The recession and broader
economic slowdown have given business leaders the cover they need
to make sweeping changes to their business structures. For some, it
has meant sending core processes overseas, for others, it has meant
investing in technology that would automate tasks once carried out
by humans.  It’s why in the depths of the recession, economic
output per hour worked actually skyrocketed, growing at over 5
percent for more than a year.

After a decade of lightning-speed technological advancements,
the recession was a well-placed opportunity for businesses in
almost every sector to look for ways to streamline their processes
and improve efficiency. It allowed many companies to mitigate the
impact of the recession on their bottom lines. Yet, the law of
diminishing returns means these methods will only work for so long.
Eventually, growth will need to come from growth.

“You would be hard pressed to find a company that has managed
long-term growth without investment. That investment normally needs
to begin with human capital,” says Rob Romaine, president of
MRINetwork. “After a deep recession that effects people at every
level, trying to expand through increasing workloads can be
counterproductive as employees are pushed past their tipping point,
leading to increased turnover.”

New hires intended for growth, however, can be some of the most
difficult. As a company expands laterally, or even horizontally,
new positions with unique qualifications become necessary. Existing
in-house recruiting pipelines can often fall short of meeting the
demand of new pools of candidates required.

When an organization creates a new position, it calls for a very
different type of candidate than if the position was already in
existence. Finding the types of candidates ready to take on such a
task frequently, if not exclusively, requires reaching deep into
the workforce of current and would-be competitors to find people
who can not only do the job, but define the job.

“The type of top talent you want to recruit aren’t going to
answer the phone when a competitor calls them-much less be actively
applying to job openings-automatically screening out some of the
best new staff you could bring aboard,” notes Romaine. “That exact
same candidate though, will likely not only take a call from an
industry recruiter; they may already be working with one.”

Acting as a third party, an industry recruiter can work with
hiring managers not only to create what the job description for a
new role might look like, but also help them understand what types
of candidates are already in the passive candidate market. They can
map out a search strategy to identify, screen, and eventually
recruit the correct person.

“The most effective employees are almost by definition the most
engaged. They are invested in their jobs and aren’t actively
considering other employment. But it’s also not going to stop them
from taking a look when an opportunity arises,” says Romaine. “In
recessions and boom times, these passive candidates end up being
the most consistently successful and effective hires a company can

For companies that have already made all the easy fixes to
productivity, growth in a sluggish 2012 economy may only be found
through investing in growing workforces and recruiting top passive

Editor’s Note: This article is from
the MRINetwork First Friday
, a monthly look at employment, economy, and workforce
managment trends from the MRINetwork team of
experts in global search. If you would like to recive
the First Friday Preview on a monthly basis,
please contact
an MRINetwork recruiter working in your

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