Dismal Economy = Hiring Opportunity

It was another bad month for unemployment: November was the 11th straigth month of job losses and some 560k jobs were shed during the month. Even small business, long a driver of employment adds in the economy, dropped some 80k jobs for the month.

What’s to celebrate with all this dismal news, you wonder? Why there’s a wealth of talented employees looking for work right now. Massive, often indiscriminate, lay-offs by corporate giants force lots of skilled, educated workers into the ranks of the unemployed and most are available for less money than ever before. SurePayroll, a Glenview (Ill.) payroll administrator that tracks small-business hiring trends, recently reported that most companies in their survey increased hiring year-to-date. “It’s like a fire-sale on talent,” says Lawrence Hasbrouck, owner of RETI, a professional real estate training firm which employs trainers in Mississippi and Alabama.

According to a professor at University of Penssylvania’s Wharton School of Business, most small businesses have less pressure to cut jobs than publically traded ones, so they are at liberty to hire a talented employee when they see a good opportunity. Another way small companies are taking advantage of top talent is by using them as independent contractors. Even when somebody is let go from a small company, usually it’s done with an understanding that as soon as the economy picks up they will be rehired. “That’s flexibility you never see at larger corporations,” notes Matt Owens, a professional head hunter for Robet Half International.

So the moral of the story is, if you need good talent then now is the time to snap it up. Even if you have to scrimp to get by for a little while because the economy isn’t going up any time soon, you may not have a chance to find such talent in abundance for such a reasonable price any time soon.

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