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Since the emergence of the recruitment industry immediately following the Second World War, the U.S. job market has been transformed radically. From a male-dominated workforce of 62,208,000 in 1950, to today’s diverse, gender-balanced working population of 164,600,000, the methods used by recruiters continue to evolve to meet the expectations of employers. This is especially true in today’s frothy job market, still rebounding from COVID-19, yet brimming with career opportunities. 

Due to strong job growth throughout 2022 and the effects of the Great Resignation of 2020, and the  movement of an estimated 6 million workers, available talent is in abundance. These job seekers though have become far more selective in finding the right fit for themselves and their lifestyle. In response, human resource professionals say they must be more proactive in sourcing job seekers, a challenge compounded by candidates who have become fervently selective in their career choices. Currently, close to 80% of active job seekers right now are only interested in fully remote (, 2022).  At the same time, employers are increasingly demanding that recruiters meet their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) goals, necessitating a broader range of willing applicants. 

It all adds up to the need for more personalized, “high touch” service and a better value proposition for the employer, says Michele Olivier, founder of O&H Consulting, a leading talent acquisition specialist based in Austin, Texas.

“We take a partnership approach with the candidates and the employer,” Olivier states. “Our goal is to create a positive experience for all parties involved. Reputation is everything in recruitment, so it’s crucial to make the interviewing and hiring process as frictionless and mutually beneficial as possible.”

Leveraging lessons learned both as an employee herself and during the process of becoming certified guidance professional, Olivier says her company has pioneered a more customized approach for their clients, “As a Fractional Chief People Officer, our system provides in-house recruitment services on demand. This means that we become part of their internal team through the hiring and acquisition process. We don’t work on contingency. And as a result, we don’t treat candidates like cheeseburgers. The contingency recruitment commodities us as human beings, and because we work as a part of your team, internally, every single one of your potential new hires, so every single candidate gets treated like family.”

In order to achieve this, she has a title at each customer’s company, internal emails, access to slack channels, and her team works with their C suite to define talent, and planning and strategy going forward. 

With their unique system, O&H Consulting is able to drastically reduce the costs of recruiting top tier talent, without compromising quality or their “hands-on” approach to sourcing and acquiring amazing staff. “Using other recruiters will cost employers around $36,000 to $40,000 per placement. Clients pay us around $10,000 for the first assignment and in the neighborhood of $6,000 for subsequent placements. To date we’ve saved one client over $400,000 for recruitment in 6 months.” 

“The formula is particularly appealing to Austin’s thriving technology sector,” Olivier says.

“Our sweet spot is venture capital firms with portfolios peppered with startups and hyper growth companies constantly in need of the best talent,” she comments. “They want fast turnaround and maximum value to keep hiring overhead down.”

One of O&H Consulting’s clients is PublicInput, a provider of community engagement solutions for city and county governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and consultants.   

“We chose O&H because we heard great things about them from a peer company and found the way they talk about recruiting was very compatible with our culture,” says Jay Dawkins, CEO and co-founder of PublicInput. “It’s very human. It’s very real and it’s clear that they care about the work they’re doing and care about the people they work with.”

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, PublicInput empowers organizations in 37 states with easy-to-use surveys, meetings, and other tools to communicate with stakeholders more effectively.

“O&H professionally acts with urgency and acts in the interest of candidates in a balanced way. We love that,” Dawkins adds. “It’s resulted in some really great hires and greatly assisted out diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. We finally feel like we found a recruiting partner that fits the unique situation that we’re in and balances the interest at play. O&H is a partner that shares our values and has brought a very thoughtful, thorough approach to recruiting.”

Under her LinkedIn profile banner which reads “Cool jobs. Real talk about the job market. No B.S.”, she posts punchy, thought-provoking narratives about the trials and tribulations faced by both sides of the job market. Recent topics have included dire economic predictions, layoffs in the tech industry, and unexpected (and unfair) terminations. Comments in response to Olivier’s popular posts suggest that Michele has a cathartic impact on many of her followers on the social media platform. 
She also shares her recruitment expertise as host of the podcast ‘Hey! I Want Your Job’. Each week, from her desk in Austin, she interviews top professionals on how they got to where they are, the state of the job market in multiple fields and secrets every job seeker should know.

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