These days, perhaps more so than ever, business people need a crystal ball to help plan for the future, writes Clive Jefferys, Managing Director of recruiter JMA Network.
We would all like to have even the smallest insight into what the future holds, and when it comes to staffing, the most mercurial of business elements, this has never been so important as today.
We live in strange times - the lowest unemployment level in generations, likewise the greatest ever skill shortage, yet one of the lowest productivity figures in the EU. Our times get even stranger considering events in the Far East, political battle lines being drawn across Europe and a snap election at home. The bookies are saying the result is nailed on, but as a week is a long time in politics, we shall see.
So what's all this got to do with recruitment? Job seeking is always underpinned by a measure of risk and at this moment, the general population doesn't know what's going on and is waiting to see what happens.
Employment surveys of all shapes and sizes keep returning paradoxical results - people are confident about their current employment, but far less so about future career moves.
It seems that optimism is the key to success in a risk-averse candidate market. Having weighed up all the factors that influenced our placements over the last six months, one word keeps stepping forward - 'confidence'!