The Economic Mt. Everest: 3rd Quarter Analysis

Earlier this year, I analyzed what I called the Economic Mt Everest. I find it interesting to keep an eye out on very key economic indicators. The economy has certainly been a challenge for many, with frustrated job seekers seeking assistance. I know I have been one of those staffing professionals turned career counselor, and using my knowledge of social media techniques to help job seekers find their way. It has been a very interesting time. There are some interesting statistics that both the Society for Human Resource Management and the American Staffing Association put out. In so many words, HR Professionals are more confident than they were in 2009 and while cautious seem to be probing the waters for supplementary staff, in other words the skeleton crews so rampant in 2008, 2009, are giving way to more temporary hiring, and ramping up of staff to help overworked employees, looking out at the maelstrom, and gigantic Everest Economic Mountain, and feeling overwhelmed and morale moving for a time in the wrong direction. HR Professionals are increasingly confident, although steady of hand as it should be, they are more confident in hiring trends and feel that their companies may hire more in the upcoming quarters. The data from the American Staffing Association also confirms that there has been an uptick in temporary hiring and it should continue into the 4th quarter and beyond.

As I look at these statistics I am very happy for those in a prolonged job search, it means that temporary work should be a means to an end to help them make some movement in the right direction for their ultimate desired state of stability.

As employers how important it is to find temporary opportunities for great professionals, and a way to try out the talent that is looking at our company websites, trolling LinkedIn for info on our company, and getting more info to these individuals about potential temporary opportunities that can lead to their longer term contributions. Hiring contingency staff will be a larger trend, but we must be fair to these employees and help them find traction, one phenomenon are workers hunting for prolonged periods, and it is very key to offer opportunities for potential high performers, and trying them out before a long term commitment is made is great business sense. I hope more companies will turn to temporary hiring, we can do much for the economy by creating and supporting jobs, entrepreneurs, and talented workers who are seeking opportunities.

How important and strategic to then select the right staffing agency partners. Take a good look at these statistics, and once again I am hopeful that temporary staffing, along with increased HR Professionals confidence will mean a successful direction.

SHRM Labor Market Outlook (LMO)
Each quarter the SHRM Labor Market Outlook (LMO) Report examines hiring and recruiting trends in the United States. It is based on a quarterly survey of more than 400 public and private-sector human resource professionals with a direct role in the staffing decisions at their respective companies. Respondents come from small, medium and large companies from around the U.S. and belong to a variety of for-profit, non-profit and government entities.

Key findings from Q3 2010 (July – September)

Organizations' plans to change staff
levels in Q3
(July – September 2010)

Increase total staff

Maintain total staff

Decrease total staff

Not sure

Source: SHRM Labor Market Outlook Q3 2010

HR professionals’ optimism on
overall job growth in the United
States in Q3 (July – September 2010)

Very optimistic about job growth

Somewhat optimistic about job growth

Neither optimistic nor pessimistic about job growth

Somewhat pessimistic about job growth, anticipating job losses

Very pessimistic about job growth, anticipating job losses

Source: SHRM Labor Market Outlook Q3 2010

A total of 56% of respondents have some level of confidence in the U.S. job market for the third quarter of 2010 and expect job growth: 49% are somewhat optimistic about job growth in the United States, and another 7% are very optimistic and anticipate job growth during the quarter. That represents a sharp increase from the third quarter of 2009, when a combined 37% of respondents expressed some level of optimism about job growth in the labor market (33% were somewhat optimistic, 4% were very optimistic).

•In the third quarter of 2010, 31% of companies will conduct hiring, up from 21% in the third quarter of 2009. Among employer categories, small companies (those with 1 to 99 employees) will be the most likely to add jobs (36%) in the third quarter.

•In the second quarter of 2010, 48% of companies kept staffing levels flat and 15% conducted layoffs. This represents a significant improvement from the second quarter of 2009, when 43% of companies maintained staffing levels and 38% cut jobs.

Temporary Help is the Beginning of the Return to Hiring. The American Staffing Association has these very interesting stats. This month compared to the same time last year:

Weekly Report:
Aug. 30–Sept. 5, 2010
During the week of Aug. 30–Sept. 5, 2010, temporary and contract employment dipped 0.89%, dropping the index one point to a value of 96.

At a current index value of 96, U.S. staffing employment is 39% higher than the level reported for the first week of the current year and is 26% higher than the same weekly period in 2009.

Monthly Report:
August 2010

Staffing employment in August is 27% higher than in the same month last year, according to the ASA Staffing Index. The index for August is 95, up four points from 91 for July, suggesting that staffing employment has increased about 4% over the past month.

As I read these statistics, I found myself hopeful, and increasingly busy at work, this means that the temporary staffing market, full of opportunities for staffing professionals, the candidates they serve, and our very important client customers, will continue to be a major bulwark of the recovery about to occur. Let us put full economic faith in, and encourage both ethical handling of the all important client/candidate relationship. Job Seekers need our help to find hope, and give them the perspective that comes in knowing that increased confidence by HR professionals, coupled with increased temporary staffing projections, means a perfect storm of opportunity, that will help the economy recover faster. Efficiency in our processes is very important to our future success. And keeping an eye on the strategic and poignant statistics, as well as a long term eye on our company's financial health will be the most important stimulus our economy can find. Let's keep the faith, and build on these statistics and increased confidence should continue to move the economy forward, especially as employers test the waters once again. It is members of the staffing industry that will be the most important catalyst for candidates seeking a return to work. Staffing professionals are uniquely poised to make a difference as they help get the economy flowing forward again. And that is what it will take to overcome the economic Mt. Everest.

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