CEO’s Corner: Steve Emerson

So let’s face it… by almost all accounts 2009 was a very tough business year. When speaking with fellow business owners the conversation is full of stories about layoffs, reduced office square footage, disappearing profit margins and a dramatic lack of business regardless of the industry. Of course, in a sluggish business environment there are always a few niche areas that will thrive. For example, attorneys specializing in bankruptcy and business liquidations seemed to stay relatively busy as did collection agencies and personal storage businesses. However, aside from these examples and a few others I think we can all agree that we will not miss 2009 even a little bit.

Now, those who know me will always describe me as a silver lining kind of guy, and with that in mind I’d like to propose that there were lessons to be learned from the brutal year we just put to bed. First, I believe many businesses learned a great deal about the advantages of running lean and mean. Excessive and/or unnecessary budget items were quickly rooted out with the result being a higher level of efficiency. Second, people I have spoken to became much more skilled at time management and tried to work smarter with specific goals in mind. And third, the whole concept of accountability took on new levels of significance and importance. These three factors/lessons will go a long way in contributing to the fruitful 2010 we are all looking forward to.

That’s right, you heard me correctly… I said the fruitful 2010. Believe me, this is not just wishful thinking. As I’ve written before, the staffing/recruiting industry has historically been a very accurate barometer for the economy as a whole. Very reliable data has shown that as the economy emerges from a recession one of the first areas of improvement occurs in the placement of temporary administrative personnel. Emerson Personnel Group has survived six documented recessions since 1971 and we have led the way to prosperity as the economy emerged from each one. It is incredibly positive news that the fourth quarter for EPG was our strongest of last year, most notably in the temporary administrative arena. The fourth quarter also saw our strongest surge in the direct hire/executive search component of the business. So, needless to say we are very excited at EPG and we have hit the ground running in 2010. Will it take the economy awhile to dig out from the past couple of years? Absolutely. However, the indicators mentioned above are all pointing in a very positive direction. EPG invites you to join us with an increased positive attitude and a long overdue heightened level of excitement for the year ahead. Let’s go!