This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 5, 2003

"Secret" Hiring Has Begun

The economy is picking up a little and thousands of employers are watching carefully. Is the business load growing enough to hire new workers? Should we wait a little longer?

At the same time, more attentive employers are taking three types of pro- active steps. These moves are placing them in a much stronger capacity position, enabling them to strategically out-flank their competition. These wise employers are very deliberately building human resource strength, so they will have the highest level of people power to attract, serve, and keep customers.

The first strategy is to identify employees who are not performing productively. People who slow or inhibit a company's progress will be a serious liability as employers strive to move forward aggressively in a rapidly changing marketplace. These employees must be brought up to standard or given an opportunity to pursue their careers outside the company. In some cases, skills training is the answer. In other situations, a change in job or responsibilities may be appropriate. If the employee doesn't fit, employers with a focus on the future are saying "good-bye."

The second strategy is to actively recruit top talent. A number of larger, visionary employers have shared with us that they are hiring more recruiters and going after the really high performers. These forward-looking employers will have captured the best people before their competitors even start to hunt.

The third strategy is to build bench strength. We might call this "ghost- hiring." Based on calculated strategic staffing, congruent with the corporate plan, employers are seeking the kind of people they will want to hire in the future. These needs may arise as business increases and/or they may occur at certain planned points in the company's strategic development. These wise employers interview, screen, and pre-hire prospective employees. Everything is ready to initiate the hire as soon as the company is ready. When that time comes, based on the prospective employees continued interest, hiring time is kept to a minimum.

While a large number of employers wait for some signal that conditions are ready for hiring, their future-focused competitors are skimming the top talent.

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