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Unemployment AND the Recruiting Industry

The US government reported that the unemployment rate rose to its highest levels in nearly four years. The rate rose to 4.9 percent from the 4.5 percent reported in July. While the employment rate is high, in some industries, there were jobs actually added to companies.
While most recruiters predict that this downturn will last into 2002, many are working through this year fairly well. In a recent survey, less than a quarter of the firms have downsized and over 50% have maintained their staff from 2000 and over 20% of the recruitment firms surveyed have grown.
This indicates that employers are eliminating the least productive employees and departments, yet still have a need to fill other positions that will help them stay competitive in their market. Many of them are developing relationships with recruitment firms to assist them in the hiring process.
This said, there are new trends in the way employers deal with employees, as well as vice-versa. Employers are realizing that the kind of quality (and qualified) talent they're looking for is hard to find. The bar was raised with the staffing shortage. Companies were hiring people who didn't necessarily have the qualifications they were looking for, but were willing to train. Now, employers need candidates who can fill these same types of positions without the ramp up time. They need to be brought up to speed from day one.
Employees are also realizing that the market isn't the same as it was a year ago and can't expect the types of compensation and/or benefits that were available. At the same time, they never really come 'off the market' and are continually looking for that perfect job. They aren't as loyal as employees of the past who stayed with the same company for dozens of years and the reasons they may stay at a particular company is different from the reasons they accepted a position in the first place.
This doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of jobs out there; it means there is a lot more competition for the same job. With so many candidates using the Internet making it easy to apply for jobs with a click of the mouse, competition is fiercer than it has been in the past. So in order for candidates to be considered at the top of all the other candidates applying for the same job, they need to be more specific about how they've used their skills. Employers ultimately want to know what a candidate has done and how it can relate to the position available.
Thus, recruiters and employers are continuing to fight for negotiation power with potential employees. Recruiters, in order to have a 'win-win' result with their clients need to find the most qualified candidates to offer to employers for hire.
Reports state that recruiters are finding many candidates ready to fill positions, yet employers are hesitant to hire them until they're sure they are finding the best fit for the position. Now that the talent shortage is over, employers can afford to be pickier in who works for them.
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