June 26, 2023

The Hirewell Hot Corner: Ups and Downs in Recruiting and Sports


Episode Highlights

Personal Highs & Lows in Recruiting


Keys to Navigating the Lows


Remain Committed to Hiring


Two-Minute Drill: How Do We Stay Relevant in a Changing Market?


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In this week’s episode, Dan and Louie talk about the ups and downs of recruiting and sports. In sports, franchises go through tough times and utilize their prospect pool and leadership to get them out of a rut. In recruiting, we need to rely on things we can control. We dive into how to make yourself valuable in these tough times.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to the Hirewell Hot Corner where sports and recruitment meet. I am your host, Dan Spittel, joined as always by my Iron Man co-host Louie Morici. Louie, great to see you again. Let’s jump right in. What’s going on in your world, and the world of sports today? I guess you could say it’s full on full swing baseball season.

Pun intended, of course. You got your Pittsburgh Pirates jersey on. I got my Chicago Cubs. Sure enough, we are recording right now and they are playing each other right now. Nice early day game for some baseball action. To your pleasure, not to mine, as you guys are about to finish the sweep, for the second time in a row.

So congratulations to you. Yeah. Yeah. How the Pittsburgh Pirates have fallen recently from the top of the NL Central to the bottom. But, it’s a long season, 162 games as we’ve mentioned. But, aside from that, want to wish the Denver Nuggets and the Vegas Golden Knights on their respected championships. I believe both of them are their first time.

First time for each. Congrats to them. Yeah. Now, two very different stories for these franchises of Vegas and expansion team getting their first championship in six years as an organization. Big kudos to them and their ownership group and their coaching staff and building one hell of a roster. Even making the Stanley Cup in their first season, I believe.

And then you’ve got the Denver Nuggets who’ve been waiting a little longer, 47 years as an organization, but finally cracked through and won that first championship. Hard to beat Nikola Jokić playing like he has the last couple seasons. He finally broke through and got his ring. So congratulations to both of them, indeed. You mentioned the Pirates and the Cubs. The NL Central has been weird this year. I mean it’s always weird when the pirates start out really hot. I knew it would cool off at some point, but we’re falling back to reality. About to lose their ninth straight, today to the Cubs. One major change, hopefully, in the near future is the Pirates did call up their top prospect, Henry Davis, number one pick couple years ago.

Making this quick rise up to Major League Baseball as they hoped, with a guy coming out of college. Hopefully he can help shake it up a little bit like the Reds have had with a lot of their young prospects coming up, making an impact. The NL Central is anyone’s game. It is so streaky. You’ve seen some highs highs and some very low lows. The Reds currently lead the division and every team is within, I believe, five games of each other. It’s weird. Yeah, it makes every in division series that much more important. Not only for the respective teams, but just the division as a whole. So it makes each game competitive.

There’s going to be those dog days during the season, and it gets the players, it gets the fans up for all of ’em. I’m here for it. Absolutely. It’s a long season like you mentioned, and we are seeing very streaky times for the pirates, for the cubs, for the reds.

Feels kinda like the job market, doesn’t it, Louie? Thousand percent. I think that’s a great way for us to segue. As recruiters when it’s up and down and in most cases, we’re going to discuss this week about the downs and how you can stay effective and valuable to your company and continue to make progress in a challenging time.

Yeah, absolutely. From our experience here with Hirewell, 2022 was a great year for us. 2023, the numbers are down a bit. It’s very indicative of the market, both from the job market and the economy standpoint. Talk to me about what’s going on in your world from that change from year to year.

So right now we’re not seeing the abundance of clients we once did. Last year we, let’s just say hypothetically, we had 20 clients we were working on all at once, all eager to hire and move forward. Whereas now, got maybe 10 to 12 clients and what’s challenging is there is so much talent out there, but clients want to be as selective as possible because they can’t afford a bad hire.

Shout out to one of our previous episodes about pivotal hiring. And not being able to miss with one. And the stakes are just so much higher. But there’s a difference between being selective and just wasting time if you’re not planning on actually hiring any. Yeah. I mean, I feel like I’ve seen tail of two markets.

If you didn’t know, I used to recruit in the healthcare space and I recruited for nursing homes right when the pandemic was happening in 2020 and 2021. Talk about a tough market nobody wanted to work in nursing homes. There were tons of jobs open. Fast forward to today, things are a little different for me now.

I’m pleased to be coming up on one year with the same client, who’s been working with Hirewell, Inecta been doing a great job with them. Even ebbs and flows for them in the last year. We hired a good amount of people in the first six months of the contract they hired. We probably hired 20 people in six months for a 75 person company.

And they had business, they had client demand, they had growth. 2023 has been a little slower, indicative of the market. There hasn’t been as much work to go around. People aren’t spending as much money. They’ve kind of handled it really well. They haven’t stopped hiring. They’ve slowed it down and they’ve, like we’ve said about pivotal hiring, they’ve made those key ideas of they need very specific roles, and they’ve gone out and found them. And we’ve hired a chief of staff. We’ve hired, process oriented people, DevOps employees, strengthening our technical team. And then when the growth comes back from the business side, the client side, they’ll be even more equipped to do so and it’s going to be great.

