According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation Summary,”1 the unemployment rate for July 2011 dipped slightly to 9.1 percent from the previous month’s 9.2 percent. The BLS report showed that total nonfarm payroll employment was up by 117,000 (that includes a drop in government jobs).2
We wanted to see whether the unemployment rate for July was as bad as it was last year. The BLS figures showed that the national unemployment rate in July 2010 was 9.5 percent.3
So unemployment this July wasn’t as high as it was last July.
Nevertheless, some business owners may be incorporating a just-in-time hiring method as a way to be lean and mean in this economic climate.
The ease of stopping and starting recruitment, coupled with the incorporation of business practices such as just-in-time and lean manufacturing, mean that business owners can—and do—wait to hire employees until they need them, rather than hiring employees to prepare for potential economic shifts. Just-in-time operation means that manufacturers wait to buy materials so they arrive precisely when they are required for production, resulting in less waste, a decrease in costs, and increased efficiency.
Manpower Inc. CEO Jeffrey Joerres talked about just-in-time HR in a 2005 Expatica4 article. Joerres told Expatica that industries like IT and telecommunications are incorporating JIT HR, using sophisticated methods of analysis to determine exactly when they will need employees and to tailor their hiring accordingly.
What Does This Mean for Employees?
Employees who want to succeed in this job market need to take steps to stand out from the crowd and to make the companies that are hiring take notice. According to an article in The New York Times,5 “Going back to school does offer the possibility of joining the labor force when the economy is better. Unemployment rates are also generally lower for people with advanced schooling.”
A 2009 CNNMoney special report6 showed how networking and volunteering helped people make the contacts needed to find jobs, even during tough times.
What Does This Mean for Business Owners?
Business owners who want to succeed in a challenging economic landscape must also embrace the trend of careful management of personnel. Hiring too many employees can hinder a company’s growth, especially during slow economic times. Hiring too few can result in an inability to meet increasing demand.
Close communication among HR personnel and department heads is essential, as is keeping watch of economic trends to anticipate and prepare for growth. HR managers should also streamline the recruitment process and have a plan in place to bring on talent as needed.
For example, business owners may want to consider using temporary or flex workers to meet temporary periods of demand. Personnel training methods should be in place to ensure that new employees can quickly be brought up to speed when demand calls for hiring to occur. There should also be a procedure for anticipating layoffs, as well as a careful plan in place for handling slowdowns. In other words, business owners who want to succeed may need to embrace a seamless system that ensures that workers will be available when needed.
For more information, visit:
1. “Employment Situation Summary”
2. “July Payroll Numbers Not So Bad, Survey Shows”
3. “Unemployment in July 2010”
4. “New Frontiers in Business: Just-in-Time HR”
5. “Many With New College Degree Find the Job Market Humbling”
6. “How to Get a Job”