A new “Roaring Twenties”? Your workforce may not be ready.

Roaring 20s flapper women

Over the past year, we’ve talked to a lot of clients and partners about how to weather the COVID-related economic downturn. But now it looks like there’s at least a chance that we all need to start getting ready for something very different: a boom in resurgent consumer demand as vaccinations continue to rise; caseloads continue to drop; and people start acting on their long-denied urges to travel, eat in restaurants, and otherwise live like normal human beings.

There’s strong historical precedent for such a demand-driven boom cycle. In fact, that’s what happened during the last Twenties – that is, the 1920s. The First World War had just ended, resulting in a cascade of deferred spending and a shift in production toward consumer goods.

It’s possible that we’re on the brink of something similar as we emerge from COVID – a calamity that has claimed almost five times as many American lives as World War I. It may be quite some time before we get an accurate tabulation of just how much the pandemic has cost our economy in terms of layoffs, business closures, and deferred spending. But now there is real hope that “normal” life might be achievable in a matter of months.

I found this Washington Post piece quite interesting; it indicates that we may be on the verge of not just clawing back pandemic losses, but potentially embarking on a high-growth streak unseen since the 1980s.

So here’s a question for you: Are you and your organization ready for that kind of growth? Do you have a team in place that could enable you to take full advantage of a significant expansion in demand?

It’s been fascinating to watch some of our clients stake out very strong, growth-oriented positions right now. I’ve written a lot about AMMEX, the world-leading protective glove distributor down in Kent. Their sales have exploded, for obvious reasons, and they’ve responded with a spate of really smart new hires. In fact, we just helped them land a terrific hire, Evan Nebeker from Fluke Corporation, as their new Director of Supply Chain Automation.

But you can feel the ferment even in the cultural and nonprofit spaces. With museums opening again, Seattle’s iconic MoPOP is looking forward to growth in 2021, and we helped them find an outstanding new Senior Marketing Manager, Amber Martin, who comes to them from a similar role at the YMCA of Greater Seattle.

While these two hires are obviously in very different sectors, they both reflect established, well-run organizations choosing this moment to fill mission-critical roles. And this is the time to do it – right before a potential surge in demand (including the demand for available talent).

What about you? Are there key individual roles, or even entire teams, that you need to bolster in case the new Twenties start roaring? If so, let us know – our Executive Recruitment and Strategic Teambuilding experts will be glad to help you out. ###

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