The 2007 recession has brought years of sweeping changes to most corporations operating both in the U.S. and internationally. The recession has brought numerous challenges for managers. These challenges comprise of: shrinking budgets; trimmed payrolls to cut costs; flatter more streamlined organizations; layoffs; reduced managerial staff; hiring freezes, restrictions, cutbacks; pay freezes, pay restrictions; and, replacement of seasoned workers with new college graduates. Managers have been forced to do the same work with less staff; or, sometimes to do more work with the same staff. Managers are also rethinking the skill sets needed to perform the jobs they supervise.
Managers are responding to these workforce challenges based upon their unique organizational cultures. In organizations with adaptive cultures they are investing in their more junior employees. These organizations are offering the most talented junior employees a long term career path; supportive environment; advancement; and, performance rewards. It is reported, that an increasing number of managers in organizations when faced with losing seasoned workers have turned to new college graduates as replacements. Managers are increasingly using new graduates to fill trainee positions. Those trainees showing exceptional promise are not only given jobs, but are also promoted to entry level management positions. For example, college recruiter Miranda Azzam was promoted by Aflac to manage the entire college recruiting program and Aflac’s web program.
There are many long term implications of these human resources staffing challenges. Many of the human resources staffing challenges are driven by the segmentation of the workforce among: Baby Boomers; Gen X employees; Gen Y employees; and Millennials. It is expected that most Baby Boomers in the workforce will soon be retiring and leaving their full time positions creating a talent vacuum. This talent vacuum at the top of organizations is expected to create opportunities in middle management for highly qualified younger workers. In many organizations, Gen Y employees are expected to be promoted up to fifty percent (50%) faster than boomers; and, twenty percent (20%) faster than Gen Xers. Gen Y employees can possibly earn