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Recruitment Industry Dealing with Sudden Upheaval


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Recruitment Industry Dealing with Sudden Upheaval

The recruitment industry is being given the hurry-up by anxious job-seekers, says industry veteran Jane Kennelly.

"Quite suddenly, the New Zealand recruitment industry is experiencing a dramatic upheaval with the change in the economic climate," said Kennelly, Director of Frog Recruitment, an Auckland based recruitment company.

"A business development role recently attracted 207 responses in just 48 hours. Three months ago the response rate for the same job would have been closer to 5-20 applicants over a five day period." These are trends I haven't seen since the 1990's."

Kennelly says that for the past five years the dominant HR challenges have been a severe scarcity of talent and the tricky-to-attract, technically savvy, Generation Y.

"Now the recruitment market has gone from one extreme to the other, with a dramatic upswing in candidates applying for all advertised roles - and suddenly by telephone.

"Recruitment now has the hallmarks of the early 1990's and pre-email days, when recruiters were phone jockeys fielding 100's of call a day," says Kennelly.

This is a complete culture shift for those who've entered the industry within the last few years, where email has been the modus operandi - now it's a different game."

Kennelly, a 21 year veteran of the recruitment industry, says she is suddenly re-visiting the rules of engagement from the pre-email days when the telephone was the dominant technology.

"The market suddenly has switched to a volume game and for the industry that means having to suddenly adapt high volume customer service via telephone.

Naturally, it's an indication of people being more anxious about their futures," added Kennelly.

Kennelly said this increases pressure for 'post email' recruitment professionals who are in a high-pressure environment, dealing one-to-one with determined job-seekers.

"In the current climate the recruitment industry winners are going to be those who can make sure people feel listened to and acknowledged - notwithstanding you may be fielding up to 100 calls for a single role."

Kennelly's advice to employers is to think about working with a single recruiter to streamline and manage the volume of responses and communication.

Kennelly is also seeing the winners in this market being outplacement firms or those professionals employed by companies to help staff through redundancy and beyond to finding new jobs.

Reece Notton, director of Grafton Consulting Group an Organisation Improvement Consultancy who provide specialist outplacement services, says they have experienced a definite spike in their workload in recent months. But he points out that even in tight times, those that shoot their hands up for voluntary redundancy invariably are the ones who back themselves and will get jobs as companies are always on the look out for good people.

Notton says his consultancy is seeing more recruitment agencies holding themselves out as placement and redundancy specialists.

"This is a dangerous mix as recruiters are trying to wear too many hats and this leads to a great chance of disappointment for the individual who is involved in quite a life changing experience. They need to be attended to in an attentive and respectful way."

About Frog Recruitment

Frog was established in 2002 to face the new realities of the employment market - a new breed of 'career seeker' who are savvy, forthright and sophisticated making it vital to deliver professional recruitment services better suited to meet these challenges. We are a small band of passionate recruiters. Frog Recruitment is headed up by Jane Kennelly- a recruitment professional with over twenty years industry knowledge. " Today's tight talent market means as an industry we have to lift the level of our professional services - the days of a recruiter simply providing a 'warm body' for a cold seat are over."


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