Monday, September 16, 2013

Slowdown in economy: An Opportunity in disguise?

It is a wonderful read- with several examples of how some companies have take the 'road less travelled' and actually are well on their way to increased profitability and faster than industry growth in an otherwise conservative sentiment driven economy!
For instance
- Lowe Lintas & Golin Harris marriage of two partners with complementary strengths of research & consumer insights to leverage on the ever increasing demand for digital media!
-Companies like KPMG, E&Y, Cognizant and TCS kept hiring (IP assets!) aggressively at the middle level management- and wooing good talent at higher salaries- when most other competitors were tightening belts under the garb of cost cutting.
-Subway and Costa Coffee went on a rapid expansion of their distribution network capitalising on the availability of a cheaper real estate, more available prime locations and more agreeable innovative/unconventional locations !
And of course, a bunch of other companies that shopped around and acquired weaker competitors to emerge stronger and be more prepared in the new environment.
In fact, in a survey conducted by Careerbuilder in the US -interviewing over 2070 hiring managers, we come across a very interesting observation.
When faced with equally qualified candidates (ie skills & experience being similar), some were more equal than the other because those who got eventually hired had
-a better sense of humour!
-been involved in community service/development
-more physically fit!!
So, that brings us to a very valid concern.If this is what the demand side has been transforming into..what do you think the changes that we in the supply side need to be wary of?
Here is a crystalgaze in to the future...where are the jobs going?
-The highest jobs in demand are
a)those with highly technical skills (Software engineers, network systems analysts/administrators and the like)
b) those with lower skills that are hard to automate! (Personal and home care aides, medical assistants, computer system analysts etc)
Which means...that highly routine jobs are vulnerable to automation (Transportation , production labour and Administration support like Secretaries, stenographers, cashiers,bookkeepers, typists, pharmacists, bank tellers etc)
That means so low skill workers will need to re-allocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerisation -ie tasks that require creative and social intelligence!
A slowdown is a great time for us to take stock of our marketability..and hone those (dormant?) creative & social skills!! Howzaat??