This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 29, 2004

Herman Trend Alert: Recruitment Intensifying

Employers are becoming noticeably more active in recruiting. The volume of employment advertising is increasing, including an unusual December growth in "The Wall Street Journal." Professional recruiters report that the people they're calling have received other inquiries, as well. Forward-looking employers are already seeking top talent, even during this usually quiet holiday season.

This level of activity confirms the trend we anticipate for hiring (and employee movement between jobs) to accelerate significantly during the first quarter of 2005. The more recent surveys of worker interest in job change reflect an increased optimism and intention to move.

If the employment market does become as active as we believe it might during the first quarter of the year, there will be a wide range of ripple effects throughout the economies in the United States and in other countries. An increase in workforce activity in the United States is often followed by similar movement in other countries, directly or indirectly connected to what is happening in the US. In the past, activity in other parts of the world has lagged by months or years. With the increased communication through the Internet and the potential for people and jobs to move across political boundaries, the lag time will be shorter in the years ahead than it was a decade ago.

As people accept new job assignments, there will be growth in home sales and relocation services. Schools in some areas will see influxes of students, though this factor will be more obvious when economic development efforts bring new employers to a community. Higher demands for teachers, healthcare workers, and service workers will create even more employment opportunities.

Employers will encounter difficulty finding qualified workers to fill the jobs that will be vacated and the positions that will be added. While they will often find an abundance of applicants, the skill capacity will be lacking. This predicament will bring employers closer to area high schools, community colleges, technical schools, and four-year institutions in their search for qualified, skilled workers.

Wise employers will reach out to educators now to build their labor pool for the future.

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