You may remember my post just last November about a company called The Nerdery.
The Minnesota company was trying to “drive 100 programmers to their rightful home.”
A quick update on that 100-nerds-in-100 days hiring spree: keep reading…
All of us have heard about messy terminations, and some of us have witnessed them firsthand. The most memorable are the employee who is escorted from the building, scowling at managers on the way out, or the guy who punches a hole in the conference room drywall in a fit of frustration. There’s also the person who quits without confrontation or communication, packing up their things when nobody’s watching, and leaving an “I Quit!” note for their supervisor.
The circumstances around other terminations are just plain awkward, and when you see the ex-employee in the grocery store, you unknowingly head to the Tampax aisle (even though you’re a single guy) just to avoid the conversation.
How can you avoid ugly terminations? Here are four suggestions for building the right culture: keep reading…
Exactly who is going isn’t known publicly, though reports (all stemming from the original article on All Things D) say CEO Scott Thompson has targeted “public relations and marketing, research, marginal businesses and weaker regional efforts.” Will engineers be among those laid off? Very likely, since they’ve been a part of each of the preceding five layoffs.
Get busy reaching out now, before everyone else does. And you do know how to find these people, right? You could start here.
Never let it be said that we can’t be suckered by a little PR stunt. This one, though, got our attention with lists of the happiest and unhappiest U.S. cities in which to work. keep reading…
If you subscribe to the notion that any growth in jobs is good, then today’s report from ADP will be encouraging. The payroll processor said 91,000 new private sector jobs were created in August.
That’s still less than the 100,000 economists were expecting, and it’s about a third of what the U.S. needs each month to bring down the unemployment rate. The company, and Macroeconomic Advisers, its partner in the monthly report, also adjusted downward its July estimate to 109,000 from the original 114,000.
In ever-so-cautious language, the report says that the slow job growth in August is “at a pace below what would be consistent with a stable unemployment rate.” That means that should the trend continue, unemployment may rise.
Economists expect that when the official employment numbers are released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, they’ll show the 9.1 percent unemployment rate unchanged. New jobs are expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 75,000 (Bloomberg News) to 80,000 (Dow Jones Newswires). keep reading…
I received some sad news yesterday. A friend committed suicide. He was despondent because he had been unemployed for over two years. He likely had other emotional problems. After years of looking for work, getting rejected or ignored, and financial difficulties, he gave up.
This isn’t uncommon. Joblessness increases the risk of suicide.
And yesterday, the New York Times ran an article about companies that discriminate against the unemployed.
As recruiters, our routine actions can be a direct blow to the emotional health of hundreds — even thousands — of people we’ll never meet. Our inaction, our silence, our casual attitudes, can add to someone’s set of worries. Our decisions impact families. Lives.
Stop. Think. Before dismissing entire categories of people. Our economy, this job market — they are complex. Simplistic thinking (e.g., “all the good ones are working”) doesn’t hold up. “Unemployed” is an easy filter to apply. Just like “years of experience.” Only junior recruiters and rookie managers rely on such criteria to assess talent.
Real recruiters and real managers ask: keep reading…
The latter says June wasn’t the complete disaster it might seem from the employment numbers released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor. Unemployment may have ticked up to 9.2 percent and only 18,000 jobs may have been added to the economy, but slight though it was, The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index improved.
The .5 increase — from May’s revised 99.5 to June’ 100 — is due to improvement in three of the eight components that make up the Index. The decrease in initial unemployment claims filings, the percentage of firms with positions they can’t fill, and the forecast of manufacturing and trade sales from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Index, which was out yesterday, takes into account some of the monthly employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistcs. But even with those lower-than-expected numbers, the Index was essentially stable. It was designed to smooth out the impact of the individual elements.
“The behavior of the Employment Trends Index in recent months is consistent with weak job growth, rather than an outright decline,” explains Gad Levanon, associate director, Macroeconomic Research at The Conference Board.
However, he added this ominous caution: keep reading…
Payroll processor ADP reported this morning that the U.S. added 201,000 private sector jobs in March, an estimate that bolsters expectations that Friday’s government jobs count will show an equally positive increase in hiring.
The estimate, based on payroll data from ADP’s half-million employer clients, is slightly lower than the 205,000 average of economists’ predictions. However, it is the second consecutive month of 200,000-plus private sector job gains, even after accounting for the downward adjustment in February’s job count from the initial 217,000 to 208,000.
The service sector added 164,000 jobs in March, while manufacturing and goods producing businesses added 37,000 jobs each. keep reading…
I get nearly free health care and pay only a pittance (relatively) for great child care. My cost for education is small. Since I work on average, 35 hours a week, I have time for my family and recreation, which includes free gym access and a summer camp for the kids. Oh and I have no fear of being laid off.
