I had breakfast today with a good friend. Whenever we get together, my brain simmers for a good time after. Our conversation today covered the oil spill, commercial real estate, the attraction of the Catholic Church, the immigrants in Arizona, the Medici’s, Thorstein Veblen and the restructuring of global business. I’ll talk about the last subject and not bore you with the rest.
Starting in late 2008, businesses stopped spending money. The phrase “Cash is King” resounded everywhere. As the corporate sales charts went into free fall, the only actionable strategy left for business was to cut cost. Reduction in staff was the name of the game. People were not necessarily cut selectively: whole departments were vaporized. As an HR director told me, when she walked down the halls, she could hear people humming the theme from “Jaws” or mimicking the bugle notes in “Taps.” Many corporations cut until they started to look like small companies where if you were not client-facing and producing income, you were no longer an employee.
Today many corporations are starting to repopulate. The first hires are the people who make the widgets or services that are already pre-sold. The next group is in the area of logistics; they have to get the just-made widgets to the customer. Hypothetically, the next group to be brought in is the customer service people to deal with the “farming” of current customers to get more orders. Notice a trend here: rehires are all tied to revenue generation.
Many of the people I have spoken with in the last 24 months are very linear thinkers. If they left a company as a VP of marketing or as a SVP of an agency they expect the same job back with the same specs…..and maybe for a little less money. What they don’t understand is the game of musical chairs has changed: not only are there are less chairs, but the chairs are shaped differently.
Before writing your next cover letter for your resume or prepping for an interview, go up to 80,000 feet and look at where your specific or function industry is going today. Figure out how you solve these new needs. Our president ‘s election mantra was change. Boy, how things have changed! What have you learned through this recession that makes you better than you were before. How has this recession become a post graduate course that makes you superior to your peers. If you can do this, you have increased your odds exponentially to get hired. You provide a value add for a company that is desperately seeking help going into this strange new world. There is a definite bias in the business community against old……old thinking, that is.Written by Tony Reynes - Visit Website