May 1, 2012
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years as a recruiter it’s that our industry has a particular ebb and flow. We have a busy season and a slow season. Our cycle depends on time of year, holidays, the beginning and/or end of the calendar year and fiscal year, the economy, and world economics and politics.
Phew! The world of hiring is certainly at the mercy of a lot of uncontrollable factors! As a matter of fact, just when we think we’ve got our cycle down, a wrench get’s thrown into the forecast that puts everything back up into the air.
For instance, in a typical economy (which we are not in) the hot hiring times are typically February through June, with a bit of a slowdown from July through October, and almost complete shut down in November, December and part of January because of the holidays and the end of the calendar year.
This year our predictions were WAY off. Back in November, December and January we were so hot we weren’t just on fire, we were EN FUEGO (Spanish for “on fire” but it’s got more zest)!! Our division literally could not fill jobs as fast as we were receiving them. In those three months we put almost 15 senior level engineering/management professionals to work. WOW.
Naturally, we were thinking “Jeeze, we’re SO BUSY right now that when we actually hit busy season we’re going to be blown away”. The mood was a mixture of excitement, and anxiety. How will me manage all that money?! How will we manage all of those job opportunities?
Needless to say, when “busy season” hit, we were disappointed. This spring has been a trying and confusing time for our division. Sure, we’re making money and we’re remaining profitable (thank Gosh) but we’re actually a smidge slower than we were in the last quarter of 2011. AND WHY?!?!?!
Traditionally we should be off our rockers, INSANE with requisitions to fill. Natalie (my boss) and I have been revisiting and researching the factors that control our industry; it’s not the time of year, is it the early warm weather? Is it due to the end of the War in Iraq? Is it happening down on the gas and oil commodity level that purchasing is just slowing down because of rising fuel prices?
Turns out, it’s all of the above according to a NY Times article I read this morning. Previous projections of a wham bam spring business season are now being changed and retracted according to experts at the International Monetary Fund.
According to the article, the consecutive months of job growth/creation has ended in the United States. March was the first month since November that job growth is actually DOWN.
What do the experts attribute to this “blip” on the radar?
1. The ill timing of Easter
2. “Oil prices remain stubbornly high”
3. An uncommonly warm winter caused a false-start and created a smidge bit of false hope (ha)
Though, economists are saying that this is just a “blip” on the radar rather than a trend and there’s still an “uneasy calm” regarding global economic growth.
To be honest – I’m a little bit happy that I stumbled on this article today. Natalie and I have been speculating for weeks about the slow down in our business and this puts a name and face to it! Maybe we should quit our day jobs and become economists because we were SPOT ON!
HAAAA – Just kidding ☺ As I’ve learned, all of life is a cycle and we’re coming full circle slowly but surely from 2009. My recruiter’s sense tells me that we’ll see a busy late spring and summer. FINGERS CROSSED!!
PS. you can find the NY Times article here.