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  • How To Do It


    (November 30, 2001) Jim Stroud gets it. Even though the dismal are proclaiming darkness and recession, Jim understands that a relationship with a candidate will weather the storm. Jim's company, Lanta, is a technically oriented search firm of the type that partners with Garage.com. In a recent note, he said:

    "I recently published entitled "How Do I Find A Job When The Economy Sucks?" It is filled with job hunting tips, an easy read and an easy distribution via email. It is forwarded to recent/past                    interviewees as a value add, but the end result is additional business for Lanta. How does that work?

    -Candidates have a positive outlook about Lanta as someone who genuinely wants to help them, rather than exploit them.
    -Candidates with a positive feeling about Lanta refer other candidates to Lanta.
    -Candidates that are placed (even by other firms) remember Lanta when they need to hire staff"

    Many things are changing in the employment relationship. The labor shortage (have you noticed that unemployment claims declined at the same time that the recession was announced?) will be exacerbated by the intensity with which we now scrutinize the borders. The next six months will demonstrate that hiring shortages were neither the product of boom-boom-dot-com growth nor the exclusive province of IT. The simple fact is that without immigration, our national population is declining and aging. Along with the other top 50 industrialized countries, we face sustained workforce shortages.

    Managing supply in times of scarcity involves a series of endeavors guaranteed to keep your options open. They boil down to the creation of relationships based upon the delivery of value. It is terribly easy to fall back into the old reactive recruiting patterns. In the good old days, recruiters (as proxies for employers) always held the upper hand. When jobs were scarce, candidates danced to the tune played by the employer. Now that candidates are scarce, the relationship is inverted.

    It probably sounds odd to hear this repetitive harping on the labor shortage. Many companies have been able to cut back on their Recruitment advertising investment because the flow of resumes is currently quite high. That happens when people are insecure. We bet that there is a direct correlation between resume flow and consumer confidence metrics. This is a very temporary circumstance. The demographics are indisputable.

    The largest single strategic issue facing any company with growth ambitions is the development of a staffing supply that meets the internally generated demand. Although hiring plans are skimpy currently, retirements and growth will produce a requirement for 3.2% more workers this year. The population can only offer 1.7% (if everyone who is available to enter the workforce actually does). If standard workforce utilization metrics apply, the population will only produce 1.3% new workers. That means that by mid-2002, unemployment will be under 4.5% again with continuing downward pressure.

    In these quiet times, it is smart to begin investing in long term relationships. As Jim Stroud understands, you do that by giving something of value without seeking a direct repayment. Although there is no hard science yet, this sort of investment in Social Capital is exactly what companies ought to be doing to shore up their relationships in the labor supply. The time to begin managing the predictability of your labor supply chain is today, in advance of the predictable future.

    - John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

    ******************************************************************************************
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    © 2013 interbiznet.
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    Materials written
    by John Sumser
    © TwoColorHat.
    All Rights Reserved.

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         © 2013 interbiznet.
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         Materials written
         by John Sumser
         © TwoColorHat.
         All Rights Reserved.