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MDM/Baird 2Q Survey: Distributors Share Hiring Plans

MDM/Baird 2Q Survey: Distributors Share Hiring Plans

July 14, 2010

While better news is starting to appear with regards to the economy, there's a commonly held belief that recovery won't truly begin until companies start hiring again ... something 33 percent of respondents to the latest quarterly MDM/Robert W. Baird & Co. Distribution Survey say they aren't quite ready to do.

"We are cautious on hiring and using more part-time and intern workers than before," wrote one respondent.

Another wrote: "We will continue business without hiring new people for as long as we possibly can."

The graphic below shows the responses to the question: If you downsized in the past two years, have you started to rebuild your staff?
2Q 2010 Hiring Plans

For those that are beginning to rehire (45 percent), the top qualifications they are looking for aren't really surprising: industry experience and education.

But what may be more telling are the "Other" characteristics respondents said they were looking for: attitude and cultural fit. As one respondent said: "… Virtually everything else can be trained."

That attitude is becoming more important because as companies try to do more with less, they need people who are willing to take ownership of their tasks and show willingness to develop their skill sets , and in turn, their value to the company. (Read Larry Goode's take on this in Creating an Ownership Culture.)

And hiring employees who will fit your corporate culture can help prevent conflicts in the workplace. If you're all working towards the same goals at the start, it's easier to attain those goals.

Other highlights on hiring from the survey:

Must be employed: Thirteen percent of respondents said current employment status was the second most important factor when hiring a candidate.

Company loyalty: Many distributors and manufacturers are maintaining loyalty to past employees when hiring, with 59 percent saying previous experience with the company is one of the top two factors for new positions.

No cuts: 22 percent of respondents said their companies did not lay off any workers in the past two years.

The full results from the MDM/Robert W. Baird & Co. Distribution Survey for the second quarter 2010 will appear in the July 25 issue of MDM.


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