How Obama Will Fix the Economy And Re-Invent Recruiting

Ask anyone in the Obama administration about the country’s present unemployment situation and you will probably get the standard talking point answers. 

It goes something like this:  We inherited a very bad economy, and in the first term the stimulus was very helpful in reducing the unemployment rate.  But we still have a long way to go, because there are millions of people still trying unsuccessfully to find a job.  And another problem we have to deal with is the four million jobs that remain unfilled. 

The reason why most unemployed cannot find jobs as more jobs remain unfilled is because a skill gap exists in the labor market-employers simply cannot find enough qualified applicants to fill their jobs.  So, in the second term, my administration will focus on education and technology training to get unemployed applicants the skills they will need to fill those jobs and remain employable.

This is how Obama needs to frame the message to inject confidence in the workforce and as a result will organically stimulate the economy.

Mr. Employer, your business is a lot like a professional sports team.  The team that invests in recruiting the best talent will win more business.  To employ the best talent, starts with an aggressive recruitment strategy because the global war for talent is real and we need to remain competitive.

This skill-gap problem exists because our present recruitment model is broken; our best talents are not actively participating in our recruitment process.  The reason they are not participating is because they are not applying for jobs.  And the reason they are not applying for jobs is because they have jobs.

Ask anyone in the recruitment Industry and they will tell you that the recruitment space is saturated with vendors selling recruitment solutions to employers.  But when you cut through all the noise, they are all selling the same solution to everyone.  What they are all selling is another easier, faster and cheaper way for you to find the type of resumes that you are looking for.

I understand that the recruitment vendors have placed a bigger problem between you and your problem.  And I understand that your problem as an employer is that you are leaving money on the table the longer a job remains unfilled, because you cannot find enough qualified applicants to fill your jobs. I also understand that these recruitment solutions are adequate for the individuals that are actively looking for jobs, but they do not go far enough to recruit the ones that are not actively looking for a job. 

What is interesting is that headhunting has been the most effective method for recruiting the best talent-the ones that are not actively looking.  But today, employers seldom use headhunters.  They say it is because the headhunter fees are way too expensive and they do not have the budget.  And why should anyone pay fees to headhunters when there are many cheaper ways to find good resumes?

Mr. Employer I understand your situation and I feel your pain.  But let me say this; you play a very important role in our economic recovery.  Without your participation, our job market will be equivalent to a swimming pool that lacks proper filtration.  If it doesn’t have a pump and a filtering device, the water will become stagnated and contaminated with algae.  Our economy has become stagnated just like the swimming pool, our best talents are not moving and they will not move because a job was advertised.  You need to put headhunters into the hunt and back on your team. 

That is why my administration is rolling out a cost effective recruitment method that will allow employers to use headhunters to effectively recruit the best talent- ones that are not actively looking.  And at the same time, it would motivate and incentivize the best headhunters to dazzle you with their creativity and as a result, generate more revenue for themselves.

Very shortly we will roll-out this new recruitment model and make no mistake; this recruiting model will re-invent recruiting.  It will bring personal touch back into recruiting.  It will bring real relationships back into recruiting.  It will put recruiting back into the hands of professionals-the ones that recruit for a living.

Will you stand with me?


Views: 568

Comment by Ken Forrester on February 12, 2014 at 1:50pm

It was recently brought to my attention that the comment section was not enabled.  It must have happened by accident and not intentional.  I am sure there could have been some interesting comments by folks in the trenches of recruiting.  But the intent of this blog post was to wonder what if Present Obama had made those statements?

What would our reaction be?  Would it be viewed as another Government over-reach or make us take an honest look at the recruitment Industry and ask ourselves if collectively we can make a difference in the state of the economy.  

Comment by Matt Charney on February 12, 2014 at 2:02pm

Thanks for enabling comments, Ken - that's a change I can believe in.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on February 12, 2014 at 2:37pm

Thanks, Ken. The people who most need our help are the ones least likely to get it- employers don't want to hire them for free, and they sure don't want to pay to hire them .IMSM, there are three applicants for every open job.. What the country needs are about 20 million FT,  well-benefitted jobs paying 80-120% of median income. There's well over $1T worth of stuff that needs fixing that benefits everybody (roads, schools, bridges, power grid, telecom, etc.) and millions of people willing and able to work doing it, and I don't hear anybody in D.C. talking about doing something like that.

