The following excerpt, adapted from a recent article in CareerBuilder’s ManufacturingJobs Magazine, reveals what every employer should consider today in preparation for tomorrow:
With the latest reports showing slower declines in areas such as employment, production and inventory, all factors indicate that the economy is stabilizing, and that recovery may soon be within reach. CareerBuilder recently spoke with Herb Shields, President of HCS Consulting, to discuss trends in the manufacturing industry. What we realized, however, was that the insights Shields shared on manufacturing industry hiring trends actually apply across all industries.
Despite rising unemployment rates, job loss numbers were much lower than projected in May 2009, a sign of hope for many economists. “The free fall that the job market was in does finally appear to be tapering off,” economist Stuart G. Hoffman recently told The New York Times.
While funding from the economic stimulus package has enabled various industries to start rebuilding already, it may be well into 2010 before America really starts to see any significant job growth. That’s not to say, however that companies should neglect their recruiting tactics or hiring processes…
In fact, this slowed time gives companies a chance to thoroughly evaluate these practices and consider what they need to look for as they seek talent in a new economy and altered business structure. “Once people start to rebuild inventory, they’re going to find their supply chain is a little empty and need to rebuild quickly,” Shields says.
Companies are really going to need to evaluate their talent supply chains as they prepare to restructure their businesses, hiring back for positions they had to eliminate earlier this year, as well as upgrade their current staffs. Shields points to the following skills employers should look for as they prepare to not just expand, but upgrade their workforce.
- People with experience in more than one function. Companies should look at whether candidates have worked in multiple roles, handling multiple responsibilities. Candidates with broader experience offer more value to companies that need employees to be resilient and wear many different hats.
- An understanding of the global business model. Even if you’re a U.S.-based company, the chances are significant that somewhere in your supply chain you have a global supplier or customer. Employees who understand how the state of business around the world could affect your company can better align their work with the overall business goals of the company.
- E-business capability. For companies to stay competitive in an increasingly technology-dependent business world, Shields says it “goes without saying” that workers today “have to be able to work with computers, understand the Internet, and acquire and distribute information.”
- Cross-functional team experience and the ability to manage teams. As you rely increasingly on employees to hold a variety of responsibilities, you should look for candidates who have demonstrated experience working on cross-functional teams – especially those who have management experience.
- A demonstrated ability to collaborate. As you look for employees who can and will work in multiple functions, across various departments, keep an eye out for those with a demonstrated ability to collaborate and work with various teams and personalities.
Those candidates who can demonstrate the largest range of skill and experience will help you be more competitive as the economy turns around. Don’t wait to start getting in front of these candidates until later…or it might be too late.Related
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