With the recent nosedive in the economy, many companies went through a wave of layoffs and people may have assumed that after the reduction in workforce, business would then be able to get back on track.
But there is more to the story, more to deal with. The economy is still limping along, with slack demand and high unemployment. There is a workforce filled with older workers who now cannot afford to retire. Younger workers who have been placed in management positions are looking at a completely novel event to them – leading in a financial downturn. It is a scenario that not many people in human resources have ever seen.
When the bottom fell out of the economy, businesses focused on layoffs, but now that most of the layoffs are over, they’re now dealing with what to do next. That’s tough to do in this environment, where the direction of the economy is anyone’s guess, throwing business strategy into disarray.
Companies also put themselves into a bind in their haste to shed employees by often terminating good talent along with lesser performers. In addition, many firms also laid off recruiters and curtailed looking for new hires. And because of this they are losing out, according to human resource consultants. Without recruiters, a company cannot identify the good talent that is available, and the firm loses the opportunity to upgrade its workforce.
This is an opportunity for lesser known companies to make a move and pick up some of that loose talent.
A possible problem with younger managers may be their management style. More used to collaborative arrangements, they are not as surefooted with a more authoritative style, which they may need more of in crisis situations, where quicker decision-making is needed.
Whether companies will ever return to their previous workforce levels is uncertain. What is clear is that companies are moving more toward a contingent labor force.
Human resource departments need to look at their workforce after the layoffs and assess whether their current workforce is capable of handling the short-term and long-term needs and strategies of the company. Human resource professionals need to take a more long-term look, because after the economy picks up there will again be a race for talent.