Human Resources IQ Miniseries: The Upside of a Downturn: How Smart "Investors" Find Bargains During a Business Slowdown

Jesse Harriott, Ph.D and Doug Hardy
Posted: 08/24/2008

Part 3 of 3

View Part 1: The Engagement Cycle

View Part 2: Poor Hiring is Like Poor Investing

Relationship Trumps Transaction

Say things get really bad and the unemployment rate reaches 10 percent. Barring catastrophe, the most valuable talent stays employed—90 percent hold onto their jobs. But the attitude of those people changes as they become a little less secure and more receptive to a long-term recruiting message. (Significantly, Monster research shows that 70 percent of employed people are open to new offers at any time in the business cycle. We call them "poised" employees.)

It is this long-term relationship to talent that counts when the time comes to hire again.

For the companies who believe that a talented workforce drives success (and that’s almost all companies), the current slowdown offers a rare opportunity to improve their positioning in the marketplace. Inexpensive actions taken today will make a firm more attractive in the long run to top candidates and boost retention of the best employees.

Mediocre hiring is transactional as a position comes open and recruiters scramble to locate candidates in a short-term burst of advertising. Whether the transaction takes place on a sophisticated Internet recruiting service or with a sign in the window, it’s based on simple supply and demand—get the best person available today. Transactional hiring takes place in a narrow window of time, limiting, by its very nature, the pool of available candidates.

Inexpensive actions taken today will make a firm more attractive in the long run to top candidates and boost retention of the best employees.

Adapted from Finding Keepers: The Monster Guide to Hiring and Holding the World’s Best Employees.

Jesse Harriott, Ph.D and Doug Hardy
Posted: 08/24/2008

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