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Recession-Wary Employers Seek Better Ways to Find Star Job Performers

McLean, Va. – While many employers may be cutting back on overall staffing levels during the economic recession, companies also recognize this period of time as an opportunity to hire top-quality job candidates. The challenge, recruiters say, is managing tighter recruiting budgets and picking out top job performers in a flood of increased resume submissions. M

ore than three-quarters (76 percent) of in-house corporate recruiters say the recession offers an opportunity to bring in higher quality talent to their organizations over the first half of 2009, according to a Jobfox ( poll of 200 recruiters. At the same time, 53 percent of in-house recruiters expect their companies to hire fewer new employees during the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period a year ago.

“It’s the typical recession reaction whereby companies want to cut or freeze staffing levels, but not at the expense of losing good people or hiring top-flight contributors,” said Rob McGovern, CEO of Jobfox, the Internet’s first career site to bring precision matching to online recruiting. “The companies that will emerge victorious will be the ones that are most resourceful in managing cost-efficient recruitment activities.”

Despite the growing list of corporate layoffs, employers continue to post millions of new jobs each month. For example, there were 2.5 million non-farm job postings in November 2008, the most recent data available from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. That same month, 4.3 million non-farm new hires were made, even with overall unemployment at 6.5 percent.

While hiring continues, recruiting budgets are under closer scrutiny with 48 percent of in-house recruiters expecting to operate with decreased budgets during the first half of 2009. Meanwhile, recruiters say they are inundated with job seeker applications.

“Right now there’s a lot of unemployment and saturation of the job market, so we get a flood of resumes that don’t have anything to do with what we’re looking for,” said Kobie Drew, the account acquisitions manager for Citysearch, a leading online lifestyles guide. “There are more and more resumes to look over.”

“If Jobfox shows that a candidate has the qualifications we’re looking for, then I’m probably calling that person,” Drew said. “I spend less time reviewing and more time interviewing, which is what I need.”

The Jobfox 2009 Poll: Recruiting and Hiring in a Recession was conducted during the months of November and December, 2008. The poll was conducted using a random list of current and prospective Jobfox employer clients. More than 200 U.S.-based in-house recruiters, hiring managers and human resource managers with corporate recruiting responsibilities were surveyed using, an online tool for creating surveys and collecting responses. The bulk of the survey report focuses on the expectations and actions of in-house recruiters. 2/09

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