Monday, March 22
After an ominously slow January, our own activity is picking up nicely, and this seems to be a pattern seen by many of our clients. The one exception seems to be the telco sector, but otherwise it seems that the worst is over. The remaining concern though is that unemployment, or the fear of it, will keep consumer spending at lower levels.
It's important to pay attention to what is happening in the wider world. Last week WPP reported that it expects flat growth in 2010. It expects growth in Eastern Europe but not in Western Europe. So a key question is, does Sir Martin Sorrell consider the Czech Republic to be in the East or the West nowadays? Organisationally we know it remains in "CEE". However my feeling is that we are now more firmly tied to the West, particularly Germany in terms of economic influence. So it suggests that we can expect another tough year but at least things will not get worse.
What are the implications for the local market in terms of marketing talent and their careers? On the hiring side, one unfortunate problem is that people have become far more cautious about considering a move. They look at their mortgage commitments, and then at the implications of the three month trial period. Companies must therefore show that their open positions offer stability for successful people. For candidates, much greater flexibility will be needed by those who urgently seek a new position. It is more important to compromise on the salary than on the quality of the company you are prepared to work for. Be ready to be offered more fixed term contracts, and performance related pay. Things will get better. But the landscape has changed. The "good old days" will not return. On the other hand, they never did, and look outside, Spring is coming.