It seems that most firms have now seen the worst of the global financial crisis, writes Jacqui Ashley, so where does that leave recruitment?
The June/July period saw many firms in Australia feeling the effects of the financial crisis as the domino effect of redundancies finally hit us.
So at the end of 2009, what is happening now with the recruitment market? The prevailing sentiment can be described as "cautiously optimistic". There are two ways to see this through - some will wait and see while others are being more proactive.
The "wait and see" group have decided to hold back on their plans to recruit, acquire, and expand, and are waiting until at least early next year to decide which course to take.
The "proactive group" are looking at their current business, planning ahead and hiring strategically so that when the market does pick up they are in a position to jump at opportunities immediately.
It will be this group who will bear fruits quickly and have the edge particularly when the markets inevitably pick up, as there will be once again a glut of opportunities and a smaller talent pool to draw from.
Organisations will be battling over the shortage of talent in what we term a candidate-led market, however those who commenced their hiring before this time will be in the box seat. This will be exacerbated by the fact that many employees who have not been looked after properly during the downturn are just waiting for the New Year to come so that they can jump ship.
So when are we looking for this leaf to turn? Many predict that the second quarter of 2010 will herald the beginning of increased activity. The Asia-Pacific Region has already seen some improvement.
In the meantime what can organisations do to be more proactive? Successful businesses will be those who have and will continue to recognise and invest in their biggest asset - their staff.
It is still not too late, however, for those who have not made this their priority. The competitive advantage lies in retaining and recruiting good people.
This is also an opportune time for each organisation to review their remuneration and benefits structure and invest in further education and training for employees as part of a long-term retention strategy.
The global financial crisis cleaned out many of the bad eggs and only those organisations which are robust and forward-thinking will survive and thrive.
Jacqui Ashley is managing director at Amicas Global