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Staffing Issues & Insights for the Graphic Communications Industry.
Making Every Hire Count: Maximizing Your Human Capital Investment
Quality of Hire Begins With Sourcing: Pick Your Method to Suit Your Needs
Getting a grip on mission-critical "soft" skills: 5 simple steps
Forget Doing "More with Less" Older Workers Help Companies Accomplish "More with More"
For Expanding Your Value-Added Services Profitably, Hiring Is Rocket Science
Assessing job candidates beyond the technical skills
Employer Branding: The solution to attracting & keeping great staff
Successioning Your Business: Five Simple Steps that Aren't Exactly Easy
The 20-60-20 Rule: Simple Concept, Practical Applications, Profitable Results
Universal Employment Concerns: Creating Opportunity Out of Adversity
Hanging Flexible in Tough Times
Value-Driven Outsourcing
Downsizing: Don't Retreat - Motivate!
Navigating Today's Hiring Minefield: Who Is Available & Do You Really Want Them?
Today's Financial Storm Inspires Tomorrow's Long-Term Success
The case for HR: Why & how you should implement formal policies & procedures
Staffing for success in a soft market
The Challenge of Hiring Sales People
Workforce Optimization
Evolving Your Company into a Service-Oriented Business
Redefining Sales
Staffing for the Future of Print
Communicating With Employees From Start To Finish
Eight Steps to Prepare You for the Retirement Brain Drain
Job Hopping for the Right Reasons
Resumés are just the Tip of the Iceberg
How Some Hires Fail
Hire Like You Mean It
Concluding Your Hiring Workflow: Closing the Deal
A Hiring "To Do" List
Challenging Employee Excellence to Achieve Company Pre-eminence
Aim for the Top: Getting Value for Compensation Dollars
The Productivity Challenge
The Dynamics of Telephone Interviews
How People Enable "Enablers"
The People Side of Succession Planning
Tips for Effective Interviewing
Corporate Culture: What It Is, Who It's for, Why It Matters
What's In a Name?
Investment in Regulatory Managers is Money Well Returned
Flexibility in HR Management Reaps Rewards
People Drive Technology
Return on Experience
The Credible Resume
Leadership Delivers
Managing Employee Skills & Knowledge
Managing Employee Success
Profit by being a good employer
Achieve Employee Excellence with Effective Job Descriptions
Maximize your Human Capital Investment
Demystifying Job Descriptions
Benefits of Outsourcing
Surviving The Management Paradigm Shift
Invest in the Best


Navigating Today's Hiring Minefield:
Who Is Available & Do You Really Want Them?

These days, with rapid economic and technological change continuing to impact your business nonstop, is it any wonder your personnel requirements are also in rapid flux? In this article we’ll take stock of some of the more recent changes that are influencing the hiring needs of printing companies dramatically, then suggest what you can do not only to resolve their impact but also come out on top.

The four change factors most affecting the current job market are:

1. Reduced number of companies

Not surprisingly, with attrition occurring in business in general and the manufacturing sector in particular, statistics reveal that the number of North-American printing companies is in decline. Even taking into account such complicating factors as consolidations and acquisitions that may skew these statistics slightly, without doubt the number of companies in our industry is shrinking.

2. Increase in productivity initiatives, lean manufacturing, amalgamations, & downsizing

Productivity and lean manufacturing initiatives, corporate amalgamations, and downsizing are all becoming increasingly prevalent in our industry. Their streamlining effects mean that fewer people are required to accomplish an equal or greater volume of work than was achieved by workers of the past. Our emerging leaner workflows also require personnel with differing and often greater or more complex expertise than their predecessors. (None of these phenomena are new to the industry, by the way; but rather, they are typical of all prior transitions we have historically experienced.)

3. Wildly fluctuating motivations among job seekers

Except perhaps in cases of receivership or bankruptcy, companies that downsize typically provide a severance package that takes the short-term pressure off former staff seeking new employment. Yet some ex-employees who are self-driven will still hit the ground running to find new and exciting career opportunities, exemplifying the type of person dynamic organizations want to hire. Still others will move forward quickly only out of concern that in challenging economic times not as many jobs are available. Job seekers with this negative type of motivation--and those whose severance packages have run out or who simply need a pay check--may panic and jump at the first opportunity that comes along, only to discover later that it isn’t a good fit. Those who take longer to find jobs may do so either for bad reasons (e.g., their skills have become obsolete in today’s marketplace) or else good reasons (e.g., they are pursuing an appropriate career plan or specialize in areas with a narrower focus that require longer rehiring cycles.) So unless employers simply want to exploit short-term hires by transitioning their former employer’s business and then cutting them loose (a practice we regard as untenable), we recommend that before hiring employers should carefully assess each candidate’s motivation and fit.

