What Happened? Why the Sudden Change?
During times of economic chaos, the data indicates – both as a result of the decrease in job postings and the choice in who manages them – that employers decided to take recruitment into their own hands as a way to save money.
Recruiters are outstanding at finding useful talent, but they can also be expensive, and when there are situations with considerable economic uncertainty, it is likely that employers decided that one of the easiest ways to save money would be to cut down on recruitment costs and do more of the hiring in-house.
Even though we’re (hopefully) nearing the tail end of this economic drop, it seems as though many employers have, at the moment, decided to continue that trend. Not only does it provide cost savings, but it offers:
More control over the postings and who is hired.
A way to utilise existing infrastructure during the pandemic.
A way to adjust to the “new normal”, of remote work in many occupations.
It’s unclear why exactly employers appear to continue to be relying on their own in-house recruitment efforts, but it is clear that this trend hasn’t shown signs of slowing down yet.
This also explains March and April’s ever-so-slight convergence – and we mean “slight” as the difference was only one or two percentage points, but it was still interesting to see. When the pandemic first hit, some employers likely tightened their wallets and were less likely to hire new staff. But those same employers were very likely to have already had contracts with recruiters in the works for some much needed positions.
So, at least temporarily, they stopped hiring on their own but allowed their recruiters to finish off their contracts and post the open positions. Once those positions were posted, they took back hiring into their own hands. If you look at the total positions open in March 2020 compared to March 2019, we see a total decrease in job postings by about 17%, and this drop combined with some likely ongoing recruitment contracts could easily explain the brief period of recruiters being used more often than in prior years.
In order to determine if this is the reason for the divergence, the best thing to do is look back at prior years and see if there was ever another time when these paths separated like this, and while 2009 to 2019 was fairly consistent, we do see another instance of employers taking more recruitment into their own hands: 2008, at the beginning of the economic crisis, helping confirm that in times of economic chaos, employers take matters into their own hands.