So the recession is supposed to be over. Good times are supposed to be here. But companies are not hiring. Why?
Well in many developed countries, their economy is in a deep debt hole. I’m referring to the US, UK, Dubai, Iceland, Greece, Portugal and Spain for a start. The bailout packages come at a price to the working class: tax hikes, currency devaluation and lower pay and benefits. Back home, our economy is playing catch up, having shed over 800 000 jobs last year and ongoing job losses this year. Strike action doesn’t help. In 2009, we had truck drivers, doctors, construction workers, television staff, miners and railway workers fighting for more pay. The recent Transnet strike created more losers than winners, hammering the fragile economy (Business Unity estimates the cost of the strike was R7 billion) and business (goods tied up in the port).
Companies are revisiting their business and customer models, especially if their products are dependant on the cash strapped working class. Depending on the challenges in your industry, companies are shifting from permanent to a flexible workforce and from fixed to variable reward systems. Others compensate for strike losses and wage settlements by employing fewer people at higher wages. (This doesn’t mean that fewer people = better performance)
Finally, if you are fortunate to have a critical or scarce skill, you are likely to escape the job freezes as companies continue to fill positions.
Is your company hiring?