If you look at the numbers in TV and talent of late, it’s clear to see that a lot more people are watching Game of Thrones (#1 download this week of all TV!) Who can blame them? It’s like General Hospital in the middle ages with enough family, fighting, war, and drunkenness to satisfy everyone.
Another key insight is that there is a new, more modern war for King’s Landing brewing. This is apparent in the US talent numbers, too. It’s just going to take a little longer for all of us to really notice. Job creation is way up for four straight months, bubbling up in the 40,000 range consistently. The 121,000 announced large reductions in force for the first quarter of 2014 are a 19-year low! And private employment is up, up, and up. Temporary staffing, services, hospitality, technical roles, IT, you name it.
However, no one is talking about it. Unemployment has remained flat. There is an interesting thing about public perception. All perceptions take time to change. I propose that it takes a good six months for the general public to change a perspective. Perhaps you’re always late for work. Everyone in the office knows it. Now suppose you work to change that perspective. And you come in diligently on time or even early! But I bet few will notice. You will still be known as the character that arrives late—for a long, long time. Over time perceptions change. People take notice. Others comment. Someone might even make a joke or compliment you for your efforts. Eventually being late is nothing more than a memory.
In the war for talent our economy has putted along for so long, far from roaring and not quite stopped cold like a Stark at a Red Wedding. Our common understanding is of recession and slower business times. Businesses are doing just OK. Big Companies are hoarding cash for the next growth opportunity. Yes, the stock market is doing well but that is for rich people, right? Or that is my retirement. That does not make my day-to-day life easier or put more money in my pocket. This common view has impacted careers and work systems. Today’s hiring managers have had so many choices from which to hire people, that they still believe it. That perhaps they can always hire slowly. They can always hire who they want. Even offer them salaries or whatever they might want.
Todays Game of Jobs is shifting right before our eyes. Fifteen years ago pundits predicted a talent war around right now. This was a long-term view based on the supply and demand of talent. That there simply were not enough or the right kind of workers available. That this would be a great time to be employed and that this is going to happen. Every day we talk to employers who have an aging workforce; a workforce of allied health workers or of pipefitters and tradespeople that simply cannot be replaced fast enough.
So if you think power changes hands fast with recent Game of Thrones episodes. Well, some day soon the workers will have control and families like the Lannisters will no longer have the advantage as the employer!
Image courtesy of hbo.com.