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What will you be talking about in 2010?


Rising employment opportunity?

I’m hoping 2010 will follow my forecast and slow recovery will continue to be the trend globally. Thats not being over bullish, the indications from the Recruiting businesses I track are showing week on week growth of the number of companies using temporary staff, contractors and interim’s. This shows an increase in employer confidence in the job market.

 I also believe that this trend is evident globally. There are some sectors that are performing much better than others, in particular Healthcare, Pharmaceutical and some areas of I.T. but there are some other exceptions.

AllTheTopBanna’s.Com, media sponsor of #trulondon2, monitor the volume of job board advertising in the U.K. and give a good indicator to employer activity. Their December press release indicates that while advertising was slightly down for december , this is no different to previous years, when recruiting activity slows close to Christmas. On the positive side, this follows 2 months of significant increase and the 12% drop in volume is considerably lower as a fall in comparison to the drops experienced earlier in the year.

This cause for optimism is backed up by The Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s survey of 600 companies as to employer confidence in the U.K. with 22% reporting that they are expecting to increase hires over the next quarter, in comparison to 1% in September.

The Antal International global snapshot  is taken from a survey of over 7,300 companies across the world, and with a few exceptions,shows an increase by 4% of companies intending to hire over the next quarter to 40%,and those looking to shed down 10% from 35% to 25%. There are of course some countries who are still stooped in economic crisis, but the overall picture continues on the theme of cautious optimism.

I still have some concerns and questions over the recovery and how it will impact on Recruiters, H.R. and other Talent professionals. My biggest worry is that whilst job opportunities and employment is on the increase, the numbers of unemployed are still increasing, all be it at a slower rate.

This tells me that the real challenge is the gap between skills available and skills needed. Perhaps a reflection on the drop in skills training and higher education, with outputs over the last decade being not aligned to needs of changing economies. This skill gap in the west has been propped up by importing skills from Eastern Europe and other emerging nations such as India and the sub-continent.  As these economies continue to emerge as true powers, along with China, we are witnessing a repatriation of skills to these countries, which places greater strain on skills availability in the market.

The traditional western economies will also not automatically become the destinations of choice by the newly qualified. This could be good news for the baby-boomers, who either by choice or increasingly necessity, are looking to stay employed longer. Time will tell, but I would expect the skills need to change attitudes from employers in this area.

The challenge faced by those employed in and around talent will be changing opinions of Hiring Managers towards skills expectation, transferable skills, employment conditions and terms including benefits whilst developing talent attraction strategies around the forecasted areas  of shortage.

I’m also anticipating a high degree of “churn” in the market with existing employees looking to exit as they become more confident in the economic situation.  Research by the C.I.P.D. in the U.K. indicates that up to 40% of employees could enter the job market as a result of increasing frustration and disappointment with their employer. While this might be inflated due to circumstance, if only half of this number jumps in to the market then that will mean a lot of sourcing, hiring and recruitment activity during the coming months.

As a result of the skills shortage combined with increased churn, I see employee satisfaction, engagement and retention becoming the key topics of conversation and responsibility throughout 2010. There will continue to be economic challenges, and timing growth of headcount to mirror growth of business, whilst keeping an eye on a potential dip as a result of a reduction in public spending will shape our thinking as well as real strategies for retention, starting with getting the recruitment right.  What do you think lies ahead?

Whatever it brings, have a great 2010 and enjoy the challenge.

Be ambassadors of change, pro-active to the challenge of recovery!

Bill

One comment on “What will you be talking about in 2010?

  1. When you use the phrase “labor shortage” or “skills shortage” you’re speaking in a sentence fragment. What you actually mean to say is: “There is a labor shortage at the salary level I’m willing to pay.” That statement is the correct phrase; the complete sentence and the intellectually honest statement.

    Some people speak about shortages as though they represent some absolute, readily identifiable lack of desirable services. Price is rarely accorded its proper importance in their discussion.

    If you start raising wages and improving working conditions, and continue doing so, you’ll solve your shortage and will have people lining up around the block to work for you even if you need to have huge piles of steaming manure hand-scooped on a blazing summer afternoon.

    And if you think there’s going to be a shortage caused by employees retiring out of the workforce: Guess again: With the majority of retirement accounts down about 50% or more, most people entering retirement age are working well into their sunset years. So, you won’t be getting a worker shortage anytime soon due to retirees exiting the workforce.

    Some specialized jobs require training and/or certification, again, the solution is higher wages and improved benefits. People will self-fund their re-education so that they can enter the industry in a work-ready state. The attractive wages, working conditions and career prospects of technology during the 1980’s and 1990’s was a prime example of people’s willingness to self-fund their own career re-education.

    There is never enough of any good or service to satisfy all wants or desires. A buyer, or employer, must give up something to get something. They must pay the market price and forego whatever else he could have for the same price. The forces of supply and demand determine these prices — and the price of a skilled workman is no exception. The buyer can take it or leave it. However, those who choose to leave it (because of lack of funds or personal preference) must not cry shortage. The good is available at the market price. All goods and services are scarce, but scarcity and shortages are by no means synonymous. Scarcity is a regrettable and unavoidable fact.

    Shortages are purely a function of price. The only way in which a shortage has existed, or ever will exist, is in cases where the “going price” has been held below the market-clearing price.

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