When companies begin to hire after such tumultuous times, the job can be even more daunting than it was before the recession. There are more qualified candidates available, more people with passion and a sense that you can retain great talent at a lower price point.
The first round of layoffs in our industry were perceived to be targeted, i.e. getting rid of some of the high priced employees along with some people who may not have been pulling their weight related to their positions and the companies expectations. Then came a second round of lay-offs and this was due to the fact that companies did not see the end of the recession and wanted to hedge their bets by getting rid of a few more bodies. Some may say that this was a knee jerk reaction but whatever it was, it left the remaining employees over worked, over tired...and frustrated.
Now, with things looking brighter, the playing field has changed somewhat. Companies are going to be highly selective during the hiring process and this will lead to a longer interview process. Oh, did I forget to mention that there are now approximately 10 qualified individuals per open position rather than 2 or 3 before the recession. This will make the hiring process extremely difficult for company's HR departments and the hiring managers.
What will essentially happen is that both sides in this new world of hiring may begin to get a little frustrated. The HR departments will be bombarded with qualified candidates and the candidates will have to learn how to differentiate themselves versus the competition. This new world will also ensure that there will be downward pressure on salaries that were way too high before the recession but may be to low when the new hiring picks up speed.
There is also a wave of hiring that focuses on getting the same bang for your buck without the strings attached. Companies are looking to hire contract professionals that will not require health benefits, 401K plans, company picnics, etc. These people are great at what they do and they offer a cheaper solution to hotel and technology companies by not receiving the benefits attached to the salaried positions of old. One of my previous articles discussed 'commissioned only' sales people, while this is still viable today, I believe that this model will fade away as times get better. But, I have been known to be wrong in the past so if companies deliver high commission models, this may continue working.
As the hiring begins, everyone needs to understand that focus will be of prime importance. Focus on hiring and retaining the best talent available, focus on ensuring that companies respect the new landscape and also companies need to look at recruiting firms that too have a keen focus on their industry segments.
Candidates will need to focus on differentiation and fully understand that these are new times. Passion, commitment, wisdom, experience and knowledge will be incredibly important as the candidate interviews to get back into the job market.
Finally, please just beware that many things have changed on both sides of the hiring process and patience will be important as our companies, industry and our most valued asset, our people get back in the game.
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