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  Press Release
For Immediate Release
4/20/04
Contact: Roger Herman

Economy Driving Employment Market Turbulence

GREENSBORO, NC. "The dynamics of the labor market are on the threshold of a major change," says Roger Herman, a workforce forecaster and CEO of The Herman Group, consulting futurists. He believes that "we're moving toward the tipping point where the current buyers' market will again become a sellers' market."

Top corporate executives are paying more attention to workforce issues, although action doesn't necessarily follow their concern. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently interviewed CEOs of 387 privately held product and service companies identified as the fastest growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $5 million to $150 million in revenue/sales. These CEOs believe that economic recovery is at hand. Top-of-mind, most see sales growth as the number-one issue their business must deal with over the next 12 months. And, they overwhelmingly cite retention of key workers as the most critical factor they can plan for in the year ahead.

"Few companies, however, are aggressively engaged in employee retention," says Herman, a specialist in workforce stability and author of "Keeping Good People." "They're in denial, not recognizing how vulnerable they are."

A number of recent studies have reported that at least 30-40 percent of today's workers are planning to move to new jobs as soon as economic growth creates those opportunities. If the signs of recovery stimulate significant hiring soon, as a number of economists suggest, "thousands of employers could find themselves in a defensive hiring mode," Herman warns.

"Replacing people who leave will not be easy or inexpensive," Herman notes. "With our need for higher productivity, employers have pushed employees to do the work of several people. When those valued employees leave, employers will be forced to hire more people than they lose. This condition will create more jobs and stimulate more hiring."

The movement of workers and the creation of more jobs will produce more opportunities for college grads. The National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook 2004 Spring Update report released this month shows that member employers expect to hire 11.2 percent more new college hires this year than from the 2002-03 crop of graduates. The same report reveals that only 9.2 percent of employers met their hiring goals in 2003. "Now conditions are different," Herman says. "Employers need to accelerate their hiring to meet the anticipated demands generated by an expanding economy. Grads will have choices this year, but will also be competing with last year's grads who will still be considered fresh in the market."

The Herman Group is a firm of consulting futurists concentrating on workforce and workplace trends and their implications. Emphasis is placed on employee selection and retention as critical strategies. Included in the firm are researchers, professional speakers, authors, and consultants. The Herman Group is based in Greensboro, NC, with affiliates in Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Port Louis, Mauritius. Contact Joyce Gioia-Herman at 336-210-3548 or e-mail: joyce@hermangroup.com.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


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