Does Recruiting Get Easier in a Slow Economy?

Kris Dunn Kris Dunn, Recruiting, Retention, Sourcing

I’ve had this one in draft mode for a couple of weeks, then got inspired by a twitter convo with JLee and John Hollon.  The question is this – is it easier to recruit in a slow economy? 

My answer is "yes", if you work internal for a company (note – if you are running your own recruiting business, the answer is probably a h*@* NO).  I think recruiting does get easier in a slow economy for companies, mainly because it’s a supplyReal_job and demand issue.  Here’s the flow as I’ve experienced it:

As the economy slows, companies get conservative about hiring.  They hold off on posting budgeted positions AND backfills.  The result?  The number of jobs openly posted and active in the marketplace drops 50-60%.  Need proof?  Compare the Help Wanted ads in your Sunday paper.  I know if you are reading this, you’re probably not into the newspaper as a primary candidate source, but it’s the easiest place to see the difference.  When the column inches for help wanted ads are down 60% (as well as online), there’s less supply out there.

-When supply goes down, the competition for candidates is relaxed.  Fewer jobs posted means fewer opportunities for candidates.

-As a result, when you do have an opening, you’re going up against half the competition you normally do.  As a result, you’ll find candidates more open to talking to you, more responsive when you call, and easier to close when you offer the job.

It’s supply and demand, a walk in the economics section of your bookstore.  Nobody wants a slowing economy, but it’s good to know that if you’re fortunate to have open positions, you can close business more quickly.  Think of it as one of the good things that happens to you as a recruiter/HR pro in a down economy. 

You just have to make sure you’re part of an organization that has jobs….