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- Staffing Strategies: Can You Find, Recruit, and Retain the Talent You Need?
Kennedy Presentation: Adventures In Search Video.
What Happened V
(March 06, 2007) The dot com bubble burst and 911 delivered a "one-two punch" to the vast majority of businesses in the industry. Overnight, businesses tanked, revenue shrunk, people stopped hiring. Forward momentum and visionary ideas were instantaneously replaced by sharp penciled bookkeeping. Partners sued each other. Customers went out of business. The depth of the fall was often equal to the height of the rise. The industry ground to a halt.
When there's environmental stress, human beings tend to blame it on each other. The industry (and most business niches, really) fell into a dramatic and nasty period in which survival was the name of the game. Business models were abandoned over night.
It was a line of demarcation. You were either in business before the implosion or you were in it afterwards. You were a veteran or not.
The Human Capital industry is very, very cyclical. Recessions have always been the bane of existence for staffing and other Recruiting oriented firms. When recession arrives, recruiters get laid off. The downturn in 2001 was severe, abrupt and unprecedented. The number of working recruiters shrank from about 300,000 to about 75,000 within six months.
No one was in the market for an improved workplace. Hanging on to the job you had was the issue. It was not an environment for innovation. In the interim, there was no venture capital, no excess in departmental budgets. There were no resources for new ideas. The same people who had been carried to the top by a rising tide were now building business one small deal at a time. It was Instant Karma. Overnight, innovators learned to be penny pinchers.
The period between the crash and 2005 was sparse. A few major things happened:
The economic recovery was often called "jobless". Though this wasn't exactly true, incremental gains in economic health seemed to pale in comparison with the roaring nineties. You could be excused for making the comparison between the 1920s and the great depression.
By early 2005, the recovery, fueled by low interest rates and housing price escalation, was showing unemployment rates that equaled the '90s. Several things happened in 2005 that signalled a change in fortunes for the industry:
And so, the stage was set for today's hectic, innovation rich environment.
Tomorrow, The End of History
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