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This article originally appeared in Issue 64 of InSightLong-time readers of this weekly missive know I’m a glass-half-full-kind-of-guy. That’s not to be delusional, it is simply looking at the world in a way that gives me a sense of purpose in taking action, that I believe, will make a difference to the results in both my personal and work life.Are you looking at 2009 with a sense of purpose or a sense of dread? Are you taking action or are you thinking about what can or will go wrong?Here is my view of what’s likely to be good about the year ahead in the world of recruitment.  

  1. Bottom-feeding recruiters will go out of business   In a strong employment market, anyone (regardless of standards or ethics) can start a recruitment business and make money. In a slower market, the body-shop merchants and quick-buck cowboys are quickly exposed for what they are and depart for greener   pastures elsewhere. UK Recruitment firms in receivership have increased by 50% in each of the past couple of quarters and I expect we will see something similar in Australia during 2009.    
  2. Less counter-offers   Organisations are going to be very tight with their money this year so the counter-offer plague that has swept the country in the past few years, should abate significantly.    
  3. More courteous clients   As each client considers the possibility that they may be next in line to join the jobless, they would do well to consider how helpful a “friend on the outside” could be in assisting them with their job search. Perhaps building good relationships with a wide range of recruiters might not be such a bad idea after all!    
  4. More immediately available candidates   A market impacted by a greater than normal number of redundancies will, as a consequence, provide more candidates who are able to start either temp or perm work immediately.    
  5. Recruiting in healthcare   Regardless of the state of the economy, the population continues to grow, gets older and less healthy. These are all good news factors for recruiters servicing the aged and health care sectors.    
  6. Less candidate no-shows, bomb-outs and credits   The “no worries, there’s always another opportunity” mindset that has spawned a generation of job-hoppers, will slow right down, as media stories of corporate doom and gloom scare candidates into re-thinking this mindset and being more careful about the consequences of their actions.    
  7. More demand for temp recruiters   Publicly listed recruitment companies are reporting significant drops in permanent recruitment activity and little, if any, decline in temp billings. I expect that pattern to continue throughout 2009.    
  8. More realistic candidate salary expectations   As interest rates drop, petrol prices remain below $1 per litre and interesting jobs in secure companies become more scarce, salary expectations will come back down to earth. Good thing.    
  9. Government jobs being more attractive   After years of bad press due to lower salaries, ”Yes Minister” jokes and the brown cardigan image, those so-called “boring”, secure jobs in the public service, have suddenly taken on a more attractive sheen.    
  10. Skilled Australian candidates returning from overseas   After years of a brain-drain, the big city real estate agents are telling us that the GFC Australian refugees are flooding back into the country in search of a better lifestyle, a new job and to raise their families. That’s good news for recruiters bemoaning the skills shortage.    
  11. Stronger competition for Seek   The pre-Christmas announcement that News Limited and Monster were joining forces in the world in the world of online job advertisements is a welcome one. Hopefully this leads to more intense competition for our friendly, regular-above-CPI-annual-price-increases market leader.    
  12. New features on   Interviews, membership site and vendor profiles are just some of the new stuff I have planned for this year. Watch this space!

There’s plenty to smile about and look forward to in 2009. So what are you waiting for?

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Kelly Magowan

Hi Ross

I like it. You are so right – there are always opportunities and positives in next to all situations. We need to embrace this and look to make the best of the year ahead and enjoy it.
I also like the comment about ‘more competition for Seek!’

Not only is there Monster coming to town, premium jobs sites like mine, Six Figures are offering a more compelling service to a target market that wants something relevant for them.

Competition is healthy and leads to innovation and change which is very exciting.

Thanks again for the positive view on 09.


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