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It is better
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John Sumser

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The Electronic Recruiting News is a Free Daily Newsletter For Recruiters, HR Managers, Advertising Agencies and Clasified Advertising Operations

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Competition For Employees

(January 14, 2004) -Yet another article detailing the coming competition for employees is now on the street. As we've said, retention will be the key workforce issue in 2004.

With the job market showing signs of strength, small business owners need to start thinking about their relationships with employees and whether they need some improvement.

Human resources consultants note that workers tend to look for jobs in the early part of the year, and the growing economy at the start of 2004 is likely to encourage more employees to seek new positions. Business owners who don't want to lose staffers need to assess how satisfied their workers are...... (More)
- Associated Press, Joyce M. Rosenberg

It's a really good time to look at the foundations of your workforce development strategy. Recruiting requirements are best understood as Current Workforce minus Attrition plus Growth Requirements. That will give you the raw number of new hires required to fuel the operation.

Several things are not clear from that simplistic world view:

Every organization can be seen as being composed of three groups:

  • The Core Group (those who 'are' the business)
  • The Artists (those who work on the Core Group's key initiatives)
  • The Employees (everyone else)

Attrition and growth factors should vary in each area.

For example, it may well be a prudent business decision to keep attrition rates high in certain areas. In sales departments, high turnover can be a real asset. In other areas of the organization, high attrition rates reduce out-year obligations. Even in times of extreme competition, there may be aspects of the organization in which high turnover is an appropriate and effective business decision. This is more true for Employees than for Artists or the Core Group.

For the Core Group, attrition, of any kind, is a disaster that requires advance planning. For the Artists, it's nearly that bad. Both groups are critical to business success and recruiting for the positions is arduous work. While the ranks of the Artists can be expanded, it is very difficult to grow the core group. 

Extreme competition for Core Group members is a permanent facet of business life. Competition for Artists is a consequence of either business success or improving economic times. Competition for Employees is a regional issue rooted in demographics.

We'll be taking a closer look at these three groups and their various recruiting and retention requirements over the coming days..

John Sumser

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