The Brave New World of Our HR colleagues (and how it will dramatically affect us!)

This recruiter has seen four recessions and, fortunately, four recoveries. This last economic period was a major thumper! The recovery is, for our purposes, robust. The Dow is breaking records, the economists are dazzled and the optimisim of many is high. All the hot buttons, when pushed continually, compel our clients to grow, expand products and services, explore new markets within and across borders – are punching out historically high demand. Recent history cannot be forgotten or ignored as it now has placed major impact and influence on our strategic plans and daily direction.

A brief recall of the 1990s:

We were rockin’! It was a glorious time to flourish amid a great demand, candidate driven marketplace. Many industries were still in good health and optimistic. In these times of recruiting affluence, the vendor exhibit halls throughout our great land were populating the recruiting conferences from coast to coast. Their latest and greatest “Holy Grails” of recruiter tooling included very slick products capable of seining the world wide web and Internet for candidates, position openings, hiring companies – and they worked! Then the missing link was something that could organize and recall for distribution to hungry clients, the candidates mined from the myriad of technology-based watering holes in cyberspace. Thus we were presented with the next grand advantage, ATS and contact management tools, some of which would mix and match faster than a box stuffer at Whitman’s candy factory. This was very cool stuff and their proliferation throughout our industry was massive. Many a recruiter earned a respectable living and some actually created measurable wealth using these tools in the 90s. Many of us fell under the delusion, self-created or expressed by others, that only we, the recruiters, knew of their existence or possessed the ambition to master their ultimate potential as gold mines. But, future events and the actions of some would change all this.

After March of 2001

Our industry started suffering the largest attrition of practitioners I have ever witnessed since the advent of employer-paid fees. By my observation and personal collection of the opinions of many recruiters across this country, about 70% of recruiters gainfully in business in early 2001 were in alternative careers by mid 2002. For a period of the next three years, our industry attracted few new practitioners as either independents or franchise-based recruiters. The once rising movement of researcher implementation abated as well. Tough economic periods are often seen as cause for hunkering down. That is debatable by some but not in this forum.

A Tale from the Dark Side!

While we were engrossed in our efforts to endure the recession by making increased marketing calls, something dark and nefarious was underway. We dealt with an ever-disappointing number of “No’s” from clients that were paring down, not building up. These same companies’ HR professionals were often deeply concerned about being the next in the “queue” for departure. Just when it seemed that the handwriting was on the wall, a few dark angels came with glad tidings and a story of future recovery, tremendous demand and just the right tools to be ready for it all. This might breathe life into the job security sought by many of their new customers, our clients. The very same tools, processes, ancillary systems, ATS and matching systems were presented to our clients as the brave new way to “Poach” everyone in competitors into their treasure trove database for future recall as hiring reoccurred.

As much as it did not surprise me that certain recruiter confederates and some self-appointed “experts’ joined the fray, teaching our clients and HR professionals seminars on the “coveted secrets” of “e-cruiting,” it saddened me a bit. I saw these Placement Doctors weaving their nefarious and exploitative web. Thus I foresaw the decimation of many recruiters, who held on by a thread, awaiting the recovery. The professional demise of these recruiters came in the hands of HR contacts and contract recruiters who solicited their assistance in finding critically needed candidates. Once these well intended and naïve recruiters raced back from their own databases and, at times, direct recruiting efforts, to present their trophy candidates… they were met again and again with the bad news; “Sorry, but we have this person in our database, Thanks for qualifying him or her! This discouraged many. The more aggressive among us saw the light! “these folks still cannot do what we do best; surgical recruiting!”

Our Bright and Shining Future

This recruiter has made it his career quest to extinguish every bad practice and behavior that denigrates recruiters resulting in the “stereotype” of us we face everyday, every call. Our future could not be brighter. We are faced with the opportunity to forge ahead providing surgical, custom recruiting processes as the best solution to providing the people who make things happen in this frenetic economy. We, and only we, possess the artful skills and techniques to penetrate a source company. We gain the attention and cooperation of the industries’ thoroughbred talent. We present these solution saviors to cooperative clients who pay attention to our counsel and pay our full fees. Many retain us so we do not drift away from finding the answer to their urgent dilemma. Alas, the days of our option to surf the “Net” and seine in the applicants, then cast them by handfuls to a client who catches them from many others is now and likely forever gone.

The very practices that formulated our bad boy reputations have been mastered by our clients. I say, “let them go for it… and when they fail as their predecessors did at digging up the very best people who make things happen; we will be their prodigal recruiters, ready to come back and solve their greatest recruiting challenges.

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Of Course, the Moral to this story…

Wise recruiters have again been presented an opportunity to master higher search practices, precision recruiting techniques and a process of service that will command the attention of those clients who have already seen the folly of this “poaching pandemic.” Exercise your very best ability to say no when confronted with those enticing opportunities to revert to the good old days. This evolution of recruiting is not a tale of things that may be, no; rather a fact of what is here today, and likely it is going to remain. I love it! It is time to cash in.

Special note to owners and practitioners:

Many recruiters are entering our profession and are eager to succeed. Veteran Recruiters have survived a tough period and deserve the best. This is the time to attract and employ added recruiting staff and research support personnel. The end game for us all is to be at the pinnacle of billing and profits. Those folks that seize the moment now, are the people who will reap the greatest rewards in this exciting recruiting industry recovery. I can be a valuable resource to the development and expansion of your business. Your staff must have a strong belief in the right criteria, process and techniques. I have trained thousands of very successful recruiters. Call me and we can discuss how I can be your mentor and a training resource to your new and experienced recruiters in the process and methods that work best in this dramatically evolving marketplace.

Call me and we can see that you exceed your dreams and goals.

Doug Beabout, CPC, CSP is now releasing the New “Complete Recruiting Process Training System 2006” on Audio CD. You can see the detailed content on his website at: The Complete Recruiting Process Training System 2006 (click this link or cut and paste it in your browser) Remember: Recipients of this Newsletter receive a 25% discount off Doug’s Training Materials. If we may be of service in any manner; Just drop us a line at: or call us directly at 850.398.4302.

Doug Beabout?s recruiting career spans 20 years of expertise in recruiting, personnel services firm ownership, and training. His tenure in recruiting includes building four highly successful recruiting businesses and establishing hundreds for others worldwide. He speaks to state, regional, and private recruiter associations. He is a consultant to many corporations and personnel firms. He is currently owner and president of the Douglas Howard Group, a professional recruiting firm, and conducts several online training programs for recruiters and researchers. He can be reached at 850/424-6933 or


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