4. New workforce demographics

Already the mass retirement of aging Baby Boomers is upon us and will continue to reduce the size of our available workforce drastically. Concomitantly PrintLink has observed that the printing industry is facing a specific shortage of middle-aged middle managers—the precise demographic group it logically requires to replace outbound retirees.

Reasons for the absence of people in this business-critical middle-aged group include the fact that, after the birth of the Baby-Boom generation comprising today’s 55-to-65-year-olds, the birthrate again subsided, yielding fewer people in today’s 40-to-55 age group Statistics also suggest that a significant number of enterprising individuals in the latter group, who found themselves unemployed during the financial downturn of 1987, started successfully pursuing their own entrepeneurial avenues at that time, thus removing themselves permanently from the talent pool of people available for hire by today’s employers.

To illustrate the resulting problem, take a look around you. How many people can you count in your own workplace who are between the ages of 40 and 55? On the other hand, how many older staff aged 55 to 65 may soon be considering retirement? Given these contrasting numbers, how will you solve the challenge of recruiting successors for outbound retirees and of managing, capturing, and transferring their accumulated knowledge and experience to their replacements?

Such complications for succession planning are escalated still further by the generally acknowledged fact that fewer and fewer currently employed up-and-comers as well as young people new to the workforce are opting for long-term careers in the printing industry. Still other workers who have been downsized or restructured out of their positions in the printing industry recently are being forced to defect to other sectors owing to a shortage of new printing jobs.

The Baby Boomers in our workforce face a different scenario: not surprisingly in light of the current investment turmoil, some of them who were previously contemplating retirement have now delayed their plans. PrintLink believes this current development offers employers positive benefits: firstly, it postpones the workplace’s pending retirement brain drain by enabling employers to continue tapping the knowledge, history, and expertise of more senior personnel on either a full-time or contractual basis. And secondly, it buys employers additional time and manpower to finalize and execute their succession plans for their business.

More broadly speaking, however, the upstart of all the above four change factors is that you likely need fewer employees but ones of higher caliber than ever before. At the same time, owing to recent layoffs, restructuring, streamlining, and postponed retirements, you’re confronted with a larger and constantly growing pool of available job candidates. This wider pool translates into more resumes to sift through and more likelihood that candidates will take your job out of desperation, only to desert you in the short term. And if you’re a typical printer, you’re also having a hard time even locating appropriately qualified middle managers with advancement potential—folks who require a considerable two-way preliminary audition, complete with detailed negotiations on prospective working conditions, salary, and incentives. Thus, in summary, when hiring in the current marketplace, you are faced with the need to conduct more careful and complex screening and communications with candidates than ever before at precisely the same time when your availability and resources are already stretched thinner than ever.

You need specialized help

For reasons cited above, challenging times enhance the benefit of PrintLink’s industry-specific staffing services. Our North-America-wide database of job candidates, acquired over 16 years in the personnel business, reduces your chances of having to withstand a costly, drawn-out job vacancy. Our acumen at assessing candidates also reduces your likelihood of having to conduct another time-consuming and expensive search to replace a bad hire. Our managers possess the expertise to screen candidates thoroughly for hard and soft skills, as well as their fit with your corporate culture and long-range strategic plans. We are able to identify candidates with not only the necessary qualifications but also the right motivation, learning aptitude, and adaptability to contribute to your company’s future success. Additionally, our negotiating prowess helps ensure that you strike a mutually satisfying long-term hiring agreement with choice candidates, and all our placements are covered by a no-risk money-back guarantee.

Think about it: do you fix your own car or do your own taxes? Of course not. So especially when facing the complications of challenging times, it makes similar sense for you to enlist a personnel specialist to help you maximize the quality and retention of the all-important people who manage and operate your business.

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