2008 work force/workplace forecast: finding, keeping workers will be priority

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Each year at this time, The Herman Group issues its annual forecast. This year, once more, we offer you our full forecast for the coming year:
1. Recruitment in a tightening labor market. Even the coming economic slowdown will not completely stop the creation of jobs. Moreover, stimulated by job creation and the fact that skilled workers in many occupations are in short supply, time-to-fill openings also will continue to increase as will the costs.
2. More employers turning to recruitment process outsourcing. As part of an effort to reduce costs, more large employers will turn to companies like The Right Thing Inc. and others will step in to provide a wide variety of recruitment services on an outsourced or insourced basis, including providing customized services for clients based on specific needs.
3. Retention in the face of increasing choices for employees. Studies reflect that employee turnover is accelerating. With increasing choices we will see more attrition, especially from the ranks of long-term employees. Wise employers will conduct “stay interviews” and provide re-orientation to their seasoned employees. More employers will become aware about the value of contingent employees and address the issues of retaining them.
4. More employers will focus on metrics. Following the lead of large employers, more medium-size employers will embrace technology to manage the employee life-cycle and operate more efficiently. This increased efficiency will drive more profit to the bottom line.
5. Leadership deficit becomes more apparent. As companies experience the re-careering of baby boomer executives, they will become more aware of the lack of qualified supervisors and managers to move up into higher positions. The organizations’ previous lack of training for would-be leaders is to blame.
6. Lack of succession preparation. Organizations will become acutely aware of their lack of succession preparation. They have simply not invested in leadership training so that their supervisors, managers and executives are not ready to move into the positions.
7. More employers accommodate older workers to maintain intellectual capital. The drive to retain older workers will cause companies to work harder to accommodate the wants and needs of older workers. AARP will support employers’ drives to hold onto these valuable employees. More employers will embrace flexibility in all aspects of work to adapt to the wants and needs of their retirement-age associates.
8. More awareness of the link between economic- and work force development. Work force development issues move to top-of-mind for communities as they become more aware of the work force imperative — that business and industry will only locate where there are the skilled workers to fill their open positions. This awareness will lead organizations to focus more on middle- and high-school students to begin to expose them early to the careers available in their communities.
From The Herman Trend Alert, by Joyce Gioia-Herman, strategic business futurist. www.hermangroup.com