Hiring and Recruiting is on the Comeback: Contract and Hourly Recruiting First to Recover

Whether or not you can see it or feel it yet, it’s happening – companies are hiring again. Small segments on the news, positive reports from the Department of Labor, even Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt are pointing to signs that hiring is on the comeback. As I started to take a closer of look at my own micro-economy, contract recruiting / hourly recruiting, a trend is evident; jobs for contract recruiters have increased almost 20% over the last quarter.Why is contract recruiting and hourly recruiting recovering so quickly?

Recruiting budgets and staffing headcount were first to go when the economy nosedived mid-last year. At many companies, human resources professionals were among the only ones left in their departments. It makes sense, no hiring means no recruiters. So as the economy continues to percolate and eventually grow shoots again here are 4 reasons why hourly recruiting will recover first.

A toe in the water

2010 Fiscal year planning is wrapping up, and executives and HR business owners that I’ve been calling for months are finally starting to call back to talk about more than how their summer was. As I write this post, I received another call from an HR Director asking about contract recruiting services. Last year, before the holidays, she let her only full-time recruiter go and isn’t quite confident enough in the economy yet to dive in and hire someone full-time. She needs to kick hiring into gear and is looking for something more dynamic, more flexible.

Inside Out

One of the trends getting a lot of attention in recruiting these days are internal referrals. More than ever, companies are relying on internal networks to identify candidates. Within our own client base we’ve seen the number of hires made from internal referrals increase nearly 30% over last year. In an extreme circumstance, we’ve seen one client make 80% of their hires this year from internal referrals alone. As recruiting activity increases, so does the time it takes to manage these programs. Effective and cost-efficient contract recruitment services are the logical answer to fill this need. And as hiring continues to escalate these resources will scale to naturally handle more organic recruiting activities.

The floodgates will remain open

In effort to save recruiting dollars, many companies are leveraging job postings and careers sites to generate inbound applicant “traffic”. Sure, there may be some measurable cost savings here but the amount of “noise” that is produced can in many cases be overwhelming. As hiring gets more critical and jobs are created, dedicated resources are needed to filter and screen applicants quickly and effectively. Additionally, I believe that applicant flow will remain strong throughout the recovery and for many months afterward as voluntary attrition will inevitably trend higher as employees become comfortable looking for new opportunities again.

It’s all about the Benjamins.

Let’s face it, one of the main reasons companies turn to hourly recruiting is cost effectiveness. As the economy lurches upright again, it goes without saying that cost is going to be an important driver in decision making surrounding recruiting – it always has been and always will be. And, if you didn’t catch it, each of my observations is rooted in consideration of doing more with less and managing spend. Utilizing contract recruitment services allows companies to be flexible, fiscally responsible and efficient – the qualities all of us are looking for this time around.