Time to don boardroom dancing shoes
Globally, 20m jobs have been lost in China, 10m in India and more than 4m in the US
THESE ARE scary times, especially for individuals anxious to hold on to their jobs. The gravy train days are over and companies are trimming any excess fat. As household debt comprises approximately 75% of consumers’ personal balance sheets, job losses pose a very real threat. With gross domestic product expected to be only 1% this year, the current business focus is on cost-cutting initiatives, expansion cutbacks and, in many instances, retrenchments. The effect of the global economic crisis is far-reaching – and South Africa isn’t excluded.
What does all the doom and gloom mean for individuals wanting to keep their jobs? Kelly Group CE Grenville Wilson says in uncertain economic periods the trend historically is a higher demand for flexible staffing solutions (see separate report). Wilson says highly skilled individuals will always be marketable but are reluctant to move in an uncertain market.
“It’s mostly unskilled labour, unemployed graduates and those individuals who don’t have a lot of work experience who are feeling the most insecure – and, of course, matriculants are struggling to enter the job market.” Wilson adds that companies are applying caution to the recruitment of junior and middle management positions but that demand for senior managers, executives and other highly skilled individuals has remained largely unchanged (with the exclusion of the financial services sector). While there’s been no obvious evidence of downward pressure on remuneration packages, Wilson says there have been isolated cases of some senior salary bands forfeiting annual increases and some companies delaying annual performance reviews.
Wilson says SA’s banking and mining industries have been hard hit and continue to apply headcount freezes, in addition to which industries (such as manufacturing) exposed to exports
London no longer attractive. Chris van Melle Kamp Uncertain market. Grenville Wilson