Check out an excerpt of Seth Godin's Blog post:
Connect job hunters with jobs.
My friend Tara has made hundreds of thousands of dollars (in good years) working as an executive recruiter. But what did she actually do all day? She stayed connected with a cadre of people. She kept track of the all stars. She connected with the right people, invested time in them that her clients never thought was worth it. So, when it was time to hire, it was easier for them to call Tara than it was for them to start from scratch. The best time to start a gig like this is right now, when no one in particular wants to connect with and help out the superstars. Later, when the economy bounces back, your position is extremely valuable. (Note! This only works if you have insane focus and the people you interact with are the true superstars, not just numbers).
This may be a bit of a down time for the average search agency - but not for mine. Like the post mentioned above, the executive recruiter stayed connected with a cadre of people..."so, when it was time to hire, it was easier for them to call Tara than it was to start from scratch."
So that is what the good agency's need to do. Stay connected. Build the relationship; let them think about you. Now may not be the time, but when the time comes you want those superstars to think about you first.