Hiring Starts Now

By Ted Dieck | Recruiter’s View - Employment Scene | Oct 8, 2009

I was in full blog mode last January, when markets of every kind were collapsing around the world.

International corporations vaporized in hours.  Financial writers scrambled to confirm the correct spelling of the word “catastrophe.”  And all I had to do was learn how to use my new computer, and try to understand blogging software for the first time in my life.

Recruiters know how to hunker down when things get ugly.  In my case, I went into a serious IT mode, spending certain down time on necessary upgrades.  As I worked, I documented some of the ugliness of the time.  It’s interesting to read now how we viewed our prospects for the future.

Here’s a quick review of my time line, on the way to what has changed just recently:

CALLING THE TURNS –  Coming out of this year’s Q1 meltdown, I filed these reports:

  • March 23, 2009 – The Beginning of A Recovery?
  • June 20, 2009 – Housing Bottom Now

Looking back, these dates turned out to be pretty good mile markers for our path back to economic recovery.

ORIGINAL EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS –  Based on my recruiting experience, I estimated that new employment might show up in late August and early September.

Wrong.  Actually, employment improved in July and faded in August.  Unemployment pushed back hard in September, like clogged plumbing, backing up to new highs.  (Sorry about that.)

THE MOOD IN SEPTEMBER –  Talking to deeply depressed job seekers and frustrated employers, I continued posting my projections.

In early September (9/9) I wrote that:

  • I believe that nobody will want to hire.
  • Nearly everybody will have to hire.
  • And, as I have said before, “We’ll be giving Thanks in November.”

By 9/18, I had talked to enough freaked out employers to make this statement:

  • Until our government stops terrorizing employers, plan for few new jobs and no sustainable recovery.

For sure, that was a grim confirmation that “nobody will want to hire.”

Employers who were unwilling to hire, based some of their convictions on:

  • economic fears,
  • regulatory fears (governmental compliance demands, springing up everywhere,)
  • rising costs (certain taxation, likely inflation, and possible benefits increases,)
  • chaotic political environment

HISTORY BASED EMPLOYMENT PROJECTIONS AND CURRENT RESULTS –  Based on U.S. economic history, however, I said the equities markets tend to recover three to six months before hiring returns.  Adding six months to my Beginning of a Recovery article, hiring should have started by 9/23.  Here’s what happened:

  • 9/24 – Controls Engineer accepted a position, starting in October.
  • 10/2 – Sales Guy reported he’s “in negotiations for a job.”
  • 10/6 – Engineering Manager accepted position, to start November 2.

As I write this posting, my e-mail is ringing in a response, right now, from a company I contacted SIX MONTHS AGO!  Back then, hoping to help out a desperate welder (who didn’t have a computer or an e-mail address) I sent a note to a company that I didn’t know, just trying to do some good.  And now, today, I’m receiving their thanks, advising me that they have “forwarded (my) application to the appropriate group for review.”  Somebody’s waking up.

RECRUITER’S VIEW –  The hiring push has officially started.

Hiring surges occur because all our supply chains are connected.  When one producer needs more people, its increased activity puts added demand on other suppliers.

As I’ve said before, “Artificial demand is still demand.”

Here’s what’s weird:  The artificial demand hasn’t really shown up, yet.  Government Stimulus packages are still more rumor than fact.

Returning to what I wrote in September:

  • I believe that nobody will want to hire.
  • Nearly everybody will have to hire.
  • And, as I have said before, “We’ll be giving Thanks in November.”

Now, add to that these important factors:

  • I expect the recovery to be uneven, depending on what absurdity Congress is focused on.
  • I expect ridiculous labor shortages, for reasons we have previously discussed.
  • I expect employers will be mystified when they lose existing employees, just as business improves; and
  • Employers will be at a loss as to how to find the good people they’ll need to power their sudden activity.  (The rules have changed again.)

I encourage you to get in gear for your staffing challenge that has already started, whether you’ve discovered it yet or not.  We’ve seen significant changes in the Adler survey I told you about in my green e-letter.

Originally, of the respondents who said they were satisfied with their current employment, more than half of those insisted they would refuse to discuss a new opportunity if contacted by a recruiter.  Today, only 18% take that position.

82% of perfectly happy employees would be willing to look at new employment opportunities right now.

As concerned as I am about the myopic behavior of our leaders in Washington, D.C.; I’d like you to consider this last tidbit:

With the crashing dollar, more U. S. manufacturers will miraculously become the low bid supplier of choice.

Better find your people now.