While the economic downturn has turned the recruitment tables in favour of employers, companies need to be sensitive to employees during the redundancy process to avoid long-term damage to their employment brand, according to Phil Ruthven, Chairman of research firm IBISWorld.
"It's currently a buyers' market, but this power will not be with companies indefinitely," he said.
"It will probably swing back to a sellers' market in two to three years when employment is at about 5 per cent."
Companies and their HR departments have to be particularly sensitive to doing the right thing by employees, said Ruthven, because memories can be long in periods such as the current one.
"If companies do the honourable but tough thing they will be respected for this long beyond the hard times."
Short of any other world shocks, Ruthven predicted that the economy would be recovering by December 2009 and then into 2010.
"There's not a lot of confidence in business about the coming year, and I think it's safe to say that the first nine months of the year will be difficult for business," he said.
- Craig Donaldson