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Job Market 2015: The Competition for Talent is About to Get Real

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By Kim Shepherd, CEO
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

 

The talent market is very competitive. Wait, wait . . . don’t stop reading. You’re right, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Any company with open positions knows it. And since that includes just about every company — all of us, including Decision Toolbox  (DT)– it’s important to recognize that the talent market is just heating up.

It’s creating challenges, but overall it’s good news. The business world is in growth mode again. That’s good for the country, and it is exciting for anyone with even a whisper of entrepreneurial spirit. The stock markets are all strong, companies are coming out of the fog they’ve been in since the recession, and the economy is expanding along almost all the measures that economists write about.

The biz dev barometer: clear skies

You can look at GDP, consumer confidence, or a handful of other indicators, and all are positive. But the one that excites me most is the fact that there are many, many new business development positions on the market. Companies are growing their sales and biz dev teams, and that will start a chain reaction — if you double your sales team, you could easily double your business. If that happens, you’ll need more infrastructure and more staff, in accounting, IT, customer service . . . across the board.

We haven’t seen this kind of growth for a decade. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an eternal optimist, so I am ready to predict growth almost as explosive as the dot.com era. And a lot of it will be driven by new and emerging industries. A great example is alternative fuels — those companies are experiencing massive growth. You’re already seeing it: hybrid cars, wind farms, solar panels in most neighborhoods, and natural gas on city busses. Even the aviation industry is actively exploring alternative fuels.

Cases in point

At Decision Toolbox we work with two leaders in alternative fuels, and they are both rockin’ n’ rollin’. Clean Energy Fuels, out of Newport Beach, California, is expanding across almost all facets of the natural gas fuel space, from natural gas production to building America’s Natural Gas Highway — a coast-to-coast infrastructure of fueling stations to support trucking and transportation.

Celgard, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a leading developer and producer of specialty microporous membranes used in the lithium battery separator industry. Over the past few years Celgard has invested millions in becoming the premier supplier to the global electric drive vehicle market.

Just about all industries are growing, however, and in this talent market, smart companies will respond by doing things differently. Here in Part One I’ll share some thoughts on career right sizing — it already may be starting in your organization now — and in Part Two I’ll talk about new approaches to recruiting.

Who’s right sizing right now in your organization?

Career right sizing will happen as candidates who downsized in the recession realize they now have many more options. In 2008 and 2009, the job market favored employers, and a lot of highly talented people had to settle for jobs at a lower level and/or a lower salary. CFOs took roles as Controllers, Directors of Marketing took jobs as Product Managers, and so on. As an employer, I hope you enjoyed that while you could, because it’s a candidate market now.

Career downsizing was a viable option because everyone was committed to doing more with less. But now that we’re able to do more with more, that talent will be looking to right size their careers again. Right sizing on top of economic growth can create chaos in the talent pool. If you have these kinds of “bargain hires” on your staff, you will need to get ready. If you can promote them, fantastic. If you can pay them what they are worth on today’s market, great.

If not — and many companies will fall into this category — get ready to recruit. But it won’t be recruitment as usual. Check out Part Two, and some tips for how to approach the brave new talent market.

 

Connect with Kim on Twitter and LinkedIn.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, please contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

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2 Responses to “Job Market 2015: The Competition for Talent is About to Get Real”

  1. March 30, 2015 at 3:04 pm, Sarah Daniels said:

    As an employer/recruiter, this is an important concept to understand. It’s no longer 2009. If you want top talent you need to not only compensate them appropriately, but also improve your overall brand as an employer and invest in recruitment marketing efforts. Top talent is looking for a great overall package before joining a team.

    Reply

    • March 31, 2015 at 12:17 pm, Kelly Graham said:

      > Well said, Sarah!

      Reply

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