Yeah. Yeah. And so that’s kind of it from the hiring side, what we’ve experienced. Now from our client’s perspective, what can they do in these down times? And I think it really goes back to the basics. Coming from a sales side of things, what’s the basics?

It’s picking up the phone and calling people and, stirring up business. It’s challenging. You’re going to get rejected, but when the times get tough, the tough get going. In the sales realm, that’s the way to do it. I can’t speak to other industries, what that means, but from my experience, that’s what I’ve seen. And, in recruiting, I think it’s the same way from a sourcing, screening, submitting type of standpoint.

You absolutely have to lean on what’s worked for you in the past. There are certain pieces to the job that will always be successful and you always have to be doing these. We always have to be finding candidates. There’s always going to be jobs to fill in some capacity. It may not be as prevalent as it had been in a better market, but there’s always work out there, just finding those areas. Also having a strong foundation to lean on. A lot of these bigger companies, while there are some layoffs, while there are some slowdowns in terms of work, these well-run corporations don’t go anywhere, because they have a strong leadership team in place and keeping the boat steering straightforward, as they guide through some less than ideal times.

We are very blessed to have a very strong leadership team, in my opinion, at Hirewell, who’s been very open, transparent, about the job market and saying, we’ve been here before, we’ll be back again in times of prosperity. It happens every so often and so we’re going to ride this out as best we can.

Yeah, a thousand percent. And , leadership, and it’s funny cuz a lot of these points you talk about in sports from a hockey standpoint, you rely on your leadership in tough times. They’re going to be the voice in the locker room, they’re going to be the one doing the little things on the ice and come play off hockey time.

What’s going to work in the playoffs is getting pucks low, pucks on that. Like, it’s a cliche statement, but in the playoffs, that’s where you find success. It’s not some crazy recipe. It’s going to the dirty areas and taking a hit to make a play. And it’s who’s willing to do that. So segue that back to recruiting.

You got to get into the nitty gritty. You got to get into the stuff that maybe some people don’t want to do on their daily role, but it is the thing that starts from the bottom, starts the funnel. And leads with success or ends with success. Yep. And we just touched on a previous episode, pivotal hiring, the pirates, trying to bring up Henry Davis as a spark plug to kind of spark something to get the pirates back in the win column.

A splash hire, a key hire could be big in a time when your company might be sliding. Your teams might be on the decline. It’s not a great time to be hiring a lot of people, but putting a really strong key person into a place where they can help you succeed and kind of get back to it. That could go a long way.

And like I mentioned, the client I’m working with now, they’re kind of looking within. There’s not a lot going on outward. Let’s see how we can improve internally. And then once we reach back out there, we can scale it up and grow further from there. Yeah, no, I think that’s a great plan and being strategic in a sense, being smart. Again, we’re not saying clients make bad hires just so we get paid. There is strategy to it and there’s growth where growth needs to happen. But do things that are going to lead to results. Don’t just spin your tires, spin candidates tires.

If you’re going to hire, be committed to it. Absolutely. Louie two minute drill. Let’s take it home. We mentioned that our leadership has been very transparent about the ups and downs of the market. We all know it happens. It’s very volatile. It’s always changing. How do we adapt and stay relevant throughout these trying times?

Shout out to Jack Smith when I first started here at Hirewell. Well, he just said focus on a couple roles. Don’t think, “oh, there’s 20 roles I got to source for all of them,” because you’re never going to make progress. So kudos to him. So, my advice is have a plan every day. Highlight one role that you’re going to work on.

Learn it inside and out, source, submit, screen and get five people in play for it, and then focus it on the next day. Absolutely. You touched on it before, the going gets tough, the tough get going. One way that we internally can work outside of finding candidates for roles is we can find roles, business development, and in most companies that exist in some capacity.

If you’re in a larger corporation, it’s a little more siloed. You might not have the opportunity. But just don’t sit back and wait for something to be handed to you. Go out, make new opportunities for yourself. We just touched on this in the last episode about promotions. What can you do to further your career internally?

Get on additional projects, find additional ways to create value for yourself, and that’s exactly what we can do. Utilize your network. Make new connections. Reach out to people you might have reached out to before. Like I said earlier, there are always jobs out there. There are always people hiring. We just have to find them and make the most of it.

Yeah. All about creating value and in order to do that, you have to have open lines of communication and stems back to sending a message, making a call, utilizing your network. And that’s the stuff that gets all companies through tough times is getting to work, putting the hard hat on and grinding through it.

Absolutely. Well, on behalf of Louie and myself, thank you once again for tuning into the Hirewell Hot Corner. Please do join us again in two weeks for our next episode, and as always, stay classy LinkedIn.

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