it is still going to be hard to find great talent in a downturn

/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";}
@page Section1
{size:8.5in 11.0in;
margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;

Lots of
people say that the silver lining in a global downtown is that it will be
easier to find talent.


Fat chance.

That aint
gonna happen.


In fact, in
a downturn, talent is even MORE important.   And everyone realizes it.   if your company is tasked with doing more
with less, than you need the absolute best people who can accomplished in one
hour what takes most people four.


And I got
news for you — it was ALWAYS hard to find talent.    ALWAYS.   It is hard to find great people because
there are so few of them.   Yes, it will
be easier to find competent people.   but
no, it will not be easier to find great people.   


It was
really hard in 2001-2002.   I remember.   it is just hard.   Especially for start-ups.   When you are a start-up, you need to be
picky.   And iin tough times, a lot of
good people join big companies because they want safety.   Many awesome people joined Yahoo and eBay in
2001 and 2002.   only a few great people
joined those companies in 2007.   But I expect
a lot more might be joining in 2009 because they'll want a surer thing.   (this is, of course, a bad strategy for
employees as big companies are generally a tough place for great people because
corp politics stifles innovation and output).



There are
lots of silver linings in a downturn (and I'll get to these in future posts) …
it is going to continue to be very hard to find great people.



2 thoughts on “it is still going to be hard to find great talent in a downturn

  1. Dina

    Great, thoughtful post, Auren – and a nice counter to the conventional wisdom you hear so much these days.

  2. Sarah

    Finding, interviewing, retaining top talent is a fascinating topic to me. I think it is so crucial to hire the right person from the start, and many of us look for the wrong things in all the wrong places. I just read a great book called “Who: the A Method for Hiring” – it is currently #1 business book on Amazon – it addresses the pitfalls of hiring, and provides a clear method for hiring the right talent, and the best talent. It also has a detailed section on how to find talent – the best ways, and I was surprised by some of the things that work, and some that don’t. I highly recommend.


Leave a Reply