Corporate Recruiters & Headhunters Caught In Downturn

March 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm 3 comments

By Carol Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of
Many top ENR firms added recruiters to their corporate teams  over the past 3 years. Firms were so desperate to hire staff that they increased their recruiting teams by  astounding numbers – never seen before in the civil engineering industry.  Additionally, any headhunter who could spell civil engineering (and several who couldn’t) jumped right on the bandwagon.                       

Weekly I receive emails, calls or see Linkedin updates of corporate recruiters who are looking for employment and third party recruiters looking for contract recruiting jobs. We all knew that cuts in “overhead” staff were imminent. So, now many corporate recruiters are looking for new employers and many headhunters are looking for new clients. 

Corporate recruiters are  networking like the pros that many of them are.  They are using Web 2.0 tools, posting resumes on niche job boards and some are hanging their own shingle – hoping to win some search assignments from firms. Many headhunters are aggressively making marketing calls, offering to team with others and using crystal balls to assess the next upcoming recruiting trend.

Both recruiters have something in common:  both are utilizing LinkedIn and social networking sites to their max! AdvertisingAge reported that LinkedIn membership hit 36 million last week. Everyone wants to connect with everyone else.  Networking is at an all time high. This has presented a few issues.  Several headhunters contacted me and told me of their hesitancy to connect with corporate recruiters who had nothing to do with them until the corporate recruiters were laid off.  And some after “linking-in” report that the corporate recruiters won’t share their connections.  I say…GIVE IT A REST.  As we have discussed in numerous BLOGS here, looking for a job is stressful under most circumstances.  Stress is heightened when looking for a job when one is laid off. Folks, help each other out. And….people remember those that help them when times are tough.

The market is starting to turn.  As recruiters, corporate, contract or third party headhunter, let’s work together. Our work, as in consulting engineering, is mostly about relationships.  If you have established, good relationships, no one can take them away from you.  I have yet to hear from a civil engineer that his or her colleagues are hesitant to help them network!  

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering industry blog :: civil engineering discussions 


Entry filed under: Corporate Recruiters, Headhunters, Human Resources, The Workplace. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Juli Smith  |  March 6, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I agree Carol- there is no value in holding a grudge. It should be a lesson to all of us- recruiters, engineers, HR Directors, though. “When you need a friend, it’s too late to make one.” It really goes back to just being a decent human being. If as a recruiter, I can’t help someone, I tell them. I don’t refuse to take the call or delete the email. As an engineer, it does not serve you to be rude to a recruiter that calls you and as an HR Director the same is true. We are all just people going to work and trying to provide for our families and what you put out to the universe comes back to you tenfold. It is a conscious choice if it is goodwill or not.

  • 2. Vicki  |  March 6, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I totally agree Carol. It is amazing how many calls I get each and every day from headhunters. I’ve had recruiters hang up on me once I tell them we are not calling out openings to headhunters, I’ve had recruiters beg and I get the constant deep sigh when I say “Sorry but NO”. I am saying no for a reason, it’s not personal, it’s the economy. I am lucky to still have a job and will remember each and every call I get asking for business. I do see light at the end of the tunnel if we all can just hold in there.

  • 3. Sheree Ruland  |  March 5, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    You nailed it, Carol! IMHO, recruiters need to help each other and share information, networks, and do whatever we can to assist our colleagues in this economy. Corporate recruiters, agencies and headhunters alike, we all need to stick together!

    Thanks for getting the word out!
    Sheree (avid open networker)


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