FACT: As for the JOBS business, I have never been busier than I am these days…Ever…PROBLEM…COMPANIIES HAVE NO URGENCY TO ACTUALLY HIRE!!!


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.

Review Article
  • Sorry Mark, you missed the point. October 11, 2010
    Reviewed by 'Gordon Shemwey'
    "Understand that producing all that activity takes a heck of a lot of increased work and effort."
    Although you say you're not complaining, by putting this in writing, you just did!!
    Frankly, I don't blame you!!
    Your clients need to decide what side they operate on business wise. If they don't want to hire - fine. We've seen this for some times now. But they shouldn't say they are for their PR. However, If they do put our a req, this is their commitment. You did your job, they need to compensate you for it. Your relationship with your clients does need to be evaluated based on current trends.
    After been burnt once my contracts were modified so that if my client hire me to build something for him he can't stall when it comes to deployment and comes up for whatever reason (because once deployed he needs to pay the bulk of the contract) not to move forward, he WILL be billed for the balance BY CONTRACT because the work he commissioned me to build for him was built, per his reqs.
    The news over the weekend was that companies want to hire, but can't find the right candidates. Employer demands mean some jobs go unfilled (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39604781/ns/business-careers). This is what happens when employers throw in everything but the kitchen sink into the job req. e.q merge 3 full time functions into one, demand a Phd. at minimum, to run errands for the CEO and still think that they can pay minimum wage for it.

      2 of 2 found this review helpful.
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  • You're just a pop-eyed optimist Mark. October 05, 2010
    Reviewed by 'David Heller'
    Great column Mark - and a well thought out comment. The previous commenter is right - companies are running scared and hoarding their resources just in case things go south again - kind off like squirrels - hoarding for winter.
    Although orders have increased year- over- orders have not returned to pre-recession levels, and by trimming down their work force, and doing more with fewer employees, companies keep the money rolling into their bank accounts..... and staying there.
    When we see 2007 order levels return you'll start making the big bucks again - it's the same for most small businesses today, so at least you know you're not alone. When this will happen is anybody's guess, but I'd guess that we have a couple years, at least, before things turn around. And, difficult as it is to say, we may never return to those golden days since they were based on an artificially induced and manipulated reality.
    Sorry I can't be more consoling and upbeat, I'm just trying to be a realist - which is hard for me since I'm an optimist by nature. .... Like you :)

      5 of 5 found this review helpful.
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  • Mark identified the symptom, but missed the trend September 19, 2010
    Reviewed by 'Been There'
    Mark identified a symptom of the new employment economy in this post: that companies submit requirements to him, but subsequently act slowly to hire (or don't hire at all). But he missed the trend.
    Employers are risk averse. Managers with 10 years experience remember two major bust cycles (2000-2001 and 2008-2009). They need manpower to grow, but do not want to risk committing to overhead (salaries) that may hurt them in the next downturn.
    Mark, if you want to succeed beyond your wildest imaginings, figure out how an employer can gain access to the skills described in their requirements, without creating the overhead that a salary implies. If you can create a win-win-win for all parties in this space (your clients, your candidates, and yourself), you will have made a major leap forward.
    Of course candidates want a stable, full-time paycheck. I do too, but I've been on half-time since late 2008. I've used the opportunity to hustle up lots of consulting gigs ("Want that task done in 60 days, no long term commitment?"), and I'm working on a startup of my own. Of course, if my startup gets funded, we will hire a tiny core team and farm the rest out to contractors. There are lots of experienced, skilled folks out there to do the work...

      15 of 17 found this review helpful.
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