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Recruiting Industry on the Rebound?

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Economic downturn could improve jobs, candidates. It's no secret that the boom economy has begun to fizzle out. Witness the barrage of worrisome media reports: Massive layoffs at technology giants, slowdowns in the manufacturing sector, dot-com closures, and more workers filing for unemployment benefits.

Economic downturn could improve jobs, candidates.

It's no secret that the boom economy has begun to fizzle out. Witness the barrage of worrisome media reports: Massive layoffs at technology giants, slowdowns in the manufacturing sector, dot-com closures, and more workers filing for unemployment benefits.



But what does this mean to recruiters? While sources in the recruiting industry say they were concerned in the fall and winter, they are now predicting a healthy year as businesses continue to request candidate searches across a broad range of fields and industries. And with some of the "gold rush" mentality gone, recruiters are working under more normal conditions.

Not All Doom and Gloom

Several recruiters in the Boston area report that economic conditions are more realistic this year. New jobs are being created and new companies are starting up, but the sense of urgency has vanished. The new positions, recruiters say, are a result of careful business planning, and are thus less risky for both employers and candidates.

Companies are rebuilding and creating key jobs that will position them for future growth.

Traditional recruiting firms report that it has become easier to attract good candidates now that employees are not being bombarded daily with job opportunities and "grass is greener" messages. "We are back to the late '80s and early '90s and this means that the industry is back to normal," says Dennis Moran, principal of Moran & Associates of Framingham, MA, a professional search and placement firm specializing in tax, accounting and finance specialists. "There are plenty of jobs in accounting and finance and good candidates. It is simply easier to find the good candidates because they are less likely to jump quickly for the latest new economy company," Moran says.

Shifts Seen in Hiring Needs

Mark Warter, principal of Frontier Partners, a Boston-based firm that specializes in searches for early-stage start-up companies, has seen a shift in hiring. "Some companies are laying off across the board," he says, while "others are bringing in marketing talent to find new and better ways to increase sales." Warter has seen less demand for financial and telecommunications professionals, but adds that clients in industries that are not as market-dependent
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