In reality, I’m not that old (quiet at the back, please). But I certainly feel it when I realise that this is my third recession – maybe my fourth. I talk to people every day who have never seen this kind of market; or who perhaps have vague memories of 2007. The question is always, how to hire in a recession?
To them, this feels like the world is ending. But in reality it’s part of a cycle.
In 2007, in 2001, in the early 90s and I dare say before that, recessions came around, and we’re there again.
And it’s not the case that no-one’s hiring; but hiring is reduced. The hard reality is that the jobs market gets horribly out of shape. You end up with an asymmetry – lots of candidates out of work and looking for a job, and companies trying to hire people with particular skills that they can’t find. (There are other asymmetries too – have a look here)
The skills on the market aren’t the skills the market needs.
So what can be done?
I’ve been putting content on LinkedIn all this week about how candidates can help themselves find a role. They need to demonstrate their specialism; they need to differentiate themselves from other candidates in the market by showing how they can solve a particular problem for a particular company. That will get them hired.
Companies have almost the opposite challenge. In recessions they tend to be looking to do very particular things – whether restructure or respond to market opportunity.
The temptation is to look at the jobs market, see loads of candidates, and think they can just find the perfect person (and probably at half the money).
Now I work with companies to help them find the candidate who has the exact combination of experience, domain expertise and technical capability. So I’m biased. But a lot of the time what companies really need to do is get a bit more realistic. The temptation to look for the perfect candidate can prevent them from hiring anyone at all – and in recessions, timing is everything. Hanging around waiting for perfection is often worse than not hiring.
So candidates need to specialise, companies need to be ready to hire more of a generalist. That’s how to hire in a recession. Like everything else at the moment it feels topsy turvy but there it is.
And obviously, all of you should be calling me. I can help put this all together!Browse Jobs Submit CV Submit Vacancy Contact Justin
19th May 2021
11th April 2021
9th April 2021
25th March 2021
I first engaged Justin when I was recruiting manager for Microsoft Australia. Because of the quality of his work, he became a preferred vendor and we used him repeatedly to source technical people for product support, technical evangelism and consulting. Justin is a straight shooter, builds and effectively leverages an impressive network and operates with integrity. I would have liked to have hired him to be an employee but he prefers to be an independent agent. I would work with Justin any time, either as a client or as a candidate.
- Client (Head of Recruitment)
Justin is easy to work with with good communication skills. He followed up on interviews and was a good source of advice. I would use him again & recommend him to others.
- Candidate – placed as Senior Project Manager
The terms under which Justin worked very hard to ensure that my weekly timesheets were processed so quickly, far surpasses all of the other agencies that I have worked for in the last 25years – top marks!
- Contractor – placed as Project Manager
Alastair demonstrates the perfect mix of a professional and personable approach to drive successful outcomes for both clients and applicants. He spends quality time in understanding the challenge and provides excellent support with a real attention to detail. As a result is he perfectly suited to help navigate complex recruitment scenarios whilst building trusted and long term relationships. An absolute pleasure to deal with!
- CTO candidate
Justin and I have worked very closely on a number of particularly challenging and complex campaigns. As a business woman I appreciate the work he puts into the twin perils of senior level recruitment - 1. sourcing quality candidates and 2. ensuring he keeps them interested in our opportunity through what is nearly always a 'long and winding road'! As a person I appreciate Justin's candour, sharp observations and his sense of humour. Through what are often fairly knotty propositions, we have fun and get the job done.
- VP People
Having worked with Justin on a number of assignments both at my current organisation and a number of those that I have worked at over the past few years I am please to recommend him and his organisation as an excellent provider of quality candidates to fulfil your entire IT sourcing needs. Justin becomes an extension to your organisation when seeking new talent on both a contract and permanent basis as takes the time to understand your organisations workings before searching for and matching the skills you need. Justin balances the technical, cultural and interpersonal skills of each candidates so the fit your requirements very closely and prepares each candidate before they even walk through your door so they have the best possible chance when faced with attending an interview. Justin fast tracks the process of hiring new staff by only putting forward the right sort of candidates first time so you don’t need to go through hundreds of interviews before finding a shortlist of possible candidates that fit.
- Client (CIO)
I have worked with Alastair as both a client and a customer. As a client the service he provided was A1, he listened to my requirements and carefully vetted candidates to ensure they met my needs. He provided great information regarding candidate types and salaries and helped address any concerns I had about individual interviewees. As a customer, he gave me relevant information about the role and ensured I was briefed sufficiently to interview effectively. He sorted contract issues and gave me honest and sage advice. I whole heartedly recommend Alastair and will definitely be using his services again.
- Programme Manager, Client and Contractor
Justin contacted me with reference to a vacancy at Atkins.He guided me through the process with excellent results. I can not thank Justin enough for his support, integrity and super service.during this time. Thanks again.
- Candidate – placed as Project Manager
Alastair has successfully supported a number of opportunities that I have had, orchestrating his teams and aligning them to the needs of his client. This is born from his customer focus and desire to fully understand the environment, culture and team dynamic, all essential requirements needed to ensure that the short lists presented not only match the skills and experience required, but also the organisational fit. His proactive, professional and diligent approach has eased what can be a time consuming and difficult process when building high performing teams.
Alastair has been easy to work with, professional in what he does and very much on the ball when it comes to placements. I would recommend working with Alastair and look forward to doing so again myself in the not to distant future.
- Interim CTO