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Is the Job Market Back? Does It Matter?

by | Dec 3, 2010 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

The economy’s getting better!  No, it’s not.  Yes, it is!  No, wait… hold on… no, it’s not.

I can see why some recruiters have decided to stop watching and reading the news.  There’s no point.  Do the so-called “experts” have a handle on anything that’s happening?  I’d have to say probably not.

Take Friday’s monthly labor report, courtesy of the U.S. government.  According to the report, U.S. employers added 39,000 jobs to their payrolls in November.  Prior to the release of that information, most of the forecasts were much higher than that.

Economists surveyed by were predicting a gain of 150,000 jobs.  Some outlooks were even more optimistic, with numbers above 200,000.  (Last month’s labor report showed that the economy added 172,000 jobs).

Here’s a snapshot of other information from Friday’s jobs report:

  • The Retail industry lost 28,000 jobs in November.
  • The Manufacturing industry shed 13,000 jobs during the month.
  • The Construction industry lost another 5,000 jobs.
  • The economy added 40,000 temp jobs.

In reading national news articles and listening to pundits and prognosticators, it seems that they’re eager to seize upon the next batch of numbers—whatever those numbers might be—and twist and turn in the wind… in whichever direction the numbers take them.

So what’s the bottom line?  Is the job market on its way back?  Is it not?  Is it in limbo?  Is the economy growing?  Is the recovery gaining steam?  How quickly is it gaining steam?  Does any of this actually matter to recruiters who are trying to make placements within their chosen niche?

I talk every week with recruiters, many of them who are still doing well and who enjoyed a good year in 2010.  The majority of them indicate that they don’t listen to the news or any of the negativity that’s associated with it.  Instead, they focus on doing the things that lead most directly to placements and to new business: namely, sourcing quality candidates, filling job orders, and giving their clients exactly what they need and what they’re looking for.

It’s an approach that appears to be working for these candidates.  However slow the recovery is and no matter how “jobless” it is, companies are still looking for the very best candidates and they’re still willing to pay a recruiter to find them.  It seems as though the more successful recruiters are those who are single-minded of purpose and don’t allow themselves to twist and turn in the wind.

What are your thoughts?  Should recruiters shun the national media for the most part and instead “put their nose to the grindstone,” so to speak?  What’s the best approach that a recruiter can take right now… and what do you think the best approach will be for 2011?

As always, I welcome your comments and opinions.

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