Why do you need a recruiter in a recession?

There’s lots of people out there looking for a job. No doubt about it.

And there’s a drop in the number of companies hiring, and the volume of people they’re hiring – no doubt about that either.

So recruiting should be easy, right? Just put an advert up and let the excellent candidates roll in.



There are three big assumptions in there. One – the people looking for work can do the job you’re hiring for. Two – using your own internal resources is more cost effective than engaging a third party. And three – the best person for you to hire is available and actively looking.


Engaging a recruiter in a candidate rich, noisy market brings a number of key advantages for companies:

You control your cost.

You agree a fee or percentage, and that’s that. In contrast, putting an advert on and filtering hundreds of applicants, responding to them, arranging interviews, fielding questions – the cost of that is open ended. And recruiting is very time consuming indeed. Not engaging a specialist carries a huge opportunity cost.

You cover the whole market.

Yes, people will apply. But how do you know how they compare to the people who didn’t see your ad? How do you know who you might have got? A good recruiter (hi!) will be actively talking to their network, directly approaching candidates, advertising and using a host of other channels to build a balanced list of candidates for you to consider. Limiting yourself to one channel, with no quality control, is risky

You get an expert

Someone who can help you define what you need, and create an engagement and attraction plan to secure them. Someone who will help you dig into your need and candidate motivation and can make a great hire.


Recessionary markets are radically different from growth markets. That much is true. And engaging and retaining talent is a very different experience in a recession = that much is also true. But working with an expert partner to secure the person you need – that’s always a good idea.


You can hear us talk more about this here.


At Vocative we work with customers and senior candidates in the data, technology and transformation space. We’d love to talk and see how we can help you – do get in touch.

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What our Clients & Candidates Say

  • Recruitment Director

    Alastair is extremely client focused and always looking for the win-win in every situation. He has considerable experience delivering complex Exec Search, MSP and recruitment campaigns in both the private and public sector. He has exceptional stakeholder management skills, and is an all-round good bloke!

    - Recruitment Director

  • Interim CTO

    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


    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.

    - CIO/CTO

  • Client (Head of Recruitment)

    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)

  • Candidate – Placed as IT Manager

    Justin is an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated professional. He has a unique knowledge and in-depth experience of the IT sector and candidate market. He provides a credible and commercial resourcing service to the business. Rather than throwing CV’s my way he absolutely gets our vision. Justin has a real knack for understanding the needs of the business and sourcing quality candidates to match those needs. His approach is refreshing and he is an absolute pleasure to work with.

    - Candidate – Placed as IT Manager

  • HR Director

    Alastair was introduced to us as we had a senior recruitment need. I was really impressed with the time Alastair spent getting to know our business and our culture so that he understood the uniqueness of what we do. This was a new role to us and it was important to get it right. Alastair was able to balance ours and the candidates needs and worked with us not for us which is where other recruiters, I think, go wrong. I felt in control of the process from beginning to end and nothing was too much trouble. I would recommend without hesitation.

    - HR Director

  • Candidate – Placed as Senior Java Developer – Investment Banking, Zurich

    Justin was far more professional than any other headhunter I've worked with.

    - Candidate – Placed as Senior Java Developer – Investment Banking, Zurich

  • CTO candidate

    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

  • VP People

    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

  • Candidate – placed as Senior Project Manager

    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