Monday, November 12, 2012

Smart Employers are preparing for the Next Economic Boom!

Photo Credit: Working Moms Only

Call it a recession, depression or optimistically a “downturn”, devastatingly high levels of unemployment are making it easier for employers to fill vacancies with qualified applicants. People who have stable employment count themselves among the fortunate. The days of “job hopping” appear to have ended, at least for the time being.

Economies are cyclic, making the current situation temporary. In a year or two, growth will resume and labor market shortages could be greater than during the last boom. Smart employers are already preparing for this reality.

Lower turnover and fewer vacancies means managers are spending less time caught up in the vortex of high speed recruitment activities. The following activities will help managers fine tune organizational practices to attract and retain the best people during the inevitable economic upturn.

·     Survey and hold discussions with current employees about the strengths and weaknesses of HR practices. Ask them what should change to make the company attractive to future employees and a better place to work for current employees.
·     Take a critical look at orientation practices for new employees. Fix any shortcomings and remember orientations should last 3 to 6 months, not a day or two!
·     Increase development opportunities for existing employees. Employee loyalty improves when people see employers investing in them. Employees who have a strong sense of attachment are less likely to leave when job markets improve.
·     Take a critical look at all written and unwritten HR policies and practices. When hiring pressures increase, things must be done quickly. Realign HR activities with “best practices” now while the pressure is off.
·     Look ahead to potential future direction and future growth of your organization. Begin now to plan for the human resource infrastructure that will position your company for the inevitable economic upswing and return to a tight labour market.
Paula J. MacLean is the best-selling author of five books on improving human resource practices in the workplace. For more information, visit her website at

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