Don’t bank on easy hires. commsDealerlogo

Don’t bank on easy hires as the balance of power shifts in favour of candidates: I can take immense please in saying ‘Told you so…’ if you care to check my blog for February last year. Part of that article was referring to Stephen Hester, the now departing RBS boss.

You’ll recall that politics forced him to hand back his commission despite a job well done and I said that wouldn’t sit well. So by my calculation, it took him three months to get a new job, plus a year’s notice and we have June 2013. If my hypothesis is correct, I predict that the RBS replacement will be announced shortly, miraculously available immediately. In a few months time Mr Hester’s new dream job with whopping great cash will be mentioned on the back pages. Politics demands that we trumpet how quickly we replaced him and how much better it will be for the public purse. But the truth is that taking rewards away after he gave his all to turn around a financial calamity, irretrievably crossed the line. Mind you, maybe I’m wrong and maybe he did have a row with Mr Osborne after all… or both!

Wage demands are definitely making their impact felt on UK businesses for both existing staff and new hires. Us ordinary mortals have had to take wage cuts since 2008 and with the cost of living now 15% higher in real terms, there are several years of pent up frustration driving people to seek better pay.

With the economy improving, candidate confidence is growing to the point that staff turnover is going to rise considerably from here on. Having a job was better than no job, and this has had a unique and positive influence on employment figures over the last five years of recession, but this is going to change.

This is reflected by the latest CIPD survey results that show steady progress in permanent hiring and increasing liquidity as people take new jobs, creating new vacancies by their departure. Their Chief Economist said: “A stronger labour market suggests that the competition for talent that never went away entirely may be about to increase in intensity once again. Employers who want to steal a march on their competitors will need to be thinking hard about how they attract, retain and develop their workforces.”

Whether my opinion about the RBS affair is right or not, it is undeniable that gains in the economy will bring change. More money is never the only factor in a job move, but its fast becoming number one. We are all going to have to work harder to keep our best staff, and harder still to attract new ones as the employment Merry-Go-Round gathers pace.

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