Publisher’s Corner

Why does the media glory in other’s misfortune? During January, I’ve received no fewer than a dozen calls from reporters around the country asking me to write the epitaph for the headstone of the recruiting industry. They don’t appear to have any interest at all in the good news that the industry has been rebounding for the past year.

Every one I’ve talked with has one agenda painting the recruiting profession as dead and gone. Most are ready to start shoveling the dirt into the grave before the “patient” has even “expired” (a politically correct hospital term for croaking).A recent Watson Wyatt Worldwide survey of 481 companies said that more than 82% of surveyed firms had implemented one or more of the following measures during 2002: Reduced staff (53%); Reduced budgets for salary increases (46%); frozen or significantly reduced hiring (46%); upped employee contributions for benefits (38%); and did away with or drastically cut bonuses (21%).With these figures in mind, I think our industry is doing rather well and I wish the reporters of the world would lose my telephone number.As an industry, we’re on the threshold of a recovery during this decade that will make the industry’s accomplishments of the 90’s pale by comparison. Paraphrasing Mark Twain’s cable from London, “The reports of [our] death have been greatly exaggerated.”Over the past couple of months, there has been a lingering debate about charging fees to candidates. Most have agreed with me that it’s a generally bad idea from an image standpoint. After all, APF transactions fall under the Employment Agency Laws of most states since collecting money from jobseekers is a “consumer protection” issue. Others (more than I suspected) have said, “Revenue is revenue and if I know about a perfect job for someone without a job for which the company won’t pay a fee and I can put the two together, I deserve some remuneration for doing so.”Imagine my astonishment when super-biller Tony Beshara weighed in on this topic by writing HOW TO EARN AND COLLECT A FEE FROM A CANDIDATE. In view of the fact that Tony annually bills between $2 and 4 million a year, the three APF placements he made last year account for a drop in the ocean with a total of $30K in fees for the three APF deals.

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His article is very detailed and too long to publish here. We will, however, be happy to forward it by Email to those who request it ( or we will mail it to those sending us a self-addressed envelope to: The Fordyce Letter, @APF Deal, P. O. Box 31011, St. Louis, MO 63131.This is the issue where we publish the index from the previous year. Of course, space will not permit us to index all the information but you should be able to find what you seek. For newer subscribers, we have a CD containing the entire Year 2002 newsletters in MS Word format for $99. Or we can Email them to you.Remember February 14th is Valentines Day. Don’t forget your sweeties.

Paul Hawkinson is the editor of The Fordyce Letter, a publication for third-party recruiters that's part of ERE Media. He entered the personnel consulting industry in the late 1950's and began publishing for the industry in the 1970's. During his tenure as a practitioner, he personally billed over $5 million in both contingency and retainer assignments. He formed the Kimberly Organization and purchased The Fordyce Letter in 1980.


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