So I ask employers, WHAT IS GOING ON…I have never had more clients, giving me more requisitions to fill, or more candidates looking to fill them. (Just for the record, a client is a company hiring me to help find them candidates, and candidates, well you are all brilliant engineers so you can figure that part out). But company after company delays, stalls or ultimately finds some reason not to hire a qualified candidate! That is a FACT that I know every recruiter and job seeker knows all too well these days.
Though so many companies in our sector are achieving giant spikes in business, and record revenues to go with that, most (and I do not get any of this) are still not hiring commensurate with needs or revenues. Like I said, the industry seems to be doing extraordinarily well, cash is aplenty, and the needs are there for unique quality Software/Hardware personnel; vis-à-vis, the people who develop, support and sell it. So if everyone is so busy, how come “hiring” is not booming? I am not sure I can answer that adequately (It seems that even our Government cannot, so I guess I can be excused) but I do think it ties in to the rest of this column.
So for the second fact, which is not nearly as quantitative as the first, but ties in…. Clearly for me (and I know other recruiters as well) being extraordinarily busy does not necessarily equate financially to equivalently fantastic revenues. So what does that mean, being the busiest I have ever been, but not having record revenues to go along with that? What does it mean to be in a relatively booming industry and still not see hiring as robust as the experts feel it should be? If I could answer that I would not be writing this column, (I might even be President) and if I could correct it, I would be off on my Yacht somewhere, rather than losing sleep thinking about a solution. But I will try to make a few points that have some cause and effect.
Currently I have 4-5 times the normal activity, meaning I have more pending submissions of candidates that match my clients criteria that in any average period. Having such an incredible amount of outstanding candidates sounds terrific on its face; after all the more candidates you submit, the more possible closures you should get; the more revenue that should produce… so one would hypothesize. Well for whatever reason, that theory is not coming to fruition, not nearly at the rate one would think, I WOULD THINK, with that amount of activity.
Understand that producing all that activity takes a heck of a lot of increased work and effort. As any good recruiter knows, finding just one good candidate to submit can take days, even weeks, and in some cases even more time. Multiply that effort with all the extra activity and you can understand the frustration of working so hard and making well not nearly what that amount of work should produce. That frustration is evident to those that want to hire to fill specific needs, and even more evident to the candidates that wait for the yes or no.
Now let me be clear, I am not writing too complain that I am working too hard, working has never been a problem for me. Nor am I complaining that I am not making the revenues of years past. (Well actually I am complaining a bit about that). But to work so hard and produce so little begs the question, WHY?
Why are so many clients calling me to find them people, and yet taking so long to make a decision to hire the candidate. In previous columns I have addressed the exactness that some companies are demanding, but I am baffled why if a company needs someone to help them move forward, then why take so long or be so unrelenting in their demands. I do not intend to discuss all the different arguments about making sure a hire is the right hire…I have done that to many times in previous columns already. However, the question begs itself, if you need someone to help you do what needs to be done, and if you have a real urgency, then why be so dam particular. There is a reasonable middle ground, or even upper middle ground. I know how busy all my companies are, I get it, but companies need to understand how frustrating the process is for everyone, and I am not just talking about me. It is frustrating to the Sales guy waiting for an AE, for the VP of Sales who desperately needs a new Sales person, for the R&D team so overtaxed and trying to meet deadlines, and of course finally for the candidates who wait and wait for a simple yes or no. It is also taxing on the companies, trying to keep track of whose who, trying to remember over many months the individual candidates specific strength, (even with copious notes), as well as spending so much of the companies resources continuously interviewing.
I think companies are so caught up on making the right decision that they neglect making decisions that could benefit them in the here and now. Somewhere between the old adage of “we do not have time to train”, or “the wrong hire costs us in a multiple of ways” exists a practical solution that may not be full-proof, but makes good business sense. And it is that middle ground that will put more people to work faster and give more companies the ability to solve critical needs within their company, ending the quagmire of looking and getting done, to solving. Companies need to understand that there are really good candidates that are capable with just a little assistance and ramp up time to get the job done, and getting the job done will make all our lives just a bit easier.