Economic Downturn = Recruiting Opportunity

Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.   — Warren Buffett

There’s no shortage of marketing advisors who will tell you that the best time to gain market share is during a downturn. Usually that advice is aimed at those who sell a product or service.

But a recent Wall Street Journal article indicates that some employment recruiters are seeing the same opportunity. In some cases, they are aggressively hiring even in cases where it might not make short-term sense on paper.

Among them is Steve Bonner, Chief Executive of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Here’s his reaction to the applicant pool at their recent hospital opening in Phoenix:

… Bonner was so overwhelmed that he is considering hiring additional employees long before he needs them… ‘I’m asking myself: where are my weak spots, and is this an opportunity to plug one?’

Like Mr. Bonner, some employers are seizing the recession as an opportunity to strengthen their talent pool, poach stars from rivals or rebuild after layoffs. Every opening attracts dozens of qualified, and overqualified, applicants.

Another example from the article:

Consider Model N Inc., a closely held Silicon Valley software maker. Kamal Ahluwalia, vice president of corporate marketing, says Model N traditionally faced tough competition for employees from software giants such as Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, as well as smaller startups.

“Now, all the big guys are on hiring freeze, and most of the startups are dying,” he says. “In this downturn, we really do have an opportunity to hire the best talent.”

Since this is my blog, I’ll mention here that I’ve got a rooting interest in this process.

My company, Clear Channel  Portland, will be putting on a Career and Education Fair on Wednesday, May 20 at Clackamas Town Center. We’ve already got exhibitors from the Portland, Vancouver and Salem areas signed up to fill jobs in the fields of medical & health care, financial services, law enforcement, and armed forces. And there’s plenty of room for more.

We’ll be promoting the event on seven English-language radio stations and four Spanish-language stations, so this will attract a large and diverse applicant pool.

Interested in being an exhibitor? Call me at 503-323-6553, or email me here.


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One thought on “Economic Downturn = Recruiting Opportunity

  1. Your post is right on – and you’re right. This present economic opportunity zone is deadly only to the timid. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for when the rebound happens. P.S. I like your elevator speech via @mvolpe.