Some of our challenges relate to the search business in general and some are a direct result of economic and industry conditions. As a company that is now over 20 years old, we have weathered a couple of economic cycles and are also cognizant of the on-going issues.
Executive Search Firm Challenges
Market Driven Challenges
The good news is the current unemployment rate is a low 3.9% in the U.S. The bad news is that it makes it harder to find good people. In the period 2008-2010, there were many qualified people at all levels that found themselves victims of the recession. There were also many who took positions for less money or title to “stay in the game”. There was no stigma to begin unemployed especially during this time. If we had a position it was easier to make a deal with someone not working. In the past couple of years the market has tightened up tremendously. We have fewer people looking to make a move and there are very high salary expectations. Many company budgets have not made the necessary adjustment to accommodate demand now exceeding supply. I have had clients raise their voices in frustration or accuse me of not giving them what they have asked for. Some of these high expectations don’t seem justified but are simply market driven. Regardless, in either scenario, at Schrier Wirth we will ALWAYS put the best possible people forward.
Time is one of the biggest challenges. Specifically many of our clients come to us after they have tried to recruit on their own but have been unsuccessful. They are likely unsuccessful for one of two reasons. If the hiring manager is also the department head in need of the person, they simply do not have the time and bandwidth to put into recruiting and vetting candidates. The other possibility is that the search process is delegated to an HR department who may have multiple jobs they are searching and they may be using more generalized resources such as a Monster.com or similar posting sites. These generally do not hone in on specifics and a lot of “junk” is received. A challenge then passed onto a recruiter is time. The company may now have spent several weeks being unsuccessful and they want the position filled yesterday. We are honest about the timeline and will be very focused and aggressive in our approach and fulfillment of the client’s needs. Once we begin, often the next challenge is keeping the ball moving. How many people are reviewing the resumes? Are there personality assessments involved? How many rounds of interviews are there? Coordination of schedules is harder than most people realize.
It’s Worth It
The rewards of a successful placement are twofold. The candidate has a new and better job and career path. The client has assistance in their workload and is building their team and their business. There is a great deal of satisfaction on our part as well. That’s why we keep doing it!