Bubble or Real Growth?
The job market is hot. Companies are struggling to identify and recruit high performing talent. Many candidates are seeing multiple offers, quicker processes, and reasonable increases in income.
Is this a real growth pattern or a short term bubble? If I had a crystal ball, I would be able to give you a definitive answer. Unfortunately I don’t, so I will simply provide you an opinion.
Way back in the late 90’s (seems like forever ago) we were talking about the coming baby boomer exodus. Companies were developing succession plans that would allow for mind share between the new hires and their soon-to-be retiring mentors. There was a plan coming into play for contiguous handoff of knowledge critical to the future of the company.
Fast-forward to the late 90’s and the DOT Com bubble. Start ups, spin offs, mergers, acquisitions, and the war for talent was clearly under way. Recent college graduates received six figure starting salaries, huge stock options, titles, toys and more. The breaking of succession planning had begun. Accelerated growth fueled an unprecedented stripping of intelligence, experience, and creativity. Board rooms wanted profits and they wanted them now. No cost was too high, no risk seemed too big; the opportunity for a reasonable handoff was diminishing, if not gone completely.
The bad news for many was that the boom was followed by the bust, including millions of baby boomers who had planned on retiring early. Many lost their chance and were left to re-establish their career paths and re-plan their own futures. Since I am not a whiner or a pessimist, this is where my opinion comes in.
Retaining the market intelligence of the baby boomers has provided the marketplace with the opportunity to hire tomorrow’s leaders and maintain a trajectory that will leverage a partnership between experience and enthusiasm. Growing through the acquisition of talent combines highly experienced individuals and lesser experienced ones and will create a balance that lets companies create a hand off that lessens the chance of repeating history’s errors. The window for hiring the highly experienced individuals will eventually close as time marches on.
In my opinion, the demographics of today’s market support that this is more than a hiring bubble. Our senior and more experienced labor force now can and will be retiring at a pace that continues to escalate. The gaps created will be filled by the best available talent. Companies need to be considering energizing their efforts in succession planning at all levels from the street to the board room. Future leaders need to insure that they make choices in their careers that create opportunities for growth both horizontally and vertically within an organization. Career planning is essential and will make the ultimate difference in the survival of many.
As a company, are you hiring individuals with the skills, aptitude, attitude and desire to learn grow and add long term value?
As a candidate, are you looking beyond the moment to consider whether an opportunity helps you attain your career goals? Does the company you are about to accept an offer from have a plan for your future?