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I hope everyone is off to a successful 2012 and your first quarter goals are within reach. Before I get to my main topic for this edition of my ‘President’s Corner’, I want to thank everyone again for helping us celebrate Emerson Personnel Group’s 40th Anniversary. We recognized this achievement throughout 2011 and ended it with a wonderful celebration with clients, family and friends. A great time was had by all as we commemorated the past, celebrated the present, and look forward to the future. We could not have done it without all of you, so once again…THANK YOU!
Now, on to my current views of the job market from a staffing and recruiting firm’s perspective.…
As I have mentioned in previous articles, an excellent barometer for the employment market has always been the staffing industry. Financial experts often look to our industry to guide them with decisions and predictions. Typically, when the economy begins to experience a downturn, staffing companies will see it first. Companies will start by eliminating temporary personnel and slow down or put a freeze on new hires. Layoffs often follow these initial steps. Conversely, as the economy starts to rebound, staffing companies will experience a pickup in business activity prior to many other industries. As companies begin to build confidence in the demand for their product or service, they often reach out to staffing companies to ease back into the hiring process. Business is picking up but they do not want to make a full-time commitment yet to new hires. During these times companies like the flexibility that comes with working with a staffing firm. Hiring temporary employees is a common practice when ramping up the workforce.
Well, I am happy to report that business is good! The challenge over the past few years has been consistency. We would see a flurry of good activity only to be followed by a lull. It was not until the fourth quarter of 2011 when the activity picked up and stayed up. This was the beginning of many good signs that the job market has made a turn for the better and continues to head in the right direction.
As I mentioned, business has remained steady since October of last year. First quarter 2012 numbers for our temporary staffing placements are up 20% over first quarter 2011. Yet, an even stronger sign that companies are feeling more confident about their business and the economy overall is that demand for our direct hire services has increased dramatically. Our billings for these services in the first two and a half months of 2012 equal more than half of our total billings for the entire year of 2011. Additionally, we have already surpassed our 2011 total number of temp to hires in the first quarter of 2012. These are all solid signs that the job market is truly turning around for the better.
In my next ‘President’s Corner’ I will touch on the industries where we are seeing the most activity. In the meantime I wish you all much success!