February 9, 2023

“When will hiring for internal recruiters pick up?”


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

A non-prediction prediction. I don’t actually know anything.

“When will hiring for internal recruiters pick up?”

Yesterday a long time contact of mine ask me that. (After watching the latest 10 Minute Talent Rant “Now’s The Time To Hire (If You Can)” available here.)

Yes, we added 519k jobs in January.

Yes, unemployment is at 3.4%, a 50+ year low.

Yes, things are slowly picking up for most ‘office dork’ skill sets. (Based on our own demand data we’re seeing in the market.)

No, it’s still not a good market for internal recruiters. (Or most agencies, frankly.)

There’s one thing that makes the recruiting profession unique:

👉The demand for hiring recruiters is a derivative of total hiring demand.

Other skill sets need buying demand. Recruiters need growth demand.

To justify hiring a new product manager for example, you need one new initiative. Same for an engineer, a marketer, a sales person, an HR person.

To justify hiring a recruiter, you need *all* of those.

(The 1-2 hire situations often get dumped on the hiring managers to “figure it out.” Which I know they just LOVE. Another rant for another day.)

And that’s the rub with recruiting. It’s an inherently volatile profession. Every time there’s a downturn, we’re the first to go. Every time there’s an uptick, salaries (or fees for agency types) go straight up.

The last 3 years have been a real time case study on these swings. Nothing new, just in an incredibly short cycle.

Back to the original question: “When will hiring for internal recruiters pick up?”

I don’t know. If I told you I did, I’d be making sh*t up.

I can tell you a lot of companies are in “get it done with what we have” mode. But they’re not in “freezes” for the year, more like delayed starts to see what happens.

When those new initiatives expand headcounts across the board, the next recruiter boom cycle begins. Hopefully for y’all, that’s soon.

Then you just have the next downturn to worry about. This profession ain’t for the faint of heart.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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