Employer Bright Spots
Staffing Strategies for a Recession
By Jason Blais, Field Market Manager, JobsInMA.com
Recruiting may seem like a low priority for businesses today facing hiring freezes, or worse. But a recession requires a different way of thinking. Employers who take advantage of this market will come out stronger and more diverse when the economy finally turns around. In an environment where companies are forced to do more with less, it is critical that employers leverage the skills and talents of their existing workforce, and make sound hiring decisions based on this new climate.
April 2008 saw total employment reach its highest level ever in many areas. In the second half of 2008, everything changed. It's no surprise that the instability of the economy will continue to have dramatic affects on the labor market for the next several months as businesses tighten their belts.
Take a slow, deep breath in, and let out a long, collective sigh of relief. That's right, relief. We can stop hiding from the issue and begin to tackle it head on, together. After all, it's not just your business experiencing hard times.
As an HR professional, you're truly on the front lines of this battle, balancing productivity, quality control and consumer confidence with slashed overheads, reduced staff and increasing costs of employee benefits.
Don't be discouraged. You can unveil the true power and business acumen hidden within Human Resource Management. Use your knowledge and experience to provide key strategic input to the rest of the management team and you'll navigate your business successfully through these dangerous waters.
In the months to come, employee productivity and personnel decisions will weigh heavily on bottom lines. Through better recruiting and staffing techniques, businesses can significantly reduce turnover costs, resulting in increased quality of work, productivity, and, ultimately, profitability.
You can survive the recession while positioning your company for tremendous success when the economy rebounds. Analyze and organize your labor force to increase quality, productivity, and flexibility. Install processes to increase your employee retention, engagement, and job satisfaction through new and innovative methods.
With a potentially shrinking workforce and tightening budget, it's more important than ever to make sure you have the right people to keep your company thriving. In most cases, that will mean expanding job descriptions, increasing responsibilities, and cashing in on a greater variety of skill sets required to fulfill those needs.
It's easy to see the negative ramifications of the situation: over-burdened staff with no potential increase in compensation, resulting in a lack of employee engagement. But there is another perspective.
- As the many colors of a kaleidoscope mix to create beautiful combinations of light, a variety of job functions can create a fulfilling and rewarding combination of experiences to keep your employees engaged and growing.
- Don't just heap the workload left behind by reduced staff onto department survivors. Consider exploring opportunities for cross-departmental and cross-functional solutions and roles.
- Take a skills inventory of your entire labor force and uncover latent talents. Identify occasions to distribute job functions across the company, beyond the traditional departmental structure.
- There are countless reports and studies that indicate job satisfaction and employee engagement are directly affected by boredom, variety of job function, and interdepartmental involvement.
- By applying your own knowledge, talent, and experience in an innovative way, you'll develop organizational excellence despite the economy.
- Talk with peers at local HR Association chapter meetings, find social networking sites for like-minded professionals, and use the research and case studies provided by The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) to increase your knowledge base.
- Now is not the time to give up - now is the time to step up.