Bad employers, toxic bosses and RPO vendors take note: The downturn is easing

August 30, 2009

After months and months of news about layoffs and rising unemployment, there are signs that the “Great Recession” might be ending soon (or at least easing) and hence, now is a good time to start considering just how bad it really is right now and what a recovery will mean for workers, employers and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) in particular.

For starters, lets be clear that the “Great Recession” is not a repeat of the “Great Depression” when at least a quarter of the American workforce was unemployed. However, as a longtime venture capitalist/entrepreneur pointed out in a recent USA Today article (entitled Is Unemployment the Worst Since the Great Depression?), the major difference between this recession and that other “Great Recession” of 1981-82 is that Americans recognized the 1981-82 recession as being a dip while few Americans today believe we will come out of the current downturn in short order.

Nevertheless, there are signs that there is light at the end of the tunnel or at least unemployment is easing or leveling off. In the fifth annual Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations report released by staffing firm Robert Half International and jobs portal, more than half of all employers said they plan to hire full-time employees during the next 12 months. Moreover, 4 in 10 employers said they are planning to hire contract, temporary or project workers while another 4 in 10 said they will be hiring part-time workers.


Not only do these signs give hope to unemployed workers, they also give hope to employees who are stuck in jobs or with bosses that they hate. As a union boss recently pointed out in a New Zealand Herald article about a new report from Hudson entitled Talent Tightrope: Managing the Workplace through the Downturn, managers often take the attitude that during a recession, employees should be happy to have any job at all while the report itself revealed that almost half (47%) of the workforce surveyed were actually seeking a new role.

Moreover, a recent Reuters article noted that the sour economy has left many workers in bad jobs working under managers who berate employees and even bosses who hold meetings while in bed. The article further quotes Mitchell Kusy, the co-author of Toxic Workplace, as referring to the current economy as a “perfect storm” with 64% of the 400 business leaders he surveyed as saying they are working with a “toxic personality” while another recent survey revealed that 18% of employees plan to change employers, 14% plan to change their careers and 13% plan to change the industry they work in.

What does all this mean for employers? Obviously it will still take some time, maybe even years before hiring takes off again at a significant and sustained pace. Nevertheless, it is obvious that many employers will be caught off guard by just how much discontent there is among their employee ranks and just how many employees will bolt for the first opportunity that comes their way (it goes without saying that the best performing workers will probably be the first to leave). Moreover, given that HR and recruitment departments were often among the first to be slashed during the onset of layoffs, it will be difficult for many employers to quickly scale up again until they rehire their HR staff and recruiters. Hence, the coming months will give RPO vendors a clear window of opportunity to receive a jolt of energy as bad employers and toxic bosses begin to reap what they have sewed.


2 Responses to “Bad employers, toxic bosses and RPO vendors take note: The downturn is easing”

  1. Jeff Carter on September 16th, 2009 8:06 am

    I agree that this is an opportune time for RPO vendors to provide value to undermanned HR/Recruiting departments. Although significant increases in hiring are probably a ways off, many companies are in need of groups or teams of specific skill-sets, be it in sales, programming, etc. The budgets are still not quite there to justify much contingency-based hiring as in the past, and RPO can definitely fill that void.

  2. Angel on May 2nd, 2011 7:30 pm

    I had this employer:

    They are not giving me my last pay.
    These people are involved, Mark Cataldo, Anna Cataldo and Michael Yancon.

    Beware: They are not good people.You should not be part of this company.

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