Mortgage Crisis Could Create Talent Gridlock

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<strong>Atlanta &mdash; Oct. 9</strong><br />As the mortgage crisis continues to cut a path of destruction far beyond its initial subprime victims, it might create talent gridlock among once highly mobile professionals and executives.<br /><br />During the housing boom, companies and job candidates enjoyed the benefits of rising home values and quick sales that made it easier for companies to attract candidates beyond their local talent pools.<br /><br />Today&#39;s housing market, however, is forcing candidates to reconsider career changes &mdash; and companies to re-evaluate talent planning &mdash; because of relocation concerns.<br /><br />”This is something that has come to a head in just the past two months and could considerably limit the talent pool for some companies in their recruiting efforts,” said Tim Noble, managing principal of The Avery Point Group, a national executive search firm. “No longer are we limited to discussions about &#39;golden handcuffs&#39; &mdash; we are now also talking about &#39;cement shoes&#39; as the impact of the mortgage crisis may significantly impair a candidate&#39;s ability to relocate for a potential career opportunity.”<br /><br />Candidates who once readily accepted relocation as part of the career advancement process but are now faced with declining home values and the rising inventory of unsold homes might opt instead to postpone a career change or look locally for opportunities. <br /><br />For companies looking to attract the best professional and executive talent, this situation could mean some key roles go unfilled if local talent is not readily available.<br /><br />”This is a recipe for talent gridlock, with candidates unable to relocate and companies unable to attract talent,” Noble said. “To make matters worse, fallout from a potential talent gridlock may further depress some housing markets as many communities count on a steady influx of transplanted professionals and executives to drive housing sales.”<br /><br />With the end of the mortgage crisis nowhere in sight, companies will need to move quickly to reassess their recruiting efforts and relocation policies, as this crisis will not only have an impact on external hiring &mdash; it also will affect internal relocations and promotions.<br /><br />”Companies will need to get creative if they want to hire the best talent under these current conditions,” Noble said. “I don&#39;t see companies offering more home buy-outs in this current environment, but to attract the best talent, they will need to get creative with other tools such as bridge loans, loss-on-sale assistance, extended temporary housing and travel to ease the pain of relocation.”<br /><br />In the end, those companies and job candidates that take a realistic and long-term view of their individual circumstances stand the best chance for success under current market conditions. <br /><br />Today&#39;s mortgage crisis soon will become a major factor in career decisions for job candidates and in talent planning for companies across the board. <br /><br />Some companies, however, have yet to make this important connection.

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