Welcome to the first issue of Six Degrees Connected for 2010 - our quarterly e-newsletter, which forms part of our highly successful Thought Leadership Program.
While the past 18 months have been tough for the recruitment industry, 2010 is shaping up to be much more positive.
In this issue, we talk to five key industry decision-makers about how they handled the challenges of the past 18 months, what lessons they have learnt, and what their outlook is for 2010.
Peter Brydon, Human Resources Director at Kraft Foods Ltd and Conor O'Malley, former Group Executive of Corporate Services and Logistics at National Foods Limited discuss challenges and opportunities facing the FMCG food industry, while Pat Freeland-Small, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Melbourne looks at specific issues facing the education sector. We also talk with Josie Holdstock, Director of Human Resources at PZ Cussons Australia Pty Ltd about challenges and future growth prospects for some of Australia's leading brands, while Meagan Reay, Marketing Director at Mattel shares her thoughts on how the toy giant navigated its way through the downturn and issues they will be facing in the year ahead.
The good news is, we have seen an upswing in the economy from the last half of 2009, and this positive trend is continuing. Our clients, particularly in the FMCG, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors are experiencing growth, and many large scale projects will be moving forward in the next 12 months.
The skills shortage will be the big issue for 2010, and as optimism about the economy continues to rise and candidates start exploring new horizons, companies will be challenged to develop more aggressive and more targeted strategies in order to retain exceptional staff and tap into the passive candidate market.
In the last three years there has been a big shift towards alternative sourcing strategies, with high level networking, referral programs and the use of social media playing a much bigger role. With approximately 80% of the candidate market made up of passive candidates, and with only a small proportion of this made up of ‘blue chip' candidates, innovative programs, or a business model to source this quality talent will be paramount to organisations' success.
As the economy has shifted up a gear, we are also starting to see more movement in senior and director level roles, in a variety of disciplines from marketing and sales to supply chain. Top candidates who bunkered down during the downturn are now more open to hearing about opportunities. The ‘time to fill roles' ratio is also reducing (compared with six months ago) as clients recognise the importance of securing talent quickly in today's competitive market.
Another challenge for organisations this year will be in managing the negative feelings that have been generated by past staff cuts. Organisations are already responding by looking at new and creative strategies to keep staff, not to mention having to review salaries which are likely to increase significantly in 2010.
So what will be the keys to success in 2010? Certainly success this year will be determined by organisations' ability to cut costs while simultaneously increasing talent, productivity and the bottom line, but companies will also have to think more creatively about a variety of issues, from how to retain top talent to how to foster leadership development.
In 2010 our Thought Leadership Breakfasts will continue to be a great forum for leaders to brainstorm and network. In Sydney in February we had Damian Borchok, Managing Director of Interbrand Australia, a leading international brand consultancy, discussing brand differentiation in today's competitive retail environment, and in March, Kepner Tregoe and Human Synergisitcs will lead a discussion on achieving manufacturing excellence by focusing on culture and driving the right behaviours in manufacturing teams. More breakfasts will be held throughout the year including the Portland Group who will be speaking on how to drive supply chain improvements.
We hope you find this issue of Six Degrees Connected enlightening and inspiring. If you have any story ideas or would like to contribute an article yourself, please contact Lorrie Storey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.