By Tracy Tran
This past January, I was laid off at my company and I immediately updated my resume and applied to numerous companies and staffing agencies (Spoiler Alert: I start my new job with the HR Source this week). I did get interviews, including several from staffing firms. Without asking, all the staffing firms told me there were tons of recruiting openings (mostly contract) that companies are looking. I asked them why there’s a demand of recruiters. None of the recruiters, from staffing firms, had an answer why there is high demand. So, the next best thing is I asked the recruitDC community about this and there were a few theories:
Theory #1: Not a lot of recruiters in the DC area
It is not the right answer, but it is not entirely far-fetched, either. In Northern Virginia, you have a wide array of government contractors; in Maryland, you have mostly biotech companies; and in D.C., you have everything you can imagine, but only a few slots to fill. However recently, the area has been diversifying (in different industries and sectors) to attract people from across the United States to come to D.C.
Theory #2: Executives don’t think recruiters are necessary, are the first to get laid off, and hire contract recruiters.
On one hand, I do think executives might have a point since some companies are automating their recruiting process and making most recruiters lazy instead of being proactive, which gives recruiting a bad name.
On the other hand, if you have a good recruiting department, why would you eliminate it? Good recruiters do the ground work of sourcing, contacting, and networking with potential candidates and forward the best candidates available to the hiring manager. Good recruiters do not rely too much on machines; they mostly rely on the art of recruiting.
Theory #3: Headcounts are growing for D.C. area companies.
This is the most likely theory as the D.C. area job growth outpaced the national job growth last year. You would think federal funding was a factor of the job growth in D.C.
D.C. area companies have found new sources of revenue and with cheaper gas prices and other alternatives to take advantage; companies can expand and be aggressive in their hiring, which is great for recruiters here.
If you’re looking for recruiting opportunities in D.C. area, it is a great time to find one. Even if the company does not have any recruiting openings, they might create one, and luckily, that's what happened to me.
Groups like We Recruit DC on Facebook have been filled with opportunities as of late, and it bodes well for recruiters.
What are you seeing in the DC area?
Tracy is a Sourcer and Social Media Specialist for The HR SOURCE in Maryland. He has been in recruiting for over twelve years sourcing, networking, interviewing, negotiating, and advising hiring managers on who to look for. His experience stretches sectors from nonprofits, consulting firm, government contracting, tech, media, and others from a variety of positions from executives, directors, interns, senior-level, mid-level, and entry-level positions. He has also dealt with job boards currently with NatsJobs, which is a unique and interactive job board during Washington Nationals games. Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn or Twitter.