Finding success in business, as with all other areas of life, is often about finding the silver linings. The current economic climate is one hell of a cloud, but that does mean it is raining talent.
You don’t need me to tell you that the international economic climate remains challenging. True, the world’s leaders are apparently feeling better about things, but there’s a long filter between them and (most of) us.
Here are the most important facts as I see them. Two years ago – for the first time since modern banking began – political leaders and fiscal policy makers got together and forced banks to accept a structure that ensured the avoidance of total economic collapse.
There are, of course, differing points of view on this – would the collapse of Fannie Mae, AIG, Barclay’s etc., have led to a run on all banks if unchecked? The truth is, we don’t know: but coordination was required because all indicators were worse than any economic indicators have ever been.
What did this political interference mean? In real terms, the dip was not as bad as could be, which may explain the good vibes at Davos. Unfortunately, if the dip wasn’t as extreme (and remember, we’re talking about utter failure), it still has a long way to run. Collective government action may have prevented a sharp V-shaped graph, but it has left us with a very flat-bottomed U.
And now… well, now the collective effort is done and it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Individual government actions are becoming more selfish and splintered as they – quite rightly, I suppose – review what’s required for their own economies. That is why they were elected.
I believe that for many of us economic austerity will last for years, and the difficult times have just started. But when you’re chewing on life’s gristle, as Monty Python taught us, don’t worry. Give a whistle.
In difficult times, companies get the pick of talented individuals; people that are hungry to get the right position AND make it stick. That sounds like opportunity to me.
To really capitalise on that opportunity you need three things: 1) Products that count and make a difference, 2) A clear strategy and to execute on that strategy, and 3) Momentum.
My message? If the adage is ‘you’re only as good as your staff’, then right now may be the best talent pool to recruit from ever. Ever!
Does it work? In the last two years, my company, GDS International, has grown 78 per cent and our HR Directors have played, and continue to play, a massive role in that. In any tough environment there will be winners – and if that sounds smug, it’s certainly not meant to. I am enormously grateful for and proud of the hard work, long hours, selfless suggestion and team understanding that led to our growth.
Smug is currently sat on his or her arse staring at the same recruitment ad they’ve been running for the past five years and wondering where it all went wrong.