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March 19, 2001
Layoffs Not Solving the Talent Shortage
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body count update by last week was 202,536 laid-off workers. With hundreds of thousands of workers back in the candidate pool, you'd think this would mean easy street for recruiters.

Not by far. A recent survey found that layoffs are not solving today's recruiting problems: 77 percent of recruiters are finding that it's no easier - in fact most say it's harder - to recruit in the present market environment and 44 percent say that it takes more time to fill positions these days.

Thanks to the recent tech implosion, traffic to the 20 leading career-related Web sites increased 47.7 percent among U.S. users between December 2000 and January 2001, according to Alexa Research. But more resumes and more traffic actually means more time and more work for recruiters to sift through the wreckage in hopes of finding great candidates among the thousands of people cast off by their competitors.

"Recruiters shouldn't be distracted by the number of job seekers on the market today. Too many recruiters are fighting for the same laid-off workers in job boards and resume banks, while today's companies are sending a signal that they want to be more selective about the next wave of hires," says Mike Foster, CEO of AIRS, which conducted the survey.

"With unemployment holding firm at below 5 percent, we're still in a highly competitive job market and as companies become more efficient, it's even more critical they recruit the high-quality passive candidates who are still working hard at their desks, not posting their resumes to job boards."

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