Toyjobs has gotten off to the fastest start in its twenty-seven year history. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is likely to continue. This is counter to the economic climate and I would certainly agree that there are fewer jobs out there and less toy company hiring. This seems to be what’s going on.
When times are good, most toy companies are pounding the table for “five more Brand Managers!” With everyone looking to hire the same people inevitably many of these jobs remain unfilled or at least take longer to fill. In more cautious times, the companies that are looking to hire are generally looking for just one or two high impact players, say a Marketing Vice President or a Vice President of Wal-Mart Sales. In March we had our best single month ever, placing six people including two Vice Presidents and two Directors.
Another factor is that we spend less time and energy on searches that later get put on hold. Companies that aren’t hiring know that they aren’t hiring and are much less likely to spin their, our and the candidate’s wheels and then not pull the trigger. The companies that are looking to hire a high impact player are generally pretty committed to doing so.
Over the last six months we have been able to fill an even higher percentage of jobs than are normally high fill ratio and we have been able to fill them pretty quickly. Now that this year’s initial burst of hiring is winding down, I would look for things to slow until late August when toy companies have a clearer picture of how their year is going to go.
We have begun to see a trickling style of layoffs unlike the wholesale dislocations we saw in 2001 and 2002. I think this is because we are not coming off a bubble economy like the late nineties and 2000 so that companies don’t have as much fat to trim from their payrolls. The toy industry’s ever thinning margins means there’s not much fat to trim at all.
All the best,