Employment During a Recession?

It seems the news is the same every day “Recession!” “Poor economy!” “Stock Market down!” But what can you do to make lemon-aid out of lemons during these turbulent times? Especially in regard to employment?

First let’s look at it from the employer’s perspective:

During economic good times, the best performers are quickly snapped up by those “employers of choice” who can pay higher salaries and which then command their loyalty. Often these employees are kept by those companies even through recessions; they are that valuable. But this is not always the case…

Many star performers are let go out of economic necessity, and this can provide small businesses the chance to hire truly top performing employees that they might not get a chance at during boom times.

Another upside is that many eligible young workers have trouble finding employment during a recession, and this labor pool is one that may simply be unavailable to small businesses in a thriving economy, when most young workers are immediately snapped up.

So, as an employer, how should you take advantage? After all, didn’t we just acknowledge that were in a recession? It’s not exactly the time to staff up is it? As difficult as it may seem, now is the time to truly assess each of your team members’ individual strengths, weaknesses and contributions to the team, and to consider whether or not they are the best fit for your company. If they are not the right fit, it's time to find someone who is. Things to consider are:

1. Are this person’s unique skills and talents fully utilized in his/her position?

2. Does this person fully contribute what you need/expect from them in their their position?

3. Is this person happy in the job? With the company?

4. If you have answered no to any of these, is there another position within the company where this person would be better utilized?

Now is the time to rethink and realign your team so that each person’s skills and talents are maximized to be the best fit for your company, and for their job satisfaction. If there are workers who are not the right fit, now is the time to find that star performer who is.

Hiring bright, energetic, and loyal employees during a recession means your business has a better chance of riding the hard times out, and these hires will reward you with loyalty.

What if you are the one looking for work?

Most of the same old “job seeker” rules apply, however their importance becomes even greater. During “hard to hire” times, many employers look past poorly written resumes, non-personalized cover letters and other small (or sometime even not so small) transgressions, simply because they had no choice. Unfortunately, it leads job seekers to lose focus of these details. Now it’s more important than ever to get focused and pay attention to the details; use the checklist below to start:

* Have you read the job posting and requirements thoroughly?
* Do you meet ALL of the requirements?
* Do you posses the experience and education the employer is looking for?
* Are you in the geographic area of the job?
* Have you listed your work experience, including company names, titles, dates of employment and your responsibilities for each position?
* Have you proof-read your profile until you are absolutely sure is how you want it to appear? (It usually pays to have another set of eyes read it as a back-up)
* Have you customized your cover letter specifically for that/company/person/position?
* It’s not required, however you may wish to enclose a written professional reference or two.

There’s also a great article out by Mark Jewell called 8 Technology Etiquette Tips for Job Seekers – Read it and then:

* Network, network, network Let everyone know you are looking for work.
* Be flexible (this means pay, location, title, hours)
* Consider what other types of work might appeal to you and that you have the skills for.
* Get additional education or training.

And as with everything – remember that attitude is everything. Most of the job seekers I speak to are using this as a time to really identify what their passion is and what they truly want to spend their time doing. So plug into your passion and build the future you envision!


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