Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Sign of a Hiring Pick-up?

An expert on recruiting and related trends says that he’s seen approximately 15 high-level, corporate staffing jobs listed over the past two weeks. Mark Mehler, a founder of CareerXroads, says that the openings from multiple organizations came as a surprise and offered one of the first encouraging signs that he’s seen in the job market in some time. “That’s a lot (of positions),” says Mehler who with his co-founder Gerry Crispin regularly advise Fortune 500 firms, including those from the financial services sector. “It’s been dry for six months to a year.”

Mehler says that movement in top-level recruiting and staffing positions often foreshadow other hiring trends. To wit, he says that a number of these types of jobs were among the first to be cut when the economy started declining. “If business is slowing down, companies don’t need recruiters,” Mehler says.

Mehler noticed the upswing during a monthly meeting that he conducts for senior staffing executives who have been out of work. About 30 of the unemployed managers attend the events, where they network and listen to outside speakers. These managers have at least a decade of experience as the number one or two executive overseeing recruiting.

In addition, Mehler said that trends identified earlier this year in CareerXroads’ eighth annual Sources of Hire survey are likely to continue. The survey found that internal promotions and referrals from employees remain the largest source of job candidates. The study of 45 large, well-known companies also found that among outside resources, independent job boards provided the greatest flow of applicants. Survey participants included firms with at least 5,000 employees from, among other industries, retail, transportation, technology and finance. Mehler considers companies’ career Web pages more a destination than a source of job leads, although he believes that companies will continue expanding efforts to reach job seekers directly. 

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