Comment by Ken Forrester on February 13, 2014 at 7:49am

I hear you Keith, but movements are slow when Govt. is involved,  It is strange to me why the folks in the trenches of recruiting don't have a say in how the unemployment problem could be solved.  DC would rather listen to the heads of LinkedIn, Monster, and CEOs of brand name employers who will directly benefit from high unemployment- even though  they are the ones responsible for putting a bigger problem between the hiring manager and his problem.  Too many unqualified applicants!

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 13, 2014 at 10:10am

Glad to see comments enabled, thanks for that Ken. I listened to some of the SOTU, and the part that cracked me up was when President Obama talked about the skills gap. He talked about (which sounds awesome in theory) make sure our job centers are actually funding and directing people to IN DEMAND JOBS. Well. Let me tell you a little something about our government funded job centers.


I know this because I worked in one for 2 years. We sent people to training all right. We have more CNAs than we know what to do with. Then someone came up with the bright idea to get people certified in brownfield clean up or some crazy thing. NO ONE GOT A JOB AT THE END OF THE TRAINING. And the folks who work there? The so-called "employment experts" who are supposed to be helping people get re-trained or re-employed? Oh there were a few with good intentions, and a few who even knew what the heck they were doing, but for the most part they were union hacks who did as little as possible and didn't know jack shit about resumes, interviewing, or what employers REALLY WANT. When I went back into corporate recruiting I tried to partner with the offices I'd worked at, and they couldn't care less about what I (THE EMPLOYER) had to say. So kudos for a good idea, Mr. President, but throwing more money at an idiot system run by fools will not help.

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on February 13, 2014 at 10:40am

I don't think I've ever heard one of my peers refer the themselves as a "recruitment vendor".  (This bothers me for some weird reason.)  Moving on...

This article, with much respect to the author for verbalizing his ideas and dreams, could not be farther from reality if one has been following the BLS numbers over the past several years.  Though it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the origin and trajectory of this, I say "Let's stand with Ken" and make 100% of American jobs government jobs.  Then, we can shop at the government grocery store, fuel up at the government gas station, go to government universities, take government approved vacations at government specified locations, wear government clothing, and sleep on government mattresses. 

This article could be no further away from the "spirit of the recruiter" than anything else being hawked on Recruiting Blogs. 

Sorry man.  Not standing with you. 

Comment by Paul DeBettignies on February 13, 2014 at 10:57am

Amy took care of one part that I disagree with.

The second part I disagree with is:

What is interesting is that headhunting has been the most effective method for recruiting the best talent-the ones that are not actively looking.  But today, employers seldom use headhunters.  They say it is because the headhunter fees are way too expensive and they do not have the budget.  And why should anyone pay fees to headhunters when there are many cheaper ways to find good resumes?

A search firm guy like me for 15 years looks at this statement as being out of touch and I would think someone got in POTUS's ear and fed him a line of BS.

Comment by Ken Forrester on February 13, 2014 at 12:01pm

If you take politics and personals feelings out of the equation, what you are left with is this skill-gap problem.  It is making your job more difficult and allowing the big boys (LinkedIn) to tell you how to recruit.  So the question is what can you do about it? What suggestion do you have since you are  an expert in the field of recruiting?

I say that the crafty recruiters like Amy and Lou Adler can tackle this problem today, or we will have to wait  a decade and let the vendors like LinkedIn, Monster and Big brand companies solve it for us and make us irrelevant.

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on February 13, 2014 at 1:18pm

I'm confused.  The article reads as the author's personal feelings (after all it's written in first-person) and doesn't posting a photo of the President imply politics

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on February 13, 2014 at 1:20pm

Besides the fact that the ones who are not actively looking for a job already have jobs, thereby requiring a good recruiter to woo them out of said job into a new job. Which does nothing to address the skills gap or the unemployed.

Ken I tried to click the link in your comment but got an error message.


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