Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recruiting in Indiana during record unemployment

Last week, President Obama visited Elkhart, Indiana which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation,topping 10%.  And, the Wall Street Journal reports that unemployment is rising in every state.

How does this impact the world of executive recruiting and talent selection?  Most people think that this means people are on the job market which is good for recruiting firms.  Really, massive unemployment is only good for outplacement services, job searching tool product sellers, and career coaches.  The corporate recruiting and talent selection market is based upon job openings.  So if all the media is talking about layoffs, you have to think that there are no job openings for all these newly unemployed people.

Is that true?  Let me tell you about my day yesterday and you judge for yourself.

I started my day at St Louis de Montfort Church's Fishers Employment Network Alliance (FENA) meeting.  The meeting was bigger than usual.  Probably 15 total people and several new faces of recently laid off people.  The surprise of this meeting?  The one corporate banker in attendance basically repeated the doom and gloom story about his experience with the job market and the economic crisis on Wall Street.  But nearly all the other people, mainly manufacturing and engineering professionals, had interviews planned with companies, were networking and finding good leads.  It didn't seem to be the same story that we're reading in the news.  

Later in the day, I met with a CEO of a company regarding a search for a VP Operations, a newly created position in the organization (adding to the budget).  Then I traded called with a VP of Human Resources at a manufacturing company about a search for a new CFO.  This must be news to, "Job Market Goes from Bad to Worse", posted five days ago.

I've been reluctant to profess that the job market is not as bad as people think.  But, don't you think my experiences yesterday are evidence that there is hiring activity out there?

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