CSD: The Economic Reality of Recruiting
By Mel Kleiman
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of an article from Convenience Store Decisions magazine.
24 months ago, anyone who wanted a frontline, hourly worker’s job
only needed a pulse to get hired. Now, precisely because unemployment is high
and employee turnover is low, it is harder than ever to attract the best and
repel the rest.
- It’s harder to attract and hire star employees today because stars,
even if unhappy, aren’t looking for new jobs. They are just going to
stick it out until the economy improves and they feel more secure about making
- While many companies have had layoffs, no one is letting their best people
go. So far, more than two million people under age 30 have lost their jobs
in this recession. Said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market
Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, "The younger and less
educated you are, the more likely you’ve been thrown out of this labor
market." Employers need their most competent, experienced hands on
deck right now.
- The layoffs, hiring freezes and high levels of unemployment have translated
into an avalanche of job applications for every open position, making it
that much harder to identify star employees today.
- The good news is employee turnover is down. The bad news is employee engagement
and motivation are down, too. This dissatisfaction is fueled by media reports
about the huge discrepancies between CEO earnings and workers’ earnings.
Then throw into the mix the reaction to the TV series Undercover Boss. As
reported on MSNBC, "Much of the incognito intelligence
these men gathered seems wincingly obvious to anyone who earns a buck any
place other than a sumptuous corner office."
- Today’s applicants are desperate. They falsify employment documents
and stretch the truth in interviews. Once hired, desperate employees may
sue, file complaints or even fake accidents.
When it comes to hiring, there’s 10 times more information on the market
about how to look like a winning applicant than there is on how to pick a winner.
A University of Chicago study showed that hiring decisions based solely on
an interview are only eight percent more successful than flipping a coin, and
no business can long survive those odds.
Discussion Questions: How should hiring
practices adapt to deal effectively with the current economic climate and job
market? Of the challenges mentioned in the article, what are the toughest hurdles
to overcome when recruiting?