Conflicting Job Growth/Job Loss Reports – What are HR and HRO to Do?

As reported in the March 31, 2010 edition of USA Today, a just-released ADP report said employers slashed 23,000 private sector jobs in March 2010, while the median of estimates from 35 economists surveyed by Reuters for the ADP report was for a rise of 40,000 private sector jobs during the month. Economists expect The Labor Department’s closely watched month employment report, due out on April 2, to show employers added 190,000 jobs in March.

While the ADP report only covers private sector jobs and the Labor Department numbers could be somewhat inflated as many temporary workers were hired to conduct the 2010 census, this is still a huge delta. Did we lose jobs in March? Did we gain jobs in March? What will happen in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2010 in terms of hiring? The answer is…there doesn’t appear to be much more than murky answers.

What is clear, however, is that we all know job growth is coming, even if we’re not certain when it will really begin and then stabilize. And apologies for this focus in another of my blog postings, but it is so important to the health of the economy, the job market and indeed the survival of many organizations…astute companies know they will need to begin hiring again to meet demand as consumers start spending more. But really smart organizations, particularly mid- and large-sized companies, are starting to prepare now by seeking the help of external recruiting process outsourcing providers that can build a ready talent bank to fill jobs when requisitions are approved. These forward-thinking companies know one of the keys to competitive advantage is an ongoing search for top quartile talent to tap when they are ready.

Evidence of this proactive and front-loaded talent search is demonstrated in The RightThing’s March 29 announcement of seven new RPO contracts Q1 2010 with companies including Homesite, Nationwide and CUNA Mutual. And there indeed has already been hiring in some pre-Q1 2010-signed contracts. For example, The RightThing hired 500 employees in North America, South America and the U.K. for five existing pharmaceutical clients during Q1, and 2,100 new hires in Q1 for seven clients expanding call center operations.

And additional recruitment contracts were awarded during the last quarter to companies including Hays, Kenexa, Manpower, OchreHouse, PeopleScout, Pinstripe, CPH Consulting, Capita and Kelly Government Solutions.

So while there are conflicting reports on job growth or job loss today and into the near future, we know the growth will come. As a buyer, are you ready now?

Gary Bragar, Lead HRO Analyst, NelsonHall

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