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The Bugler: Strategic Review of Recruiting News

(January 28, 2008)
The Bugler provides a concise review of the world of Recruiting News. Check it out:
News In Review

Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) for December 2008. Regional and State unemployment rates were universally higher in December. All 50 States and the District of Columbia recorded both over-the-month and over-the-year unemployment rate increases, according tothe Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate rose from 6.8 to 7.2 percent in December and was up by 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier.

Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted civilian labor force (the number of people working or looking for work) rose to 6,442,000 in December, up 23,000 from November. Resident employment fell by 15,000 for the month, while unemployment rose 39,000 persons. The labor force was up 152,000 since December 2007. Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by half a percentage point in December to 6.7 percent.

Orange County (CA) job losses for 2008 came in at a staggering 41,400 workers, a 2.7-percent decline, according to the California Employment Development Department. The county's employment rate ended the year at 6.5% in December, up from 6.2% in November and 4.3% a year earlier. The December numbers show how job losses have moved beyond construction and mortgage banking, which drove declines in 2008, to the broader economy. The largest yearly loss of 12,500 jobs was in professional and business services. Administrative and support services, which includes temporary employment agencies, accounted for almost 70% of the decline. Construction continues to suffer, shedding 440 jobs between November and December. Manufacturing also fell by 400 jobs from November to December. Education and health services were among the few sectors to add jobs in the past year, adding about 1,300 workers in 2008.

Arbita, a provider of recruitment marketing technology, media and services, is showcasing its enhanced website. It features free job posting software accessible directly from the home page, news about new products and services, and a strong emphasis on connecting and interacting with the recruiter community. Future releases will include additional free access to market research reports, white papers and articles written by leading industry experts. Arbita will also launch the much-anticipated Recruitment Genome Project. If you haven't already, there's still time to participate!

Austin, Texas-based ActiveVendors.com connects recruiters and employers. The company charges nominal transaction fees based on services to the company's users -- fees paid by the recruiting firm once an invoice has been paid by the employer.

Chestnut Global Partners and Harris, Rothenberg International have entered into an equity joint will provide employee assistance and workplace assistance services to Russian employees of multinational companies. It will also offer EAP services to privately-owned Russian companies and government-owned organizations.

Pax Gabriel has launched Executive Search Process Outsourcing (ESPO). It places a team of executive search consultants directly within an organization to manage the executive search function, backed by Pax Gabriel's advanced search technologies and talent database.

JVG Solutions, Inc., an Austin-based human resources company that develops and delivers real-world, practical, and value-added human resources products to businesses of any size, introduces MyHRTools, a digitally based program that provides HR standards, guidelines, and process steps for completing key HR functions.

InDepth
In today's economic environment, it should come as no surprise that profits, costs and customers are at the forefront of corporate concerns for the new year, according to a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). On the heels of those challenges, the ability to manage the change involved and to improve the productivity of the existing workforce are two additional items that are top of mind.

And these same companies aren't at all optimistic that the upcoming year will provide relief. Just over 12% said the U.S. economy is likely to improve, and only 9% hold out hope for an improvement in the economy on a global scale in 2009. Over a third (35.5%) said it is "a virtual certainty" or "highly likely" that the U.S. unemployment rate will hit 10%. Only 1.6% of responding companies said that there is no chance this will happen.

The 2009 Forecast Pulse Survey, conducted in early January, uncovered the fact that 68% of companies think making profits will be their biggest major challenge in 2009, followed closely by customer satisfaction at 67%. Cutting costs is expected to be a challenge for two-thirds of study respondents. Interestingly, less than 8% said that promoting an ethical environment is a top concern for the coming year.

With extensive reductions in force and hiring freezes, companies agree on how their workforces will respond: We'll all get more productive. A full 84% of companies queried expect that their organization's productivity is likely to rise in the coming year.

"Out of market necessities, and in some instances using the economy as an excuse, most companies have significantly reduced their workforces over the last few months," said Kevin Oakes, CEO of i4cp. "This means that the pressure to improve workforce productivity has never been higher. Companies can learn a lot from each other right now, especially if they suspect they are spending time and money on 'reinventing' something another organization has already solved. By paying more attention to best practices, productivity tools and innovative programs, corporations can help the 'survivors' cope - and even thrive - in a time where everyone is expected to improve their output."

Other study findings include:
Most companies agree that regulation will be stepped up under a new White House administration, as 65% of respondents said they expect increased regulation to be very likely.

The challenge of keeping talent in the current economy is considered an issue from a high to very high degree by more than half (54%) of queried companies.
Leadership development issues are considered a high to very high challenge by 48% of companies polled.
Restructuring and layoffs are forecast to be a challenge to at least a small degree by 82% of organizations.
Relatively few (7%) believe there's a likely chance the U.S. healthcare system will be nationalized.

The 2009 Forecast Pulse Survey was conducted, in conjunction with HR.com, in January 2009. The total number of respondents was 426. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.



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