So who am I? Did you say citizen of Sweden or some similar place? Nope. I’m an employee with SAS, America’s best place to work, as declared by Fortune magazine.
Two labor-related reports this week offer no evidence that the recession Wall Street believes is over really is, at least so far as workers are concerned.
The Conference Board’s monthly Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series reported that online job postings dropped by 83,000 in October. The number of newly posted jobs dropped by 24,000. keep reading…
A new study from Watson Wyatt has pretty good news for employees who miss their old salaries and 401(k) matches, and shows that employers are just as worried about keeping people as they were before everything went all haywire on us.
Let’s start with retention. Take the percentage of surveyed employers (26%) who now say they are “significantly more concerned” about retention of key employees than they were before the economic crisis hit and the percentage (39%) who are “slightly more concerned” — add them together, and you find that almost two-thirds are more concerned about top-talent retention than before.
On to salaries, benefits, hours, layoffs, and hours. keep reading…
Economists expect that tomorrow’s jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will show 175,000 jobs were lost in September, the smallest since July 2008.
A Bloomberg survey also says economists expect the unemployment rate to rise to 9.8 percent, the highest since 1983. An ADP report released this morning foreshadows the lower, yet still continuing job loss. The ADP National Employment Report says the U.S. lost 254,000 private, nonfarm jobs in September, a drop of 23,000 from the revised August jobs report. It’s the lowest drop that ADP has recorded since August 2008.
Government economic reports released today showed the tentativeness of the U.S. recovery. A Commerce Department report said consumer spending in August was up 1.3 points, the biggest rise in eight years, and the fourth increase in a row. But fueled as it was by the Cash for Clunkers program, economists warn not to expect anything similar when the September results are reported at the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the Monster Employment Index, also released this morning, was down two points from September, while yet another report, this one from the Labor Department today, said 551,000 first-time claims for unemployment were filed last week, 17,000 more than the previous week and 20,000 more than the consensus of the 41 economists polled by Bloomberg.
Then there is the report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas which says fewer layoffs were announced in September than in any month since March 2008. The 66,404 layoffs tallied in the report are 10,000 fewer than in August and 30 percent lower than in September last year.
New surveys this week are stoking optimism that the worst of the worst recession in (insert your choice of years here) really may be behind us.
The Conference Board, which issues some of the most watched economic indicators in the U.S., reported that consumer confidence jumped 14 percent between July and August. The Index, which hit a low of 26.9 in March, has more than doubled since then and now stands at 54.1. It’s still slightly below the 54.8 posted in May, but the rise was considerably greater than the 47.9 economists had expected, according to Bloomberg News.
Employers mirrored that confidence in a CareerBuilder / Robert Half survey that said 53 percent of businesses polled plan to hire full-time workers in 2010. The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations Report prepared by the two companies found 40 percent of employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers and 39 percent expecting to hire part-time workers. keep reading…
Last week in Part 1 of this series, I mentioned that as the global economy continues to emerge, many organizations may find themselves needing to cut labor costs on a recurrent basis. During times of economic decline, the need may be for drastic cuts, which the options presented last week can address, but it is entirely possible that smaller or moderate cuts will be needed even in times of growth.
The following options address those circumstances and are grouped into options for moderate cost reduction and small cost reduction. keep reading…
When many organizations are faced with the need to cut labor costs, the approaches taken are generally unscientific and poorly researched. Many simply do what other organizations acting before them have already done. The decision-making seems almost whimsical, with the final option selection process akin to throwing darts.
The end result of such whimsical action is well established; most labor-cost-containment strategies seem to be effective in the short term, but fail big time when it comes to meeting longer-term goals. It’s not uncommon for cost-containment strategies to negatively impact the organization long term, as the costs of containment paired with the cost of recovery exceed the short-term savings produced. That said, cash flow can be difficult to manage and even as the economy starts to recover, chances are organizations are going to need labor cost-containment options. If you want a more effective and well-thought-out approach, read on. keep reading…
If you’re like some corporate recruiting leaders before the current downturn hit, you had your staff balanced with a solid mix of regular full-time staff, supplemented with contract staff to get you through the hiring peaks.
But maybe you weren’t quite as fortunate, and your crew was heavily loaded with regular staff recruiters, who were going full steam to keep up with the incredible hiring requisition load. Or maybe you have shed the contractors, but even your remaining staff is struggling to stay busy. Unfortunately, now that the economy has gone south, they’re running half the req loads they once did. Not only are they questioning their own job security, but you’re constantly fending off queries from your boss, the rest of HR, and maybe even the CFO as to just what the recruiters are doing, and why should you be maintaining the same staff you had when the current workload has shrunken so dramatically. Sounding familiar?
