The Upside of a Downturn

Doug Hardy

May 07, 2008

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"A slowing economy has tangible burdens, as employers become cautious in hiring (or even lay off workers). More subtle and insidious is the way even a gentle slowdown in consumption can trigger a well known vicious cycle: Lower corporate revenues lead to job insecurity, which causes consumers to tighten spending, which hurts revenues, which causes more corporate belt-tightening, and so forth until something (government spending, easier credit, unforeseen demand) halts the cycle. This cycle offers a break in the fevered efforts to attract and acquire the most talented employees, a chronic problem that has beset booming economies for the past decade. To take advantage of a temporary lull in the chronic shortage of top talent, managers in HR and executives leading companies must adopt the longer-term practice we call the Engagement Cycle."

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