Monday, April 21, 2008

Hiring in a Bad Economy

photo by Bob Jagendorf

The Orlando and Central Florida economy isn’t what it was a year or two ago. But neither are gas prices. These two factors, however, do not give you a reason to not grow your business, client base and employees who are going to help your company grow and prosper.

One of the age-old adages, Buy low – sell high is taking place right now. Unemployment is slowly rising, in Florida we are just above 5%. This means there are very qualified candidates trolling through print publications and online job boards at this very minute looking for opportunities to become part of a growing team. They may even be willing to do it for a lower cost than before.

If your company is not advertising your positions, or worse, you are not trying to expand and grow your business, you are losing out on your opportunity cost (not just a term they throw around in college economics class).

If one great new sales person can come in and continually sell new business, is that something that will help your bottom line? You bet it is!

If one factory worker can double productivity and get more trucks loaded to get more of your product into stores, would that be beneficial. You bet it is!

By not advertising and putting yourself into the public’s eye, you are not only missing out on top job seekers in the Orlando area, but you may be giving them away to your competition who isn’t afraid to spend a few bucks for an ad to get a top producer. In 2001, K-Mart cut back on its advertising to the public and not only lost the income that advertising drives but also suffered a sales loss of 5% in one month. By late fall the company had lost far more in sales than it had saved in marketing expenses.

What’s also great about recruitment advertising is the branding effect that it has on your company. With display ads in print, the SEO effects of job boards and the consistency of your message you are essentially relaying the theme that your company is out there to serve its customers and the local Orlando market. You are showing that you are continuing to grow in one of the country’s largest growing markets (Orlando, FL).

So before you start thinking that business is not where it should be, think about how you can make your office a more productive work place. I bet that includes your staff.

What is the opportunity cost of not hiring one more top seller?

*Remember that your customers and potential customer do not stop buying during a recession, they just become more cautious of what they buy and who they buy it from. When your advertising decreases, so do your sales. So much for cutting back those advertising dollars.*

When job seekers are looking for jobs they are looking for a company that is growing and going to be in business year in and year out. By advertising you are showing the stability that a thriving company has and prove to the job market that you are an option worth pursuing. As the economy turns around, you will already be in the lead and your competitors will be playing catch-up not only in sales, but with the leftovers of the job hunt. And you don’t want the leftovers; you want the cream of the crop!

Employers sound off in the comments! The floor is yours.

Greg Rollett

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