July 27, 2022

You’re seriously laying off internal recruiters, AGAIN?


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

I didn’t want to write about layoffs but here we are…

As much as I didn’t want to talk layoffs (ever again), we have to address the elephant in the room:

????Internal recruiters are once again disproportionately in the crosshairs to get cut.

2020 was a bloodbath. I get it.

We thought the world was melting down. Everyone got let go.

2021 bounced, huge. Recruiter salaries went up 30-35%.

As much as the profession wanted to do a victory dance, in the words of George Lucas: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

It was clear over-hiring was happening to literally anyone who’s ever hired before.

2022 is deja vu, all over again.

I crunched the numbers from layoffs.fyi a month ago. (In my previous “we need to stop talking about layoff” rants. FML). Recruiters were twice as likely to get cut than any tech skill set.

Since then? Shopify, Twitter, etc. Went straight for the internal TA throat.

You’re not going to believe this but I have some takes:

????Internal recruiting is the only area where headcount stability is a bad thing.

Core concept here. Sure, businesses always want to grow. But you can run a profitable business where everyone gets paid, bonused out, and keeps their jobs.

Except the recruiters. They gotta fill open seats.

My question is: do some leaders not understand hiring spikes are temporary? Or do they really think it’s going to go on forever?

Which leads me to…

????Hiring more internal FTE recruiters with known inconsistent demand is for clowns.

1. It’s not better for processes.

The time, money and effort spent on training? Internal knowledge you want to build?

It goes right out the window when you let them go in 6 months.

2. It’s not more cost effective.

This isn’t 2005 anymore. There’s a boatload of recruiting orgs with updated business models designed to handle spikes. Without blowing up your budget.

People who can step in, hit the ground running, execute, and work themselves out of a job. Like you want them to.

The kicker: they can come back and do it again next time there’s a spike. Bringing back their domain knowledge of your environment with them.

Which that FTE you just riffed will absolutely NOT do.

(We’re one of these firms btw. Hit me up.)

3. It’s frankly not a good human thing to do.

No one takes a FTE role thinking they’re going to be back on the street in 6 months.

Job searching sucks. Not knowing how you’re going to pay rent sucks.

And internal recruiters are getting wise to it. We have a whole team of them in our OnDemand recruiting org (which does exactly this type of work) who were like “yeah, sick of this crazy train, get me out.”

Build internal TA for your core needs. Find effective partners for the spikes.

????It’s what smart companies do in literally every other area of professional services.

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

More blogs from James Hornick

12% unemployment?

Awful time to be in your 20s. Work wise anyway. The unemployment rate is under 4%. Unless you’re in your 20s. ...
See all Talent Insights Blog entries....

Our Latest Featured Episode

Our Shows