Archive for January, 2008

Headhunters gearing up for downturn

It’s estimated that the financial downturn is likely to increase job turnover at the senior levels as companies search for executives able to weather the financial storm.

Top search companies and Headhunters in The City are gearing themselves up for an increase in the number of companies searching for senior executives with the right skills and experience.

However, if you think that a financial downturn will reduce salaries or provide a better negotiation platform when discussing the remuneration package with a new hire…then think again.

Senior executives with the necessary skills and experience of working in a financial downturn are few. As a result we estimate that incoming top executives will be demanding higher salaries and more severe severance packages.

We consider that this is more likely where the incoming executive is also a “Change catalyst” and is being recruited to turn the business around or to protect it.

However, we also predict that recruitment for middle management will decline as “change catalysts” shed staff in order to make bottom line savings.

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Sales strategy for financial downturn

If the press is to be believed this next year is likely to be one where credit is difficult to find, the house market will stagnate, food and oil costs will rise sharply as will demands for pay increases and an increase in industrial conflict. The result will be a fall in sales. Coupled with this will be further business costs attached to increases in employee rights.

There are many strategies to cope with such pressures and save money. One that tends to be an early adoption is to reduce the staff team and/or delay the replacement of staff that leave. Sometimes this is just reducing the fat that was built up in better times but too drastic a policy can lead to an extended recovery process.

There are certain tactics that can be planned that can increase the chances of a fast recovery. These include:

  1. During a downturn sales become even more vital. Identify salespeople from outside your business that would be an asset to maintaining or increasing sales and identify their current and future availability. Make your telephone number available to them in the event they need a job

  2. Identify new technology that will reduce administration time or costs, review it (vigorously) and install whilst there is the budget available.

  3. Review work processes (to reduce bottlenecks) and systems that reduce customer contact time (particularly for the sales team).

  4. Review targets and sales expectations and design tactics to cope with a downturn.

A strategy for survival through a time of pressure is a poor one unless it looks at a fast recovery.

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