Understanding the Recruiting Market as We Wrap Q1 2024

The next question is from Sean.
Mike, how are you seeing the recruiting market as we wrap Q1 2024?

In most niches, and again, we’ve got a little over 100 clients in our high-end programs, pretty much all across the board in niches, healthcare, IT, energy, technology, and pharma; we had some clients that things seemed to slow down Q4 in 2023. Across the board, I hear it is picking up.

When I say slow down, nothing went away. There was no recession in their niche. I did not see any evidence of recession-level activity in hiring. There might have been a few micro niches that had more layoffs, but for the most part, what we saw was a slowdown, and one client phrased it well and said, you know, there are still a lot of fish out there, they are just not jumping in the boat like they were in 2022. We have to work a little harder to get the openings.

Outbound Marketing: The Key to Consistent Client Acquisition

Our clients who have a system for outbound marketing, using a few different approaches, are still consistently getting openings, and the metrics have not changed significantly in how many people you have to talk to in order to get a search that they will work on. It is still in alignment with where it has been for the last 12 to 18 months, maybe 10% or 15%, but nothing significant.

The people I see having many marketing challenges are the ones who have relied solely on incoming job orders and/or referred business and have no outbound marketing approach.

Leveraging Marketing Without Cold Calling

If you do not have one, check out our marketing without cold calling marketing system for recruiters. It is fantastic for you to use when developing clients.

Success Strategies During Economic Downturns

When I got back on the phone, as a matter of fact, I had to take myself off a desk for a couple of years; I turned over all my good contacts to different people in my firm. There was a 2001 and 2002 recession. I wanted to help generate business, so I got back on a desk. I used MPC via email, but I primarily used flip marketing, and I got a retained search every week. In a recession, I took 2 or 3 openings a week, doing it 2½ hours a day.


It is easy when you know your metrics and you know your minimum number of connects. I talked to 7 or 8 hiring managers every afternoon.

Debunking Myths About Reaching Out to Candidates and Clients

The other thing I hear is that it is harder – and this is not true – it is harder to get a hold of people now. People don’t pick up the phone. People don’t have direct dial extensions. Some of that is true. It is not harder to get people on the phone. It is just different than it was 20 years ago.

Outsourcing Research for Efficiency

You can get cell phones and direct dial phone numbers using a researcher. Our clients invest in a full-time or part-time researcher, usually offshore. I have no idea how to do the research. I never want to learn how to do that. I don’t want our clients to learn how to do that. That is something you outsource. That is not something you do by yourself. If you are struggling and you are doing your own research, that is one of the reasons. You can outsource research for $10 to $15 an hour.

Power Hour: Boosting Productivity and Outreach

We have seen that return call rates have gone up. Every month, we run a Power Hour with our clients. They come with a prepared list of people to call, whether marketing, recruiting, or a combination of both. That is the only thing they do. It is old school, smile and dial.

In that one hour, there are about 45 minutes between the wind-up and the wind-down to call. We average 22 attempts and 3.9 conversations, actual conversations, not voicemails, actual dialogue with hiring managers and candidates for 45 minutes, which is about 5 an hour.

Key Takeaways for Successful Recruiting Practices

My experience in this marketplace, most recruiters if they talk to 10 people a day, they will bill over $300,000. I always say most because there are always exceptions. Some people will talk to 10 people a day, others 5, some will bill 2, but I have never seen anyone that is developing their technique who has talked to 10 people a day consistently struggle.

Great question, Sean.
Thank you.

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your recruitment business:

1. Grab a free copy of my Retainer Blueprint

It’s the exact, step-by-step process of getting clients to give you money upfront. https://get.therecruiteru.com/lm​

2. Join the Recruiter Think Tank and connect with firm owners who are scaling, too. It’s our Facebook community where smart recruiters learn to make more money and get more freedom. https://www.facebook.com/groups/there​​…

3. Join me at our next event

3x a year, I run a 3-day virtual intensive, sharing the 9 key areas that drive a 7-figure search firm. Click here to check out the dates of our upcoming event. https://get.therecruiteru.com/live

4. Work with me and my team privately

And if you ever want to get some 1:1 help, we can jump on the phone for a quick call and brainstorm how to get you more leads, more placements, and more time. https://get.therecruiteru.com/scale-now​

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