The Federal Reserve Bank hiked interest rates at the end of July. At the beginning of August, central bank representatives discussed additional upcoming raises. Some take that as a sign that a slow-down might be on the horizon for jobs. But that horizon might be more distant than others thought. The Labor Department’s July jobs report showed robust gains in the jobs market, despite expectations that it would soften and the August report remained solid.
If we’re still in the middle of a talent crunch, what can financial leaders do to meet their staffing needs during a time of uncertainty? What do recession worries mean for hiring?
The job market remains hot despite whispers of a possible recession, and in July, Federal Reserve Bank Chair Jerome Powell rejected notions that the U.S. is on the brink of recession. Even so, the possibility of recession remains contested, with some claiming the recession may have already begun and others, like Powell, more decidedly optimistic. Reuters reports that just last month Powell said, “I do not think the U.S. is currently in a recession. It doesn’t make sense that the U.S. would be in a recession.” He cited record-low unemployment rates, wage growth and job gains as key current indicators.
The fact remains that high inflation often correlates to low unemployment, and inflation remains high. Kiplinger predicts sustained inflation for the rest of 2022 but points to hints that hiring and wage growth may soften in the future, despite remaining at high levels. All this means that the Great Resignation continues, fueled in part by sustained inflation, which means that financial leaders need to take a careful eye and seek smart, flexible solutions for meeting talent needs.
Talent & Economic Uncertainty
Conflicting economic outlooks mean that leaders may be gun-shy about hiring for positions they might not be able to sustain during leaner periods. That doesn’t mean they need to freeze hiring completely. Instead, they can look to interim talent to fill urgent gaps or solve immediate problems. An upside: It’s also a good way to trial the utility and sustainability of potential new positions. In other words, interim talent can allow for a discovery period, where a company can test whether and how new positions fit within existing structures.
How to Use Interim Talent
Interim talent comes with advantages and disadvantages. Interim resources are less well-suited to solve longer-term problems; they are subject to market conditions, and therefore not guaranteed; and interim employees may thrive better in permanent positions. A study by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute shows that independent workers lag behind high-potential, full-time employees in terms of engagement, innovation and collaboration.
But, when interim talent is properly vetted and used appropriately—which is a good reason to use a trusted interim-solutions company—it has its place. Interim talent delivers rapid relief and fills short-term gaps. Interim talents also act as change agents. Their roles demand quick and persuasive engagement, which can help put out fires. The nature of interim work means that these employees are often prepared to hit the ground running, zeroing in on specific goals or projects with a defined timeline.
A placement service can go beyond helping you assess whether—and how—an interim solution makes sense for your company. As the economic dust settles, you can enlist support with vetting and placement when it’s time to perform a retained search for a permanent fit.
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