Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Job Market’

Market update: still not good…

Posted by sweens on April 20, 2009

I have certainly been slacking on the blogging over the last two weeks but I have given myself a good kick in the butt and am back on the blogging train (I hope).  That being said, I am not overly sure what to blog about today – not that I am sure on any day.  Not much has changed over the last two weeks in the recruiting industry that I can see.


I feel like the market has reached a lull point in any direction.  I have not heard of any major layoffs as of late.  The number of resumes I am seeing has decreased.  Perhaps the panic stage has passed us by?  Or perhaps candidates simply no longer want to work with me?


But let us not fool ourselves.  It is still an extremely tough market.  There are more people completing for fewer jobs then before so the market is extremely tight.  Candidates need to find a way to push themselves to the front of the line and be seen.  All industries seem to be tough (including the recruiting industry).


Lately I have seen the following positions on a ‘frequent’ basis:


         Programmer / Analyst

         Project Manager




I have seen a drop in the following:


         Quality Assurance / Verification

         Business Analyst

         Database work


Obviously, the bulk of the positions I have been seeing pertain to Government contracts as they continue to spend like it is their job, but the private sector has completely slowed down.  I wonder if “it is always darkest just before the dawn” applies in this situation.

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Equilibrium: Apparently it applies to more then grade 10 science class…

Posted by sweens on March 23, 2009

Today I had a coffee with a professional who has a similar profession to my own.  During our coffee chat it was pointed out to me that there is a sense of equilibrium that exists within the recruitment world and the labour market.  This relationship is as follows:


The labour market always has either too many jobs with too few resources or too few jobs for too many resources (supply and demand). 


I thought this was an interesting way to look at the recruitment world because it is an accurate statement.  If the labour market were ever to balance out – where we would have an equal number of jobs to resources – there would be no need for the recruitment industry.  So what can we say when the industry is on either side of this equilibrium?


It seems to be common knowledge that when you are in the recruitment industry and the economy is booming and people are hiring – the times are great.  Money is to be made and it has been described as shooting fish in a barrel.  Smaller recruitment companies are formed and there is a lot of competition.


When times are bad, those smaller companies tend to fold or down-size and the whole industry is affected.  When the number of placements drops there is less to go around for everyone in the industry so things obviously decrease in size.  The larger companies can often look at this situation in a positive manner because smaller companies are more likely to fold during this time and offer them less competition during a recession and once the market comes out of the recession.


All in all, the recruitment industry is heavily reliant on the economy and depends on the fact that employers can not satisfy their own staffing needs, either due to too many or too few candidates.    

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Entering the job market: Am I on top?

Posted by sweens on February 20, 2009

I just had an interesting conversation with my boss regarding some candidates we have been seeing from a local company that is having serious struggles.  Many of the candidates that are coming across my desk have no pressing interest or need to leave this company as anyone left within the company has been employed there for many years.  Many candidates are opting to wait for the company to go under or become profitable again, but are sending out feelers to agencies and applying for jobs incase the right opportunity comes along.


In light of this, I pose the following question:  When you are ‘entering the job market’ are you entering the market on your own terms or because you have to?


This is an important question to consider because there is a big difference between those who enter the job market on their own terms or those that are forced into the market.  This is especially true in today’s employment market, as the supply of people exceeds the demand needed and the supply is increasing week by week. 


If you are searching for a job while you are still employed you have a bit more ‘bargaining power’ then someone who is not employed.  Now there are always circumstances that lead to layoffs and people taking time off, but there is always a small stereotype that exists when reviewing resumes of candidates who are not working (especially those who have not been working for a while). 


When you are unemployed – you are forced into the market.  This situation can lead to you accepting a position that is not your ideal position, but more importantly it allows the company giving you an offer to make you an offer that is less then your desired salary.  While the company will still give you fair market value, it may be on the lower end since they know you are not working.


If the opposite were true, and you entered the market on your own terms, you are less likely to get that lower offer from a company because you already have something to keep you going.  You are likely to get a salary increase or an equivalent offer because the company issuing the offer needs to give you a reason to leave your current employer.  Offering you less money – more times then not – is not the best way to attract someone to your new company. 


This post is written as a realization that candidates should evaluate their current situation with respect to how stable it is.  If it is not the most stable situation, maybe candidates should consider looking within the market on their own terms, rather then being thrown into the market by a corporate layoff. 


Searching for a position because you would entertain a change is a MUCH different search then searching for a position because you NEED a job.

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