Sunday, October 18, 2009

Barometer on the Economy

Clients and candidates frequently if we’ve seen any improvement in the economy. The Bank of Canada tells us the economy is recovering. Many economists say the economy is recovering. How do we see it from the front line of the job market?

As an owner of a staffing company I work with small, medium and large businesses in both the public and private sector. This gives me a unique perspective on the economy.
Houses with multiple offers are common in Toronto again, at least in particular neighborhoods. Multiple offers for particular job seekers is happening again as well. Although this is not a frequent trend it is very encouraging. Similar to the housing market people with multiple job offers bring unique skills sets. For example people with functional healthcare knowledge combined with technology skills are highly in demand. iphone developers are also highly in demand at least in the short term. New trends in technology will always generate job openings.

Small and medium size companies are responsible for a small resurgence in the economy. These companies are more nimble and able to accommodate new technologies. The larger companies have more bureaucracy and may be publically traded. This slows down their ability to approve new projects and make decisions.

In the spring of 2010 the economy will make an even stronger come back. This will have a profound on the job market. Many people have stayed in jobs they do not like for the past 18 months. They’ve stayed for security. As the economy surges ahead in 2010 more and more people will be willing to dip their foot into the job market and see what’s out there. This will cause a great deal of turnover within organizations.

Contractors who’ve had their rates slashed by over 20% in some cases will be looking to increase their rates at their present employers or more likely they will be moving onto new contracts. The movement in both contractors and permanent staff will create more opportunities for everybody.

As the economy improves many companies will begin spending some dollars to reopen frozen projects. The combination of permanent staff looking for new positions, contractors looking for new contracts and companies starting new projects will create the perfect storm for the staffing industry.

Key questions: When will this perfect storm take place? As an employer, will you proactively target key staff to keep them in place in preparation for the storm?

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