Toy jobs hiring has continued to surge as companies continue to add people because “we just can’t get the work done.” The common refrain that I hear is that retailers continue to increase the number of hoops that a manufacturer must jump through in order to get their products placed. During The Great Recession, companies cut so many people that they no longer have enough hands on deck to push all the work through in a timely fashion. Search starts continue to be strong despite last month’s flat unemployment numbers. It will be interesting to see what Friday’s jobs report looks like
A week and a half ago, I returned from The Pinnacle Society’s Spring Conference. This is a group of seventy-five of the country’s top executive recruiters and they are truly “The Big Dogs of Recruiting.” As you might imagine, the years 2008-2011 were difficult ones for the recruiting business and approximately 40% of the recruiting firms that existed in 2007 are no longer with us. In speaking with fellow Pinnacle Society members in 2011, the mood was patchy with some recruiting specialties (notably IT, insurance and accounting) returning to a semblance of normalcy while others continue to flounder. At Toyjobs, 2011 saw great improvement over the depths of 2009 and 2010, but it was still nothing to write home about. Heading to 2012’s Spring Conference, I was feeling optimistic because since the end of Hong Kong Toy Show, toy industry hiring had been soaring. At the Conference, I soon learned that hiring was back close to normal across all industry specialties. Of course, these are the country’s top executive recruiters so their numbers are likely to be stronger than the economy’s as a whole, but I see this as a strong leading indicator of more good things to come in the US employment market. Let’s all hope it continues.
Cautiously breathing easier,
P.S. What is it with these Wal-Mart Vice Chairmen? First, we had Tom Coughlin pocketing a cool half million in gift cards for his personal use and now The New York Times alleges that Vice Chairman Edward Castro Wright was involved in a regular program of bribing local officials to facilitate the granting of leases and building permits while he was running Wal-Mart de Mexico. To date, these allegations have not been proven and we should all remember that The New York Times has a record of being a little aggressive at grabbing headlines and a little lax in their fact checking (Does anyone remember Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction – not to mention yellowcake). That said, many of us are aware of the sometimes strange practices one has to engage in even here in the United States just to get a permit to add screens to a porch. As a Wal-Mart shareholder, I’m upset but have to admit that I consider this a much better use of company funds than nicking three 12 gauge shotguns, a few half gallons of vodka, a large polish sausage, and a lone Celine Dion CD and hailing them back to your private compound for what must have been some sort of unholy (or at least unwholesome) secret Ozark ritual. In any case, just don’t be caught trying to give a Wal-Mart buyer a soda.