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‘WSJ’: Growth, Retirements Prompt Companies to Hire More Recruiters

by | Dec 20, 2010 | Recruiter Training, Top Echelon Blog

Are companies gearing up for more hiring in the coming year?
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal claims that they are.  According to the article, “Firms Enlist More Recruiters,” companies are in the process of filling more internal headhunter positions as the demand for hiring slowly increases.

The article doesn’t specifically address third-party recruiters, besides making this statement: “And outside search consultants said they have seen an uptick in recruiting activity, which often happens before companies increase in-house staff.”

Other than that, the article did make an interesting point.  It indicated that there are a few driving factors behind the increased hiring of in-house recruiters.  Those factors are as follows:

  • Business growth in 2010
  • Expected continued growth in 2011
  • An expected increase in retirements

Of course, business growth hasn’t been consistent across all industries and niches in 2010, as any recruiter will tell you.  However, it’s a good bet that there are fewer hiring freezes in the marketplace right now than there were at the beginning of the year.  Consequently, the hiring outlook of companies at the end of this year is probably more positive than it was at the end of 2009.

While attitudes about hiring based on expectations of business growth can vary, from company to company and person to person, retirements are a more objective barometer.  There are millions of people in the workforce right now who are rapidly approaching retirement age (and many who have already arrived, but are still working).

These people are going to retire eventually.  That’s a fact.  Another fact is that they’re going to leave a talent void behind them.  Companies have already cut their full-time staffs down to the bone.  They really can’t cut much further, and they haven’t added much to their company in the way of new employees since the recession “officially ended.”

So when the employees they have who are reaching retirement age do retire… they’re going to have to replace them.  There’s no way around that.  The days of spreading the retiree’s responsibilities out amongst other employees are pretty much over.  They’ve already done that—in some cases multiple times.

The WSJ article quoted Michael Kannisto, Director of Talent Acquisition at ASF Corp., as saying that executives are expecting a wave of retirements of key staff over the next few years, including chemists and engineers in core research and development functions.  (Engineering is one of the industries expected to be hit hardest by the retirement of the Baby Boomer Generation.)  In response, ASF Corp. is currently preparing for those retirements by gathering a pool of possible replacements.

So… what are you seeing with your clients?  Are they gearing up for more hiring in the new year?  Have they informed you of their workforce management needs and what your role will be to meet them?  How much are they prepared for the retirement of their current employees?  What’s their succession plan?

Are companies really gearing up for more hiring in 2011?  What are your thoughts?

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