How to Navigate a Talent Shortage

by Liz Carey

As the pandemic subsides and restrictions are eased, it seems the economy is improving, as evidenced by “Now Hiring” signs in nearly every business window. Here at NPAworldwide, we are seeing job postings skyrocket on the network’s internal job sharing board. Also, very tellingly, we aren’t seeing as many candidates being posted. This is quite rare when more jobs are being added than candidates in our database.

These companies are going to face a challenge as hiring needs outweigh the candidate supply. Hiring managers are turning to recruiters to help fill these roles quickly, but it’s still a challenge – candidates have become much more picky about where, when, and how they want to work. Read the rest of this entry »


9 Talent Shortage Resources Independent Recruiters Can Share

by Veronica Blatt

wooden blocksEarlier this week I talked with one of the independent recruiters in NPA. He was lamenting yet *another* placement deal that fell apart because the client took too long to make an offer. It seems that many clients still don’t understand the reality of the talent short market that we are in. For several years, government and media sources in the USA have been hammering home the high unemployment rate, leading many employers to believe there is a glut of available job candidates. While it’s true that the rate is still high, the rate on its own doesn’t tell the whole story. For people with a bachelor’s degree or higher – the kind of people your clients want to hire – the unemployment rate is below 4%. This is generally considered “full employment.”

Here are 9 resources independent recruiters can share with their clients about the realities of today’s labor market, and how they are losing candidates due to slow hiring processes: Read the rest of this entry »


3 Reasons Small Employers Hire Independent Recruiters

by Terri Piersma

tulipsWhen you are a small employer, you should search for candidates yourself, right? Not according to an Inc. article I read recently by Vanessa Merit Nornberg called These Days, Recruiters are Worth the Money.

Like most small employers, Vanessa had been searching for candidates herself. She believed her reasoning was sound because she assumed the following:

  • Working with recruiters was a waste of time,
  • Reviewing resumes for the “right candidate” should be done by her as she knew best who to interview, and
  • Hiring a recruiter was too expensive for her small budget.

However, the reality of her hiring situation was that it was taking her a very long and frustrating time to find the “right candidate” even though she searched a variety of ways including placing ads on large and specialized job boards as well as on local university boards.

Then, one of her senior staff members suggested she contact a recruiter she knew. Reluctantly, Vanessa met with the recruiter. In the end, she decided to try something different. She signed a contingency recruitment agreement. She would pay the recruiter only if she hired a candidate presented by the recruiter.

The results surprised Vanessa. Within one month, Vanessa hired the “right candidate” from the group of candidates presented by the recruiter. Her experience working with a recruiter changed her hiring strategy. She concluded the following about the experience:

  • She filled the position faster.
  • She spent less money considering the overall cost of hiring which included the cost of her time to search for candidates.
  • The recruiter was able to find the “right candidate” for the position.

While the above is compelling, Vanessa discovered something even more interesting. She asked the candidate she hired why she worked with a recruiter instead of posting her resume on job boards. The candidate replied, “because recruiters make sure your resume gets seen, while submitting via the Internet is like sending your resume into oblivion.”

Bottom line: even small employers benefit from working with independent recruiters to find the “right candidate.”


Death of Recruitment

by Dave Nerz

tombstoneAccording to many, the end is near for independent recruiters. The reason…technology. The predictions indicate recruitment as we have known it will cease to exist because employers will get what they need from the new breed of technology tools being created. Some call this Recruitment 4.0.

I am not a believer in the death of recruitment. Here are a few of the reasons I think recruitment, independent recruiters, recruitment networks, and headhunters of various types are here to stay:

  1. The end has been predicted about every 5 years for as long as I remember. The predictions have never been fulfilled. The death of independent recruiters was predicted 50 years ago with the creation of national agencies like Kelly and Robert Half. Death to independents did not come. The demise was signaled more recently with the onset of job boards…in fact, Monster had the intention of replacing the independent recruitment business as a goal when it was created. In spite of intentions, death did not come. Social Media, LinkedIn, in-house recruitment, or anything else you want to add to the list have been unable to dislodge the independent recruiter from the mix that makes the market for employer and job seeker succeed.
  2. New jobs require personal intervention by a recruiter. Firebrand’s CEO, Greg Savage offers an example of why recruiters will continue to be a part of the solution. Mr. Savage recently indicated that in his business, 50% of the roles he recruits for didn’t even exist 3-5 years ago. New jobs and new markets require the guiding hand of a recruiter. Recruitment evolves effectively and efficiently to solve new challenges in a way that electronic tools and social networks cannot. The business model shifts, but it does not dissolve or die.
  3. Global needs are growing and again require the expertise that only a recruiter can offer. Recruiters act as translators, market researchers, and match-making consultants for global jobs. An employer based in North America wouldn’t even know the right job boards to use for a search in China, Australia or in Vietnam. Employers armed with the great social media tools of the day could spend 6 months becoming expert in the local market just to fill one job…not an effective model to run a business. In the NPA network, in excess of 10% of all business done was a “cross-border placement,” meaning the candidate, the employer and the job were in different countries. Those roles will continue to grow as a percentage of placements for the industry.
  4. Contracting and short duration project teams or on the rise. These are positions and work types best suited to a recruitment agency. Employers don’t want to become expert in finding talent for a short duration project team. They will continue to hire an independent expert to do that work.
  5. Highly specialized positions and true headhunting require a recruiter and are not able to be accomplished by social media and a LinkedIn connection alone. Top performers that are fully employed and satisfied do not change companies based on an email or a social connection. Only the real work of a seasoned recruitment professional will cause a top quality candidate to take the required leap of faith into a new employment situation. When you find the computer program that does this, please share your secret.

Independent recruiters continue to evolve and migrate into new niches and new ways of adding value. Tools are more likely to come and go than the recruitment profession itself. My current concern is not survival, it is whether there will be enough independent recruiters available to handle the talent shortage that is inching ever closer. As Baby Boomers retire and employers seek talent to replace the science, engineering and management talent that is exiting, the death of recruitment will remain a threat still unfulfilled.