MANAGEMENT: Recruiting With Recovery In Mind
Recent Western Cape Business News
SA Companies, looking to turn the corner once the economy improves, should focus on recruiting scarce skills now in order to ready themselves for a return to the good times.
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD at Cape Town-based Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters says that while the job market is flooded with people looking for jobs due to the rationalizations and retrenchments that have hit corporate SA, the type of scarce skills and top people that companies need for growth are still scarce.
“In these tough economic times, top organizations are still working hard to retain their key people. In fact, high achievers with specialist skills and track records of revenue generation are seldom on the retrenchment list and unlikely to be actively looking for new jobs.”
So although it may be tempting to wait for things to improve before engaging in recruitment processes, access to talent remains a challenge, and it can take months before companies have the right people on board – once again, placing them on the back foot when it comes to competing for business in a healthier market says Goodman-Bhyat
“Many companies instinctively freeze recruitment and promotion at the first sign of a global downturn. While positive in the short term, by reducing the salary bill and recruitment costs, it can also create an internal skills crisis. Many of the companies struggling right now are in that position because they neglected a skills need 6 months to a year ago. In extreme cases some organizations find their problems exacerbated as they are short on skills as well as the BEE compliance to attract new business”
“Our advice to clients in these times is to be more pro-active and forward thinking in attracting and retaining the right talent, as the tide will turn and you need to retain your competitive advantage. And where recruitment is too costly, organizations should look to redeploy rather than retrench. Now is a good time to focus on training and up-skilling existing staff.”
She says the economic turnaround will come sooner for some sectors than others, but no company can afford to allow talent management to fall off the top of the priority list.
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