Head hunters reap mixed fortunes from global crisis

{mosimage}May 4, 2009: Mathew Njuguna has been working with an insurance firm as an accountant. It is  a position that he got through a recruitment agency two years ago when the economy was on an upswing.

But barely two years into the job, he is back to the recruitment agency after the insurance company laid him off as a result of the current economic downturn.

This time, however, he hasn’t been as lucky. He has spent the last four months hawking for any available position, making regular calls to his agent while perusing  the jobs sections in the daily newspapers.

As companies continue to send tens of their workers home, employment bureaus are finding themselves saddled with more requests than the available jobs.

Simon Muthiora, the manager at Job Link, a recruitment agency, says that there has been a general reduction in recruitment across the country with a drop of approximately 20 per cent   in the number of formal vacancies posted in the last four months.

The rising rate of unemployment is pushing many to register with recruitment agencies. This is because companies are turning to outsourcing as a cost saving measure.

Generally, the peak season for companies to recruit is in the first quarter of the year from January to April, but this year recruitment agencies have seen a reversal of the trend.

Take Webaraza, a notice board job advertiser for instance. The company has recorded increased traffic in their jobs Website with the number of CVs being sent running at four times the level that it was six months ago.

“We in the recruitment industry are now doing more business than we were, albeit with some setbacks,” states Jenny Luesby, the managing director.

The quest to find suitable candidates for vacant career positions has bust companies’ recruitment budgets, pushing most of them to outsource this service to the growing number of recruitment agents available.

Compared to the drop in vacancies posted, the number of applicants in recruitment agencies has significantly increased giving agents a wider spectrum to choose from and shortlist. However, the  agents are struggling to post every one of their registered members a suitable position.

This story is available in full in the Business Daily e-paper.

You may subscribe to the newspaper here.


Join the Business Daily community on Facebook to discuss this and other stories.