July 16, 2009 U.S. IT employers are preparing now for when the economy recovers, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Seventy-six percent of IT employers who have employment brands say they are taking measures to strengthen those employment brands today so they will be competitively positioned for an upturn down the road. IT employers are working to remedy the fallout of a grueling economy. The U.S. has lost 6.5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to layoffs, CareerBuilders survey reported 53 percent of IT employers have cut certain benefits or perks at their organizations in 2009, including bonuses, medical coverage and 401(k)-matching. Employers in all industries, including IT, have had to make tough decisions this year, said Allison Nawoj, corporate communications manager for CareerBuilder. Nawoj told Information Management that many employers are trying to diffuse potentially negative consequences by increasing communication and internally and externally offering more programs for employees. Our survey revealed that of those IT employers that have had layoffs, 27 percent said it had adversely impacted their employment brand, said Nawoj. As a result, many are getting back to the basics to connect with employees and candidates, and are looking to do make changes to improve their recruitment and retention practices. IT employers are also revising recruitment messaging and investing more in promoting career advancement, flexibility and a work culture that values employees: 28 percent are revising job listings to emphasize a positive work culture 25 percent are offering more flexible work schedules 22 percent are outlining potential career paths for current and future employees 19 percent are revamping their company career sites 16 percent are offering more employee recognition programs 13 percent are revising recruitment materials Other measures being taken to prepare for when the economy turns around include: 24 percent are planning a new marketing strategy 31 percent are working on a new product line or enhancing existing products 13 percent are ramping up training programs 9 percent are implementing a new succession plan It's a good sign, and not a surprise, that IT employers are taking steps to strengthen their employment brands, as it will only better position them to attract and retain top talent once the economy turns around. This will help them be poised to compete when business ramps up again, said Nawoj.
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