I am talking about the recession and recovery from it. Are we recovering yet? How much? Judging by the stubbornly high unemployment rates you might say no, not yet, or certainly not all the way. But those statistics are lagging indicators to a degree and what’s not showing up, because it’s anecdotal, is the number of companies that are hitting the red line on their tachymeters. They’re running lean and trying to maximize every economic input to their businesses, as they should.
Friends and acquaintances that I have known for many years all tell the same story. The pace of business is torrid; they’re running so fast they barely have time to catch their breath. From what I can see and given the inputs, it looks like companies need to hire people.
It’s always scary in an early or sluggish recovery to be the first one to put out a hiring sign but the reality is that it’s time. Soon, if not already, companies will start to lose business because they don’t have enough competent people pulling on the oars.
I’ve seen this first hand recently. Companies want to engage in projects because the desperately need the output but they are so short staffed that they don’t have time for a framing discussion.
This is what they call a nice problem to have but it’s still a problem and it won’t get better by watching the economic indicators. At some point the fear of doing something will diminish and be replaced by the fear of not doing enough and when that happens we should see an uptick in new jobs. Unfortunately, with the herd all doing the same thing, it will be hard to find competent qualified people to hire and then we’ll have a discussion about that problem but it won’t be a nice to have thing.
Better to start early.
(Cross-posted @ Beagle Research, LLC)