Don’t get spooked by the downturn

by 03 Feb 2009

Companies should not let worsening unemployment figures spook them into making hasty decisions about the retention and development of employees, according to Susan Heron, the CEO of the Australian Institute of Management in Melbourne.

“I fear the response of some organisations will be to look at cutting back staff numbers or cre ate a crisis culture and, in the process, lose well trained and skilled employees,” she said.

“Such people are vital to the long-term fu ture of their organisations and they will be dif ficult to recruit when the downturn ends.”

The comparative strength of the Australian economy as well as the ageing workforce point to an ongoing skills shortage, she added.

As such, forward-thinking companies will use the uncertainty caused by the downturn to re cruit key employees and help build market share.

“Companies need to be alert to this situa tion and ensure they have the appropriate re tention and recruitment strategies in place.”

During the downturn, she said, some com panies will also be more inclined to fill an emerg ing skills gap by recruiting younger managers who have the potential to be up-skilled.

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