The Recruiting Season

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Perception is reality.

How many times have you heard that old saw over the years?

But when it comes to recruiting, perception is not reality.

Due to the heavy drumbeat of reporting on The Great Recession – and the media’s constant need for eye-catching headlines – it’s easy to believe the perception that there are no jobs out there and nobody is hiring.

Uh, false.

At the annual ERE Expo in Florida last week, recruiters from top American and global companies gathered to share best practices and industry intelligence. Attendance was pretty good considering the economy, and virtually all the attendees said they will be hiring this fall.

While the latest unemployment statistics (ten days ago) were grim (and likely to get more grim in the months ahead) – the macro figures mask the reality (and the mainstream media doesn’t help).

The reality is that even in a downturn like this, there is churn. For example, though the banking industry has cut back on total employees in the past year, all major banks will be recruiting on campus this fall for fresh, new entry-level worker bees.

In addition, while some divisions of some banks have been cut back dramatically, other divisions are adding (or replacing) employees at a feverish pace. And all of them cut back aggressively last winter and now have the flexibility to upgrade their staffing.

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This is true of many industries right now, even those famously “struggling”: media companies are hiring, retailers are hiring, travel and hospitality industry companies are hiring.

How could this be?

It’s the churn, stupid. There is always churn.

Companies cut back – and then existing employees leave, creating a shortage so hiring must occur to get the work done. The net-net is negative but always realize that for every 10 employees who are pink-slipped or resign, 2-3 openings will have to be filled.

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The recruiters may have fewer resources with which to recruit and they may have fewer slots to fill now than two years ago, but make no mistake: people will be hired this fall.

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Erik Sorenson is CEO of Vault, the Web’s most comprehensive resource for career management and job search intelligence. Vault provides top talent with the insider information they need to make critical career decisions. An Emmy award-winning media industry veteran, Erik served as president of the MSNBC cable news channel through 2004. His experience spans radio, local and network broadcast television, cable and syndicated TV, and the Web.

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