If you have ever wanted to upgrade the talent in your business, now is the time. There’s never been a better talent market and there are some highly skilled employees available that are looking to work in a place where they can make a difference. Under normal circumstances, these kinds of people are fully employed and you have to find and recruit them away from other companies. Right now they are out there actively looking for their next opportunity.
It doesn’t matter if you are cutting back on your own staff, it’s still a time to see what’s available in the talent pool and make a few key hires. It may be possible in this market to find that one key leader who is going to help your company grow faster as the recession subsides. You can’t afford not to go look for people like that in this unique environment.
Many big companies haven’t been careful about the talent that they let go in their efforts to cut costs quickly and drastically. Often they have made job cuts by looking at the org chart instead of the individual performance or the potential of the employee to contribute to the company. That means that some great talent has been caught up in the frenzy and is looking for a new start.
The other phenomenon that I see happening is the move to smaller organizations by those who’ve been laid off from large companies. There’s a perception in the job market that smaller companies are more loyal, retain key talent better, and keep employees from feeling like a number. There’s also a belief that when you give years of hard work to a smaller organization, they are more likely to remember it and reward you accordingly. That’s very different from the picture of some large companies right now. There are a lot of talented contributors out there who feel like they have given their time and effort in return for only a paycheck, when they were looking for something more. These people are looking for a place where they not only have a job, but where they fit in and belong.
In these conditions working for a huge corporation actually seems risky to many people looking for jobs. And while there seems to be no safe play, many believe they can influence their career more effectively in a smaller business where they can be recognized for their contribution by more of the decision makers. All of these changes in the talent market mean now’s the time for small and midsize companies to find the talent that will most effectively run and grow their business. When the market turns, those with the best people will win first and grow fastest. If you aren’t completely confident that you already have it, then it’s time to carefully shop for the talent you need to get you there.
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