Economic doom merchants forecast one million Australians could be unemployed by the end of 2010, but is this predicted slide into the abyss really being reflected in the workplace? And is all of it bad for employers, asks CCH’s Chris Taylor?
Some reports predict that Australia’s jobless rate will hit 8.5% in 2010 – there are even suggestions that it will climb into double figures. Yet there are other reports forecasting a hiring bounce back in sectors such as accountancy and finance as early as the end of this year. With all the corporate caution and political manoeuvring in this debate a clear picture of how Australian companies and organisations will ultimately respond is yet to emerge.
But while there is undoubtedly the pain of genuine recession driven redundancies, are there also organisations taking advantage of a shift in the recruitment relationship – one that has recently been very heavily stacked in favour of the employee?
Perhaps “the war for talent”, that tired and dog-eared phrase that has been trotted out at least three times an hour in every HR conference around the globe since 1997, is finally over. But will the new management mantra for 2009 be “the war on non-talent”?
How many organisations will be tempted to clear the decks of the mismatched or half-hearted employees that have been tolerated in times of near full employment? With the current uncertainty and a greater supply of job seekers there will be opportunities for some employers to find a better quality of employee or extract a more enthusiastic work ethic from incumbents.
And what of those Generation Y employees that management gurus insisted had to be kept thrilled at work on a hourly basis lest they stroll across the road and start working for the opposition? Are they finally discovering that there’s nothing more exciting in the workplace than the previously unimaginable prospect of being made redundant?
What is really happening out there in your sector? Are there also opportunities amongst the difficult decisions that management must take?
And for those who are recruiting in the current job climate, has the calibre of applicants improved?