The global recession that came about almost overnight in 2008 put a hard stop to the explosive growth that occurred following the downturn of 2001-2002. Markets around the world reeled from the banking crisis and its effects on local economies. Up until the downturn, many companies were scrambling to implement Strategic Workforce Planning processes that enabled them to get out from under perennial talent shortages. These companies were not only experiencing shortages in sheer numbers of people but more importantly, in getting talent that had the capability to meet the demanding needs of operating in a global marketplace. Once the downturn hit, most of these efforts were either set aside or re-focused on downsizing. Old behaviors quickly took root at many companies as calls echoed in the halls to cut "20%" or to open up the window to everyone and anyone who wanted a severance package. The near term results of this downsizing have provided sorely needed cost reductions. Unfortunately, they will inevitably cause significant challenges in quickly taking advantage of the upturn that is to come.
As a result of unprecedented government cooperation and intervention, the financial markets have begun to stabilize. The economic stimulus enacted by many countries is expected to resuscitate local and global markets beginning in 2010. Rays of hope are beginning to shine around the world now as consumer confidence and spending slowly returns. As with recessions of the past, companies that have the foresight and fortitude to leave the trenches early and proactively position themselves for growth will reap the economic benefits of being first to market to meet pent-up demand for their products and services. The competition for a limited supply of talent will resume and the companies with foresight into future talent requirements will come out the winner. Companies who remain entrenched and fail to take the appropriate and measured steps to ensure their workforce has both capability and capacity to respond will find themselves in second, third, or even last place.
Axiom Consulting Partners, a management consulting firm specializing in strategy execution and talent management, along with Aruspex, the leading provider of Strategic Workforce Planning software solutions, will share their perspectives on how companies can use Strategic Workforce Planning to proactively identify the number, type, and quality of talent needed to successfully execute business recovery-focused business strategies.