A recession is rumored to be on the horizon. As part of efforts to tame skyrocketing inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in mid-June, its largest increase since 1994. A combination of inflation and economic contraction is now being dreaded as stagflation. There has been a lot of volatility in the stock market lately.
Some companies may be tempted to slow hiring due to this uncertainty. Having that in mind, there is a possibility that that may not be the most prudent move at this point. It is exactly when your company needs all hands-on deck that you should make critical hires in order to maintain resilience and thrive.
There is still a lot of heat in the labor market. Over the last three months, the unemployment rate has remained at 3.6%. This is the lowest unemployment rate in 54 years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are still many job openings in the country. It was estimated that there were 11.3 million jobs awaiting staffing on the last business day of May. The Great Resignation continued in September with 4.3 million workers quitting their jobs voluntarily.
We may have to adjust to a new normal of market uncertainty. A business that is able to pivot successfully will be able to navigate this environment. Your organization’s success will depend on flexibility, including in your staffing.
Therefore, chief financial officers need to consider these three strategies in order to ensure their businesses have a pivotal staffing strategy.
Focus on Hiring for Today’s Needs and Tomorrow’s
Don’t let economic uncertainty force you to let go of in-demand, hard-to-find talent when you’re looking to streamline your workforce. Furthermore, you should not miss the opportunity to recruit top candidates. Imagine how difficult it will be later on when you need to quickly hire skilled professionals to meet your new business’s demands if you don’t hire skilled professionals now.
BLS statistics also highlight the difficulty employers have in hiring for professional-level jobs and staffing their critical functions, such as finance and accounting. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we find that accountants and auditors have an unemployment rate of just 1.1%. In comparison, financial managers have an unemployment rate of just 1.2%. In addition to accountants, auditors, and financial managers, other occupations such as technology and human resources also have low unemployment rates.
Employer retention and hiring efforts should be accelerated where needed for those positions in your organization that should remain staffed no matter what. Prioritize hiring for critical jobs and departments, too, so the business can flourish in the future.
Flexibility in Staffing Arrangements Should be Expanded
With the pandemic as a backdrop, companies now have a much clearer idea of how interim resources can be used effectively when workloads and customer demands fluctuate. In order to help their organizations, remain agile and resilient, CFOs have increasingly invested in flexible staffing arrangements.
A large number of these leaders are also beginning to understand that hiring remote workers provides the firm with access to a greater pool of critical talent. Real estate costs are also reduced when employees work from home.
In addition, you ensure that your business knows how to tap stellar talent on short notice and for special initiatives by making sure it knows where to turn for talent. Ensure that your organization is prepared to expand its remote workforce quickly, if required. Prioritize hiring full-time talent for roles in the organization that are currently unfilled.
Get Your Teams Ready Now
During the ups and downs of the pandemic, it’s likely you have turned to your management playbook for the new normal. In the face of new challenges, employees will need to demonstrate empathy and communicate more than ever before.
You can upskill or re-skill workers in your organization to accelerate future growth. Investing in innovative technologies can help a business weather a downturn and emerge stronger and more nimble from it.
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