Back to News

True or False: Available Job Candidates Are Better Than Ever?

Many of my business friends and clients have remarked to me that the recession must mean that there are great people available for jobs. That is a tricky issue.

If someone is currently unemployed and actively looking, the question is why? Did the prior employer shut down a facility? Sometimes; and in that case, there could be very good quality people impacted. However, the more usual reason that people are available and looking during a recession is that they are the “B” and “C” players that companies realized they needed to let go first. Who lets their BEST people go when times are tough? Smart companies keep their best people, and make them work even harder, which means they don’t have the time or inclination to look at job ads.

In boom times, you might get 40-50 responses to an employment ad, and perhaps 5-10% (2-5 people) would be worth considering. In a recession, you might get 400-500 responses, and maybe there are 10-20 worth considering (drops to 5% with so many people applying). Will you be able to weed through 450 so-so people to find the good ones? Most “B” and “C” players still manage to put together a decent resume. So, I contend it is actually harder to find good people in this kind of a job market, and the best ones are even less accessible, because they are working harder, and wouldn’t dare be looking, for fear of risking what they already have.

My answer is False – not better – you need to get the “A” player to get you through the tough year ahead.