Maybe There’s a Silver Lining in This Recession

Maybe There’s a Silver Lining in This Recession

by Kerry Scott on 30 March 2009

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Last week, Laurie Ruettimann had a thread on her blog, Punk Rock HR, about people who are unemployed but don’t want to make the hard choices necessary to find a job.  It was an interesting post with great comments, but there was one commenter in particular who talked about how he felt that recruiters would penalize job seekers down the road for taking pay cuts or demotions just to get a job.

I see where he’s coming from, because the truth is that it’s been that way for many candidates in the past.  If you’ve taken a pay cut, or taken a “lesser” job, or made any number of other non-traditional moves, you’ve probably been passed over by lots of corporate recruiters and hiring managers.  If you could get an interview, you could explain, but they don’t always give you a chance to do that, even if you’re well-qualified for the position.

Here’s the thing, though:  nearly all of the corporate recruiters I know are either out of work or waiting for the ax to fall.  I don’t know a single corporate recruiter who feels even a little bit secure, and the majority, in my circle at least, are unemployed.

Recruiters have had a pretty good run for the past 15 years or so.  Except for a short period after 9/11, business has been pretty good.  As a result, most of them have never actually been unemployed.  This is a new experience for them, and they’re finding that it hurts like hell.

All of my friends are fabulous recruiters, of course, who don’t arbitrarily disqualify candidates, return every phone call and email promptly, refrain from asking stupid interview questions, etc.  There are some others out there, though, who are experiencing some of the same treatment they dished out to candidates for years, and for them…well, I don’t wish unemployment on anyone, but let’s hope they find jobs soon, so they can apply some of the lessons they’re learning.

Photo by missjdub

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{ 3 comments }

HRPufnstuf March 31, 2009 at 9:00 am

I believe there is a distinction between Recruiters and recruiters. Little “r” recruiters only have the title and not the skill, and operate in a strange binary universe where there are yes/no check off boxes. Big “R” Recruiters have the skills to assess a candidate based on their total wealth of experience.

I’ve always operated as a Big R, and look for reasons to include people into consideration vs. exclude, and this has, I believe, paid off very well for the candidates I’ve worked with and the employers who have hired them.

Kerry March 31, 2009 at 9:03 am

Amen to that. If you’re not looking at the total package, you’re harming the candidate AND your company.

Charles March 31, 2009 at 9:50 am

Karma – great picture to go with this post. How appropriate!

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