Posting ads are the backbone of our industry. If you’ve ever had to explain what you do for a living to an elderly relative or a member of the Amish community, chances are you’ve said “and then we post an advert” Now, those too dumb to understand the importance of our industry will ask “why don’t companies just advertise the roles themselves?” If you remember your objection handling; they need to focus on doing whatever it is they do in order to keep the lights on, they don’t have time to sit through unsuitable application after unsuitable application. Except, now they do. No doubt you would have seen your client base take to the keys like Jerry Lee Lewis belting out great balls of fire, standing up while kicking away his seat in recent weeks.
It’s a bit different in my industry, my client base is perpetually advertising. However, the frequency is predictably low for this time of year. At the time of writing, 18 live agency roles are available in Auckland with the chance of some double-ups due to pesky rec to recs. 44 live agency roles nationally which to put into perspective, would be close to the number of live roles I had on my dashboard prior to the proverbial hitting the fan. The recruitment roles advertised at the moment include trades, IT, medical, and construction giving you an insight into what industries are still ticking away. There is currently one management job in agency world advertised but curiously it’s working from home for a Sydney based agency? NZ Herald shed some light on the downturn. I’m part of the generation that wouldn’t steal a car, handbag, or TV but would download a movie off the dark web. I object to paying for my media via ‘Herald Premium’ lucky Sean Mario Moneybags Walters came through with the C+P, take that fat cats! Andrew Basset, Seeks chief executive noted profits fell by over 50% in the year to June, predicting “worse to come” with the global jobs and training portal forecasting a profit of ‘just’ $20m. To be fair, you can’t even get a top defender from the Scottish league for that type of money.
As the article states, no one is to blame certainly not Mr. Bassat. Adverts are down because the collective market isn’t yet in the position to add to headcount. Also, recruiters are relying on their network as opposed to conventional advertising streams. A quick search on Trade Me yields even fewer results; currently only 5 rec roles in Auckland with one actually based in Dunedin. Less activity on the boards results in the available jobs carrying the weight of copious applications. I’m averaging around 80 – 90 applications within the first 24 hours of posting an advert. The vast majority have no recruitment agency experience and for those that do aren’t in a great position, having been deemed surplus to requirements. I tread lightly as LI can outdo Instagram at times when it comes to branding. Not promoting vitamin water or bubble tea but one’s own personal brand (see comment section here 🤦♂️). It’s never been easier to apply for a job; with a click of a button, your CV and curated cover letter is in the inbox of a recruiter. As I’ve often said, I feel a little more apathetic to the plight of the recruiter. We work in a time were writing an advert takes longer than applying does, so when crucial requirements have been disregarded in the body of an ad why is the onus on the recruiter to be compliant? Of course, everyone should be treated with respect and it’s not like rejecting a candidate takes more than a click of a button but it hints to what our new role is in these COVID times.
My clients, like yours, want the best candidate, that candidate is often still employed. This is because the ones that are still employed possess the attributes that make them in demand. Your role is less of a time saver and more of a gatekeeper; saving your client from drowning in a sea of unsuitability. In these ‘unprecdented’ times paying an invoice for a recruitment service is under more scrutiny than ever, clients want the biggest bang for their buck. Most people will understand and appreciate your position. Occasionally you’ll be told that you’re wrong and these are the reasons why. Once again for any LI crusaders, this isn’t a blanket rule as some that have been made redundant still posses great skills, just those that aren’t in demand right now. Perm recruitment was slowly getting there with confidence creeping back into the market, pre season 2 of lockdown of course. Office support, professional service, and low-level AP/AR accountancy finance roles are still relatively quiet. But above all, business development is, was and forevermore will be a crucial component in recruitment. After all, recruitment is sales, with a bit of customer service and hopefully, we’ll get back to account management one day.