Staffing, Employment News and Tips

The Staffing View On business, the workplace and employee relations December 2008

Manage Your Staffing: Think Twice Before Applying a Hiring Freeze When the economy heads into a recession, particularly one that’s forecast to be historic, some companies take the conservative step of instituting a hiring freeze. But for a number of reasons that’s not always the best course. Certainly it makes sense to save money through budget tightening and cost cutting. Yet forward thinking businesses continue to hire where it makes sense, adjusting their staffing with the goal of becoming stronger in the long run.

Recessions can be opportunities. Are there areas within your business in which you can gain market share during the recession? If so, then it may make sense to bolster the appropriate departments within your company with new qualified people or to shift personnel over from stagnant areas. Now that you’re redeployed, go get that business. More details please

All-stars become free agents. Ordering a hiring freeze means you’re not interested in adding a high performer to that growing segment of your business. Layoffs are occurring by the thousands, swelling the available labor pool. By continuing to recruit top talent you can maximize perceived market opportunities. Eventually the business cycle will turn up and you’ll have the players in place to grow your business.

Get the best bang for your buck. Review your staffing situation and prioritize your positions by their impact. Are the most critical slots filled? Just as assuring that every process in a company is running at maximum efficiency, so too is it important to be certain that employment positions that will have the greatest revenue or operations impact are staffed with high performers.

Add talent according to your markets. While the current recession is broad and many say global, it’s not evenly distributed. The U.S. housing market is worse in Nevada than it is in Massachusetts, for example. Think regionally. If your company is national or international, it may be that you need to hire to leverage business opportunities in select locations.

Protect your best. The worst recession in decades might not appear to be a time when employees would leave by choice. But companies that have needs and the resources to fill them can still offer incentive packages that will be attractive to recruits. Uncertainty prevails in the current economy. If one company can provide more security than another, a smart employee will go for it. Make sure that’s not your all-star.

Help Your Employer Realize Your Value Career counselors regularly advise people to take new courses, keep their skills sharp and adapt to industry changes. It’s great long-term guidance. But what you have or haven’t done in the past to protect your job is less important than what you’ll do in the present. It’s time to show the boss that you’re indispensable, especially when the economy is struggling. Ramp up the effort, stay positive and make some allies.

o Be part of the solution. The recession is sweeping and it affects different companies in different ways. What’s happening to your firm? Figure it out and then work back from the problem towards your own job. If you’re the CEO, your role is obvious. But if you’re a department head, how is the recession specifically impacting your group and what are you doing about it? If you’re a staffer in that group, find out how your boss sees the situation and figure out how you can work with him by doing your job better.

o Stay upbeat. It’s not a secret that the economy is in a recession and the stock market has plunged, but there’s no point in dwelling on it. If you want to motivate yourself and your co-workers, be positive. Stop complaining about the coffee machine. If you are given extra responsibilities, asked to work some extra hours or if some close colleagues have left the firm, handle it professionally. Volunteer for new assignments. Hopefully your boss will notice the team spirit.

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