Business Brains

It's time to hire talent that might otherwise not be available

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Even though some of the economic indicators have been looking more healthy as of late, I doubt any of you have rushed out to spend any more money than...

Even though some of the economic indicators have been looking more healthy as of late, I doubt any of you have rushed out to spend any more money than necessary on behalf of your business. Which is a good thing and which is why you probably want to read the latest McKinsey Quarterly article recapping the results of its July-fielded global survey about the economy.

The phrase that 42 percent of the surveyed executives related to the most when asked to describe the global economy was "battered but resilient," and likely to remain so throughout the rest of 2009. If you can explain what that means to me, I would sure love it. I THINK it means we're in a holding pattern. Things aren't likely to get better, but things aren't likely to get worse, either.

Here's the find that I found more interesting, however:

As you might expect, a large majority of companies have reduced operating costs (79 percent) in response to the economic crisis. But a much smaller number (about half) felt that those cuts had really been effective in helping their companies muddle through.

In contrast, far fewer of the executives (22 percent) have taken advantage of mass layoffs to hire talent that might not otherwise be in the labor pool. AND YET, that same strategy was seen as just as effective as overall cost reductions.

This finding gets even more interesting when you consider that most of the operating cost reductions that companies have made during the recession have been related to workforce reductions.

Now that the economy has leveled off a bit, it may be smart to reassess that hiring freeze that you might have mandated a few months. It could help position you better for the upturn, especially since you may still be able to find that talent at a more reasonable cost now than six months from now.

Here is the complete article about the August survey results. I think it is worth mentioning that the poll was fielded in mid-July when U.S. stock markets were hitting some comparatively high levels.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure