Automation Impact

January 15, 2016 Leave a comment

The robots are coming.  Technology is eliminating jobs.  This has been going on forever, of course, but it always feels like it is accelerating and that is certainly the case now.  The impact on recruiting is great from all angles.

Does automation make us more efficient or does it eliminate jobs?  The answer, of course, is both.  The key question is, to what degree?  All innovations, from the wheel to the printing press to the automobile to the internet, eliminate jobs and create others.  But innovations clearly eliminate more jobs than they create.  All real innovations also make us more efficient.

Job boards didn’t kill recruiting.  They made it more effective.  Many recruiters were washed out of the business when job boards came along, and in subsequent downturns, because they didn’t adapt and use the new tools to improve their work.  As new tools come along, they give us the opportunity to increase our reach, to increase how effectively and efficiently we can recruit.

In addition to the direct impact, automation has a big impact on the recruiting market.  Jobs.  Whole industries get replaced.  Businesses that required big numbers of employees before require fewer employees.  This effectively shrinks the market for recruiting.  It reduces the need for recruiters both inside companies and outside in recruiting agencies.  This is balanced by the need for more specialized employee skills and that creates smaller candidate pools.  Smaller candidate pools increase the need for good recruiting.

Over the last 13 or 14 years I’ve seen this churn continue.  The need for recruiting does not feel like it is less than it was in 2002 or 2003, but it does feel different.  There are fewer needs, but they are more specialized on average and our reach is far greater.


October 30, 2015 Leave a comment

This is an interesting article covering the unemployment situation and how it is concentrated in specific locations, industries and skill sets.


While there is significant employment slack (people looking for work or looking for better work) it is specific to certain areas and in less needed skill sets.  Those of us looking for specific skill sets in most other areas see a tight candidate pool.  Not enough people with the skills and background we need.

Low Jobless Claims, Tight Candidate Pool

October 18, 2015 Leave a comment

We are currently seeing low jobless claims, a good sign for the economy.  However, companies are still struggling to find the right candidates for many roles.

One critical indicator couldn’t look this good if the US economy were sliding into recession (SPX, SPY, DJI, QQQ)

Good points to keep in mind when making hiring plans for the near term.


Todd Kmiec

Expanding The Aperture

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

Expanding the aperture is widening the scope to include more possible hires. Making the candidate pool bigger by tweaking or changing what is acceptable for a given hire.

All challenging searches begin with a tough set of requirements that the hiring manager is sure he or she needs and a candidate pool that nobody knows the size and depth of.  We define the candidate pool to include everyone who meets the requirements of the position and who would be open to considering it or at least hearing about it.  A person who is a perfect fit that would not consider hearing about the position is not in the candidate pool.  In the early stages of the search you get a good feel for the size of the candidate pool.  Often it is surprising, larger or smaller than expected.  Too many candidates in the pool can be a challenge.  Too few is a bigger challenge.

As long as the the right one (or one of the right ones) is there and reachable, the search works.  Great reach helps, but even with great reach you can have a situation where the candidate pool is so tight that the right candidate isn’t there or is not reachable.  As the search goes on, if there is no candidate flow or the right candidate is not found, the hiring manager has a choice.  Stay the course and be patient or expand the aperture.

This change doesn’t have to be drastic. In fact, it is better if it is gradual. Small tweaks and tunes that alter the requirements slightly. When you make a change you want to see what impact it has on the candidate pool. Because of this, you want to start early, well before desperation sets in. This will allow for small changes to bring additional candidates into the pool that will still give the hiring manager as much of what they need in the new hire as possible.  If a small tweak doesn’t open up the pool enough to find the right fit you can tweak it again.  A change in focus can really bring into focus what the hiring manager must have and sometimes the change in focus leads to a better fit overall.

Wage Growth

January 18, 2015 Leave a comment

The unemployment numbers have been trending down now for a while.  We can debate the overall participation rate and quality of jobs, but regardless of those factors the rate is coming down and more of the employable people are employed than before.  For quite some time, we’ve had no real wage growth, but that may be starting to change.

For years recruiters have seen relatively stagnant salaries for all sorts of positions. Now, as the ingredients for rising salaries start to surface, many companies are trying to hang onto the lower numbers. Keep in mind that corporate profits have been very good since the downturn because companies were pressed to cut costs to the bone in order to be more profitable and the conditions were there for them to get the talent they needed without paying up.  Over the last several years companies have been getting by with as little human capital as possible to cut costs.  Where they needed employees for key roles the cost has been favorable.

There is only so much cutting that can be done and we are probably near the maximum.  To grow going forward will likely take real business growth and more human capital, not just cost cutting.  Businesses, by nature, want to grow.  So the next move for the business world in general is to grow and the only way to do that in a real way will be to bring in talent.  That should create a situation that we have not seen for quite some time where there is pressure to pay higher salaries.  It’s a slow process.  It takes a lot of not getting what you want because of salary and re-evaluating comp.  Not for a business or two, but for many businesses in all industries.  Once a good number of them start to pay higher in order to grow, the pressure increases on everyone else.  

Recruiters are on the front line in this process.  If wage growth is coming we’ll see more candidates turning down offers for better competing offers.

The Next 35 Years

January 3, 2015 Leave a comment

Recruiting is an incredible industry to be a part of and will be going forward.  Here’s a good article that really hits on some of the primary factors.

No poor countries by 2035.  That’s an amazing thought.  The rising middle class in America drove prosperity.  The rising middle class in the world will drive an incredible amount of growth.


A Look At Employment Over The Last Year

January 2, 2015 Leave a comment

This is a good short look at how the employment market changed over the last year.

I found the stat on job seekers looking to move states interesting.  27.8% sounds high.  Good sign that people are willing to move for the right career change or advancement.

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