Exactly a year ago today I wrote a post called "Help Wanted: Finding staff in a Travel 2.0 world". The quick summary from that story was that in March 2008 it was almost impossible to fill an open head count role in the travel industry. My inbox at the time was full of job descriptions from entrepreneurs looking for referrals and notes from recruitment consultants looking for names...any name.
Now, 365 days later, saying that the world has changed is using a an over-used cliché because we have all run out of ways to describe a world economy in free fall. I could not find people to match to the opportunities because it seemed that everyone had the perfect job.
Now, my inbox contains a new email every day with a high quality resume. Top class BDMs, senior marketeers, product builders and more looking for roles after cuts and efficiency rounds. The only recruitment consultant contacting me with a job to fill (rather than a pitching for work) is looking for a role in a country that has banned Chianti, Chardonnay, Chablis, Chivas and all the other great "Ch" words.
Don't misread me. I am not turning against my own optimistic words from last September. There is no doubt that the travel industry will come through this and growth will return. But I am going to add a point to my comments from September. Initially I called the global f'n crisis (GFC) a chance for product/company innovation. I am adding to that that it is a moment for people/talent retention. If the CVs that I am seeing are an indication of the talent that is being let go then all in the industry need to take a moment and work first on retention plans during hard times rather than turning first to cutting and shedding.
thanks to Paul Photo Byrne on flikr for the photo
PS - need more proof of the GFC? China just announced a 20 million increase in the unemployment rate - effectively the entire population of Australia.
PPS - looks like my week long break from blogging lasted a day. Finally found some late night time to rejoin the blogerati.