As a Rec2Rec I hear a lot of doom and gloom stories. Tales of woe, despair, and hard times ….the sort of stuff Dickens would have been proud of. “Challenging” and “tough market conditions” have become the go-to phrases when answering the commonly asked ‘How are things going?’ question.
Long may things continue to be challenging and tough I say. Don’t get me wrong…. I don’t do ultra marathons; I take a buggy when I play golf and I’m certainly no fan of working harder for less. But the market getting tougher is a good thing in my opinion.
It means that lazy and bad recruiters, who have been getting away with it whilst times were good, are now getting found out. The days when a recruiter could just sit on juicy PSAs and simply fill jobs that were dished out by anyone with a budget for hiring are quickly dissapearing. And the secret is well and truly out that it doesn’t take much to do-it-yourself and save paying a fee.
That many recruiters continue to do very well proves that there is a market for our services, when it is done well. So there is no danger that one of those “the end of the world is nigh for recruitment” articles will actually come true anytime soon…. regardless of the economy, or whenever the kids in Canberra actually get it on, or holiday season, or if the stars are aligned and Pluto is in Uranus (…cheap…sorry !)…or any other factor out of our control. I think that those that are waiting for this magical moment when everything goes back to how it once was, back to the good old days, are going to be disappointed.
I never like to preach in this blog. There are far more experienced recruiters who are better to do that than me (…and many who aren’t, but are more than happy to do so anyway!). But when everything seems to be all doom and gloom, I think it is time for a bit of positivity. And I personally haven’t enjoyed recruitment more than I do at the moment. It’s exciting. Things keep changing. There is a lot of new stuff to learn. There is a need to be creative, embrace new tools, work smarter, and take a few risks. It’s all good fun in my book. As is the opportunity to stand out, and to keep your head when all others around you are losing there’s (as a wise man once said). And whilst you don’t like to see people fail, it is not a bad thing if standards are raised.
Of course, you can do yourself a massive favour by working with an employer that has this mindset too. A lot of the recruiters I speak to at the moment are putting up with stressed out managers whose response to falling billings is simply to be tougher with their staff…. a lot tougher, but with no substance. Or they work for a business that is still scratching its head working out what is going wrong, but at the same not embracing shiny new things like social media or developing new service lines. And all this time they are getting left behind the competition.
So Viva Le Revolution. Times have never been so good. Happy Days….