Friday, July 17, 2009

People Will Always Pay a Premium for Quality

If you are familiar with ,ExecuNet then it will come as no surprise for you to know that we collect trend information in the executive career management arena.

One of these collection channels we call the Recruiter's Confidence Index. The RCI is a monthly survey of the recruiting community and includes both retained and contingency firms.

The core of the index is focused on their feeling about the market over the next 3-6 months. If you are interested in the latest you can click here.

In doing the survey however, we often will ask some other questions based on trends that we have either read or hear about on a day to day basis.

Recently, we wanted to check and see what the executive recruiting community folks were feeling were their "top business challenges" at this point in time vs. several months ago when the answer was a resounding "what business!"

Among other things, I was struck by the fact that doom and gloom on the nightly newscasts and the front pages notwithstanding, the #1 issue came back as: finding qualified candidates.

To explain: I was struck that this was the top concern not because this is a new issue. Finding top tier talent (what's the buzz word these days - "A" players?) has always been a major challenge, and remains so. [Hence the title of this post] No, what got my attention was not what was on top of the list, but what wasn't even in the top three - specifically the hunt for new business.

This isn't to say that firms that specialize in the sectors that have really been hard hit (Financial Services, Credit, Construction,and Housing) aren't still feeling it big time, for many are, but as a whole, at least based on what people were telling us in the last couple of months, the sky may still be very cloudy and producing occasional severe storms; nonetheless, they are starting to see some light on the far horizon.

And in case you were wondering, #2 was covered by the phrase "client and business issues" (whatever that may mean) and #3 was "relocation." Certainly one can tie the latter to the housing market, and it would also make selling a candidate tougher for sure, but the fact that recruiters' phones were starting to ring (if not off the hook but still ringing) was a good sign.

What are you hearing?

1 comment:

Willr said...

Interesting piece, but could their response simply indicate "if I had great candidates, then I would have great business"? Which is not a factor of their economic health as much as the wish that their candidates would 'sell themselves'?

Will at