Welcome to The Fordyce Letter:

The Fordyce Letter

Straight Talk for the Recruiting Profession

John Zappe

John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.

Articles by John Zappe

Industry News

Direct Hire Fees Grew in 2014 With Pharma Paying Best

Average placement fees 2014

Note: A report for the staffing industry similar to those referenced here was released by Bullhorn earlier this year.

Direct hire fees are showing signs of stabilizing around the 21% of salary mark, while a tightening job market is growing the number of job orders yielding even higher fees.

A new report from BountyJobs says the average annual placement fee in 2014 was $22,113, a 6.3% increase over 2013, and 19.4% increase since 2010, when the recovery was just gaining steam.

Covering five years of data and some 35,000 job orders posted on the recruitment marketplace, the 2015 Direct Hire Agency Benchmarking Report provides the first look at some key placement trends among the mostly contingent search firms that are part of the BountyJobs network.

The report shows that at least on the network:


Join Today’s Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m.


memorialday-2015The Fordyce Letter joins Americans everywhere in honoring the nation’s war dead.

While Memorial Day has become for so many of us an occasion for a three-day getaway or time to fire up the barbecue and picnic with friends, we should not forget the 1.8 million who have fallen winning for us the rights and freedoms and opportunities we enjoy today.

To emphasize the meaning of the day, in 2000 President Bill Clinton declared 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to be a National Moment of Remembrance. Americans will pause then for one minute “to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all.”

Industry News

Corporate Tax Departments Turning to Search Firms

2015 Tax Hiring report cover

Even as they increasingly look to their in-house recruiters to help them fill jobs, corporate tax accounting leaders say they expect to lean more heavily this year on search firms to fill jobs.

With 69% of the 356 surveyed leaders saying they expect to replace turnover and grow their departments, just over 8 in 10 of them will rely on their HR staff for help recruiting. They’ll also use job boards to find talent, which 49% report is “difficult” or “very difficult” to find.

However, 46% say they’ll also use contingency firms and 23% will turn to retained search firms to fill vacancies.


Court Says Staffing Agency Recruiters, Managers Are Exempt Workers

Randstad logo

Reaffirming that staffing agency recruiters and managers are administrative employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a Michigan federal court ruled that Randstad doesn’t have to pay overtime to a group of staffers who brought a class action case against the global firm.

Specifically, the court said account managers, senior account managers, assistant branch managers, staffing consultants, and senior staffing consultants were exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA.

Industry News

Cyber Attacks Targeted CareerBuilder Customers


Update: CareerBuilder says the issue with infected emails has been resolved and is not an ongoing problem. In an email this morning (5/15), a spokeswoman said, “The attack has been addressed, affected customers were notified right away and no other incidents have occurred.”

If you are a CareerBuilder customer, be careful what resumes you open. It could be malware. Or worse.

For the last few weeks, attackers have been sending CareerBuilder customers malicious attachments disguised as resume documents in response to their online job postings. Because they appear to be trustworthy and come through the job site’s mail platform, unwitting recruiters open the document and even forward the emails to hiring managers and others, unleashing a bit of code that then automatically downloads the malware. Once that happens, the program can steal data or wreak other havoc.

Industry News

Recruit ‘s Staffing Business Up 10% On Year

Recruit logo

The fifth largest staffing company in the world, Japan’s Recruit, said staffing sales grew 10.3% (in U.S. dollars), ending the 2014 fiscal year at $5.66 billion.

Recruit’s international (not including Japan) staffing sales were $2.4 billion, an increase of 12.7% over the year before. The company credited a “moderate expansion trend” in Europe and North America and a favorable exchange rate for the growth.

Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., which also owns jobs aggregator Indeed.com, released its financial results in Tokyo yesterday. Overall, the conglomerate reported total sales of $10.9 billion.

Indeed came close to doubling its net sales revenue for the 12 months ended March 31, growing from $201.3 million U.S.) to $386.8 million (at the current exchange rate).

Industry News, Staffing

Facebook Sets Minimum Pay, Benefits For Staffing Firms

Silicon Valley pay disparity chart

Facebook logoOne of Silicon Valley’s giants said today it will require its staffing vendors to pay their workers at least $15 an hour and give them paid sick leave and vacation.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced the new policy in a blog post today.

“We are implementing a new set of standards on benefits for contractors and vendors who support Facebook in the US and do a substantial amount of work with us. These benefits include a $15 minimum wage, minimum 15

Industry News

Jobs Rebound in April; Temp Also Grows

Temp workers April 2015

Hiring rebounded last month as employers added 223,000 new workers to U.S. payrolls, providing relief to worries of a jobs slowdown.

Temp help, which had shown a decline in two of the last three months, was strongly in positive territory this morning, adding 16,100 new jobs in April.

The overall increase in jobs nationally was well within the range economists were expecting in advance of this morning’s release of the Labor Department’s monthly employment report. Economists also correctly predicted the continuing drop in the national unemployment rate to 5.4 percent, the lowest since April 2008.

Most major industry sectors saw gains, though manufacturing was barely in the plus category, adding a mere 1,000 jobs. The biggest losses were in mining, where layoffs and furloughs in the oil and gas fields, cut 15,000 jobs.

In addition to the strong temp showing in April, the government revised its numbers for February and March. February still showed a decline, but it was reduced from an initial cut of 7,800 to a still negative 4,400. In March temp improved from an initial report of 11,400 new temp jobs to 13,200.

Industry News

Jobboard Revenues Suggest Global Hiring May Be Slowing

Recruitment revenue q1 2015

Monster this morning reported per share earnings that again beat Wall Street expectations, though its revenue for the first quarter of the year fell short of analysts’ forecasts.

The company earned 8 cents a share, after accounting for stock based compensation and restructuring costs. Without those one-time costs, earnings were 9 cents per share. Revenue came to $183.7 million; Wall Street wanted $187.1 million.

Global currency exchange rates took a toll on Monster’s overseas operations, costing it a 13 percent decline in international revenue. Even adjusting for the difference in exchange rates from Q1 of 2014, Monster’s international revenue was off 1 percent. North America also was down, declining 4 from the same quarter last year. Bookings, though, were up 6 percent in North America. Bookings are signed contracts.

These are the data points. What they suggest for the future is harder to read. The company said it expected to earn between 7 and 11 cents per share in the current quarter. Analysts forecast 8 cents.

Industry News

Is Hiring Slowing? Economists Watchful, But Unworried

ADP apil 2015

Worried investors sent stocks lower today after ADP said private employers added 167,000 jobs in April, the smallest increase in 16 months and well below the 200,000 economists were forecasting.

Compounding the surprise, the HR services and payroll processing company revised down its initial jobs report for March, lowering the already disappointing 189,000 to 175,000.

The significance of the ADP report is often questioned by economists since the numbers rarely track with the government’s monthly employment report, which it precedes by a day or two. Surveys of economists’s forecasts show they expect the government report this Friday to put April’s job growth somewhere around 225,000.

“The ADP is no fortune teller,” said BNP Paribas economist Bricklin