Recruiting in 2002 and Beyond

As the holidays approach we all begin to realize that another year is coming to an end?? and what a year it has been! The year began with a lot of optimism and has ended with a great deal of uncertainty in the world. As 2001 approached, recruiters everywhere were still finding candidates hard to come by, but we began to see a shift in the employment market. There were more candidates to be found and fewer opportunities to fill. Was this an economic slowdown that we all knew would come? In hindsight, I think we can all answer “yes” to that question. As it turns out, it has been worse than a slowdown and many recruiters have lost their jobs. But the end of the year always gives one time to reflect and look forward to the next year with great anticipation. With the terrorist attacks in September and the official word from the government that the U.S. economy is in a recession, things in the recruiting world don’t sound all that bright. But I look at this news with great optimism and renewed energy. The U.S. economy enjoyed over 10 years of prosperity, something our country had never seen before. We all knew it had to end sometime, but no one knew when. As it turns out, the down cycle was this year. Bad news for many, but even better news for those who have worked even harder to make ends meet. We can all look forward to 2002 with great hope for the future. Here are some things that will propel the recruitment market back into forefront and help put America back to work.

  • History repeats itself. You’ve heard that old saying before, but it is true. The history of our economy is that it is one big cycle. We have prosperous years followed by down years which keep our economy in check. 2000 was the last year in the prosperous cycle and 2001 has been the downturn that was inevitable. We need to look at this cycle as a positive evil that keeps our economy in balance.
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  • Out with the deadwood. Along with the economic cycle comes a cleansing of recruiting profession. When times are good many people jump into recruiting because they see all the money that is being made. But it’s a much different story when times get tough. The people who got into recruiting during these prosperous times are the first ones to jump ship when things get bumpy. For the recruiters that have worked hard and stuck it out, this type of cleansing cycle is a welcome byproduct of a weaker economy. That may sound a bit harsh, but to be a successful recruiter you need to know how to recruit successfully in good and bad economic times. If you can only be successful when things are good, then your value as a recruiter is not so high.
  • 2002 looks bright. With all of the uncertainty that has fallen on our country since the September terrorist attacks, there is still hope just around the corner. Fourth-quarter corporate reports don’t look too strong, but there is a great deal of optimism about the forecasts for the first and second quarters of 2002. Many industries, including high tech, are predicting that their businesses will get back on track by the second quarter of 2002. For recruiters, we could not ask for any better news. If these forecasts are correct, we’ll all be back to work at full speed by summer.
  • Baby boomers. We have all heard about this, but baby boomers are quickly approaching retirement age. By next year we will begin to see more and more of the baby boomers reaching retirement age. This, along with an economic upturn could be the beginning of another labor shortage, the likes of which we have never seen before.

As 2001 draws to an end, take time to reflect back on the year and begin to plan for the future. 2002 holds a lot of promise. Enjoy your holidays now, because come first quarter of next year, we could begin to see the demand for talent skyrocket once again!

Scott Hagen (shagen@recruiters-aid.com) is a graduate of San Diego State University, with over 8 years of high tech corporate recruiting experience with industry leaders such as Qualcomm, Cymer, and Pyxis. Scott is also a co-designer of the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System). Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results-or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest free recruiting resource sites (http://www.recruiters-aid.com/kit.html) online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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