Springtime for the Economy?
If you have an executive career, you have been working hard the past few months pruning staff and cutting non-personnel costs to help right size your business for the post-bubble world of the future. Well, as hope springs eternal and summer heat hopefully melts the credit freeze – as homes start to sell at a better pace by third quarter and consumer spending loosens up – you could be back in the recruiting business.
Frankly, even in bad times, the battle for the best talent rages on. Chances are your company has cut back too far and by autumn your boss will be asking why you’re short-handed and hurting for team superstars. (The fact that it will be ironic won’t make the conversation less uncomfortable.) Plus, odds are good you have, or will, lose some incumbent top talent who became disengaged during the past few months of uncertainty, reductions in resources and increased demands on survivors.
To start with, your prospects in this regard next autumn will be brighter if you work now to retain your current stars. Communications with them during times like these should be more frequent and more transparent than usual. This can be accomplished through normal conversation, but maybe it’s worth considering some kind of third party survey process to find trouble spots. Employer-of-choice experts have identified more than three dozen key attributes that drive employee engagement so get busy!
Secondly, it is worth building a strategy right now for adding new recruits in the months ahead. What kinds of talent will you likely need to add? Where is the best source of that talent and what is the best way to identify those people? And mechanically, how will your division or department activate the network, cast the proper net and choose the winners? It may seem counter-intuitive given everything that’s happened the past eight months but successful strategies take time to build – and there’s no time to waste.