Magazine article Workforce Management

Boom Times for Vendors

Magazine article Workforce Management

Boom Times for Vendors

Article excerpt

A war for talent and increased turnover make for good buzz, but a stronger economy makes for good news. And it's particularly welcome for a company that brings together employers and job seekers.

Major players in this arena are experiencing sustained booms. Job site, whose technology powers online classifieds for newspapers owned by Knight Ridder, Gannett and the Tribune Co., reported a record number of unique visitors to its Web site in January.

Executive recruiting firm Korn/Perry saw its domestic revenues rise by 31 percent for the 12 months ending January 31. Its success generally coincides with a rebound in that specialty after a three-year slump. Businesses adjusting their mix of human resources-related services help the bottom line of companies like Recruit-max, whose software helps attract and acquire talent.

Temporary workers, who typically constitute about 2 percent of the workforce in times of economic growth, are finding that companies are eager to convert them to permanent status. That generates additional fee revenue for providers of temporary help like Kelly Services.

Companies that enjoyed having their pick of workers in 2002 now find themselves having to scramble for talent. Not only are frustrated workers looking around more, but they also have more means than ever to find their next gig.

For now, the economy appears sufficiently strong to keep vendors in nearly every segment busy well into the second half of this year. One reason is that getting a better job requires sophistication.

"Job seekers need to use up to six different online resources to maximize their reach," says Peter Waddle, author, consultant and CEO of Weddle's Publications, based in Stamford, Connecticut. That includes two general-purpose job sites and at least three niche boards-one that is germane to their profession, another to their industry and a third based on geography.

Businesses, of course, rely on similarly diverse channels. When Jill Pfefferbaum has to fill openings at travel Web site, she starts by posting the job internally and also on Monster, then peppers her network with a description of the job.

"Anything I can think of," says Pfefferbaum, the company's director of compensation. "Friends, family and the 'Big Red Bulletin Board,'" an electronic exchange for her fellow graduates of Cornell University. …

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