Pre-Election Fight the Urge of Inertia

BY JANE KENNELLY, DIRECTOR, FROG RECRUITMENT

Whether it’s Key, Cunliffe, Winston’s views or a coalition that strikes your fancy, election time usually sees inertia creep into the business environment so to keep your business momentum up, there are things you can do to swim against the tide.

We will be hearing more than our fair share of election fanfare over the coming months, especially how the different outcome scenarios will affect our business.

One thing that seems to happen and is often unplanned in the election run-up, is a decrease in hiring confidence and business activity. Whilst our logical brain suggests that ‘business as usual’ should continue, my observations over 25 years within the employment arena confirms that many businesses will start to delay hiring until after the election. Is this because of a general sense of uncertainty? Or is it just human nature?   Is it justified, and if so, when is a good time to hire?

And, what can we do about it?

Why and how will the election affect business?

First – the ‘Why’

All campaigning parties inevitably make election promises. Whether it’s easing trade restrictions, immigration reform, easing interest rates, or investing in IT infrastructure – these are major potential policy changes which may affect the everyday operations of our businesses.

Typically, the uncertainty of changing policies in the immediate and short-term post-election period results in businesses putting innovation or expansion activities on hold until the smoke clears.

The lack of hiring in the lead up to the September election is compounded with the end of the financial year. This means reluctant businesses could actually risk under-resourcing projects or departments for as much as a full year if they choose to delay hiring decisions until the potential policy changes are clarified.

While some businesses prefer to play it safe over this time and stand on the side-lines and wait, this is a great time for less risk-averse competitors to hit some home runs. This period can best be described as a double-edged sword of sensible caution pitted against exposure to competition, innovation, and new entrants.

What to do?

Given the uncertainty and risk posed by the elections, to protect your business and keep things moving we suggest:

Routine hiring: solve today’s problems today           

Regardless of the election outcomes, you will still need to hire an accountant, project administrator or account manager to take care of daily business. Don’t let tomorrow’s big picture lure you away from resourcing what you need today.

Growth hiring: Don’t mistake economic issues for election issues

While the outcome of the election can create ripples throughout the business world, the economy may take years to reflect a change in government or policies. A fast or slow economy won’t change pace overnight simply because of a new government so don’t fall into the trap of letting major projects or innovations stagnate simply because of the fact that there is an election.

Communicate internally

If you are putting projects on hold or temporarily under-resourcing departments, communicate with general staff or department heads about your plans and your rationale. Don’t leave your team guessing because worst-case-scenario, they may see this as a good time to jump ship.

Keep an active candidate pipeline                                                  

If you don’t want to move ahead with growth projects at this time, invest in maintaining an upkeep of interested potential employees. Keep projects warm by continuing conversations with relevant parties and keeping them in the loop about impending decisions.

Seek advice

Not sure how to proceed, or have some prickly questions? Call Frog Recruitment on (09) 362 0528 to discuss how we can help.

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