Why Do I Think the Recession is Irrelevant?

Nov 20, 2008

Mark Lally asked this in a comment on a previous post. Thanks to him, I have something to write about this week.

The key words in the previous post are ‘to our niche.’ Everyone calls it a hard niche but it is really just what the best trainers describe. It is something that is in short enough supply that the demand is always there. There’s a finite amount of these candidates and everyone always wants them.

Look at our own industry. They’re dropping like flies again and I guarantee there’d still be a feeding frenzy if a 300k annual producing recruiter wanted to go to a new company (not all my fantasies are ‘adults only’).

In good economic times it is easy to ‘cheat’ on many aspects of niche-building and making placements. We’d all be silly not to do some of it but that low-hanging fruit makes a lot of us too fat to climb the tree when it is gone. Many people never are taught to climb the tree to start with.

Here’s one of those statements that sometimes gets me into trouble…If you are a good, experienced headhunter, your numbers might be a bit off or they might not. The Pinnacle meeting was about 50/50 last month but none of it was drastic. Nothing has happened in the economy yet that should cause anything but working harder, re-aiming a bit, and maybe actually doing what we tell the clients we do.

Here’s another inflammatory comment. If you use any job board in your practice for ANYTHING other than researching companies…i.e. if you post ads or get candidates…you have no standing to even discuss how the economy affects recruiting because you are not recruiting.

That is not intended to put down the boards or people who use them. It is simply a matter of perspective.

We all ‘sell’ to our clients. “Tell me your need and I will go get you your competitor’s top people.” Just find me one person who does that who also says the current economic climate makes him or her do anything more than maybe concentrate a bit more.

I KNOW how far I am from that model. It varies from time to time. I don’t think most people who are complaining about the economy either know about this as a model or agree with it. I’d love to see some discussion on this.

Thanks again to Mark for the idea. Apologies if it seems anything is attributed to him beyond making me think about ‘the recession.’

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