Hire during downturns; a message to employers

The US has seen the biggest monthly fall in employment since the ’40s and it is a similar story around the world. The talent market has turned, and I argue that now is the time to hire. Over the past couple of years I have been working with clients struggling with the lack of available engineering talent available at reasonable salaries. There is a parallel here with the stock-market as the economic bubble meant that most people had plenty of cash, but there were few good value stocks to buy.

The conventional stock market wisdom is to invest more in a down market…for the long-term investor equities are much better value now than they were this time last year. Few people do this however, either because of the fear of further short-term losses, or because of lack of cash to invest.

This also applies to the employment market. In 2009 there will be much more good talent available, with much more realistic salary expectations. Most companies will have headcount restrictions imposed, meaning that those firms with the flexibility to hire will have the pick of the great talent. I have already seen an example of this, late last year, where two hiring managers were keen to hire the same individual but due to headcount only one was able to make an offer.

So use ’09/’10 to put together a fantastic team and come out storming in 2011. I came back from the Christmas/New Year break to an inbox full of resumes…now is the chance for the intelligent talent investor. Now excuse me, I have to go and call my broker.