Hopefully, back in January of this year, you took Lou Adler’s sound advice that “hiring will start to recover in Q2, 2009, and now is the time to rebuild your recruiting team and massively upgrade your sourcing and hiring processes.” Perhaps you’ve done just that, and are now well positioned to address any coming business increase. Or possibly you didn’t get that opportunity, or your business still hasn’t begun to bounce back.
In any event, you do have alternatives — methods you can use to gainfully deploy your staff resources in ways that clearly, and measurably, demonstrate their ongoing value to the business. The challenges will be different, depending on the size of the company you’re in. In a small firm, you are likely to have more latitude in initiating change — but possibly fewer resources available. In a larger firm with more resources, you are likely to need to build a support coalition of colleagues, business partners, or executives to create the right atmosphere for change. But in either situation, it’s critical that you build the “business case” — show the ROI through well-tracked and supportable metrics.
In my more than 20 years of recruiting leadership, predominantly in hi-tech, I’ve had ample opportunity to face this challenge, given the cyclical nature of that business. And as you can imagine, I willingly responded to a blog posting earlier this year asking other recruiting veterans for their experiences in facing the same issue. 13 of us shared our stories, from a variety of industries and backgrounds. The following are a few snapshots of some of the proven practices and strategies that have been successfully implemented by others to preserve their key recruiting assets during previous business slowdowns.
Some of these are creative twists on previous themes, while others represent really out-of-the-box thinking. [NOTE: All of them are predicated on the assumption that you know your staff --- their skills, strengths/weaknesses, and backgrounds. If you're new in the role, you might want to begin with a resume review and light career discussion with each of them.]
I do hope you find some of the suggestions below fascinating, creative, and useful. I will be presenting a seminar/workshop on this very subject, and with a lot of additional detail on implementation, at the upcoming ERE Expo in Florida in September, and we’d love to see you there. keep reading…
From the department of maybe-things-are-getting-less-bad: “layoffs, hiring freezes, and salary freezes may have finally peaked” in the U.S., Watson Wyatt says.
Watson Wyatt’s survey this month of 141 employers shows that 26 percent of employers plan to increase cost-cutting initiatives over the next 12 months, way down from 51 percent who said so in February. Of the companies who have avoided layoffs thus far, only 5% expect to start laying people off over the next year.
In a nutshell, the first two columns below are the nasty ones; the last two are the good ones. keep reading…
It’s a good time to bring the kids to Friday’s, Applebee’s, or Chili’s. It’s also a decent time to be a shareholder in Panera Bread or to own some Buffalo Wild Wings. But not so much for a restaurant manager in a more pricey eatery.
The chart shows the percentage of companies adjusting their restaurant staffing levels, including reducing number of managers per unit, number of hourly employees per unit, or number of hours.
The data is from a People Report study of hundreds of restaurant-chain executives.
Fifty-one percent of companies say they’re reducing or planning to reduce the number of managers per unit, while only 34% are doing so with hourly employees. Also, 42% of the companies have reduced or plan to reduce the hours worked by their restaurant employees.
In addition to cutting staff, the study finds that most chains have either closed down a restaurant unit or slowed the pace of new openings.
Most of the job cuts and restaurant closings, the study says, “seem to be already in the past, which means we should see job losses in the industry starting to slow down.”
Let me apologize upfront for this “rant” on HR’s failure regarding workforce planning, but I can’t think of another time where human resources as a profession appeared to be floundering to the point where it’s embarrassing itself.
All you have to do is read the paper on a regular basis to see that many firms and their respective HR departments are struggling to find ways to reduce labor costs. Rather than implementing sound and well-established workforce-reduction plans, HR and talent managers appear to be making it up as they go, all in an attempt to avoid layoffs.
More often than not, they are utilizing ineffective and often damaging approaches like furloughs, pay cuts, and voluntary buyouts. After years of clamoring to get a seat at the table, many HR departments are demonstrating why they shouldn’t have a seat; they struggle to deal with a predictable and reoccurring problem, economic downturns, and the related need to dramatically cut labor costs.
At least to me, the lack of a long-established plan of action at most firms is an unnecessary embarrassment when it should be a significant opportunity to stand and deliver.
The lame reaction by HR departments around the world wouldn’t be nearly as embarrassing if it weren’t for the cyclical nature of the economy and the fact that organizations have faced downturns every few years since the emergence of civilization, most recently in 2001 and 1994.