten any better at selling their opportunities. In fact, all the automation technology they’re using to reach out to and respond to potential candidates is likely alienating job seekers. Sell your sales abilities – good communication skills will become more important than ever this year.
  • Social media will become tightly integrated with business operations. Social media has become part of business – it is time to accept this. Extending from the previous bullet, it’s time to stop burying your head in the sand and pretending that social media isn’t relevant to business. It is. Of course, its importance and impact vary depending on what industry you serve. But it’s time to stop ignoring it and investigate the best ways to use these technologies for your business. Clients and candidates are searching for you today as much as, if not more than, you are searching for them. You don’t exist to them if you have no online presence. Being more find-able will give you a more competitive edge in 2011.

What are some of your thoughts on the coming year? What do you think we can expect in the world of recruiting in 2011? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.


2 Comments on “2011: What You Can Expect in Recruiting

  1. Hi Amybeth,

    Thanks for sharing your observations and optimism for 2011. I wrote my 2011 Strategic Plan over the Holidays. I wanted to share some of my thoughts for the readers. Moreover, I’d like to hear their thoughts as well. Wishing you the best in 2011!

    Tim Honn

    Trends, Opportunities & Threats for 2011
    • 2011 will continue to be a competitive year for recruiters.
    • Corporations are still not hiring at large volumes; moreover, there is still a reticence to use to search firms because of budget constraints.
    • Also, because of the effect The Great Recession had on the search firm industry corporations will continue to fill their ranks with these cast-off headhunters thus allowing them to build their in-house “knowledge” and further reduce their reliance of third-party agencies.
    • Most of the Job Orders secured will be ones that are too tough, too time consuming, too senior-level for the corporate recruiters to fill.
    • Recruiters will need to consistently hone and deliver their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to retain existing clients and develop new clients.
    • There is still of slim potential of the US economy of suffering a double-dip recession. Several factors may impact this. For example, the housing, state/local government financial, and institutional/individual debt crises will continue to affect job growth, consumer spending, and the ability for candidates to be mobile/relocate.
    • Good candidates will still be hard to come by. Companies still have a bias for not hiring laid-off candidates. Good candidates are usually gainfully employed and somewhat reluctant to changes jobs because of the aforementioned factors. The housing crisis is most reasonably the biggest obstacle to getting good candidates to change jobs. It’s hard for anyone to manage the costs of two households.
    • Social media will continue to benefit those who capitalize on its far-reaching effect. However, those who do not embrace and employ it will suffer the consequences.
    • LinkedIn will continue to be a low cost boon for candidate sourcing and advertising.
    • Jigsaw will continue to be a great source of candidate and client information.
    • Facebook needs to be leveraged to connect with professionals on a social level and especially for the sourcing of millennial candidates.
    • Twitter needs to be learned and integrated with LinkedIn. This is a great medium to brand yourself and your company by providing insightful updates and thought leadership.
    • Hard work, strategic thinking/planning, consistent execution, effective social media usage/branding, passion, professional development, foresight, being opportunity minded, and to embrace uncertainty will yield success.

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