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!