Reduction in force. It’s become a phrase we are using too often, but it’s the reality of our economy. But I’d like to look beyond the present layoffs, RIFs, right-sizing, etc. and ask the question, what’s going to happen when the economy starts turning around?
The question was raised in a recent Business Week feature article “Help Wanted.” At present, there are apprxoimately 13 million people unemployed, but 3 million jobs which employers are unable to fill. Per Dr. Joe Webb, approximately 74,000 workers in our industry have been layed off in the past 12 months. So, what’s going to happen when things turn better? Especially for those job positions which every employer will be needing. Specifically customer service and I.T. type positions.
With our changing industry emphasis on web2print and marketing, we’re going to find ourselves competing with other industries for individuals with similar skill sets. Now’s the time to start looking to see if individuals with the right skill sets might be available rather than waiting until the job market gets hot. It’s also a good time to start thinking about training solutions for folks who don’t have the ideal skill sets, but who could be trained.