More redundancies, fewer jobs;

what this really means for the future of recruitment in Guernsey
Over the past six months, we have all been made painfully aware of the job losses in Guernsey. With unemployment rising to the highest level Guernsey has seen for some time – it’s easy to paint a gloomy picture.

Being made redundant is a traumatic time for any employee. Usually, there is little warning that job cuts are imminent. Then, when redundancies do happen, the general perception of a bleak future often quickly follows the initial shock.

It’s no less traumatic for employers

The decision to make redundancies is one of the hardest that any management team has to make. As well as losing valued employees, businesses also face the negative press these announcements invariably receive.

Redundancy obviously isn’t the kind of decision businesses take lightly but, in challenging market conditions, it really is the only way some businesses can survive.

There has been much media coverage about job losses. While it is something that cannot – and should not – be ignored, it is disappointing that a more balanced viewpoint is not taken. For example, what about the consequence of these businesses not taking action? This would undoubtedly affect more people than those already made redundant.

The impact on recruitment in Guernsey

As you already know, the excessive risks taken by large corporations around the world have been the main catalyst to the current ‘credit crunch’. This is primarily where Guernsey’s redundancies have come from.

At the tail end of last year, businesses started to realise that the faltering global economy would hit Guernsey. However, while the actual effect has been stronger than many first thought, it is important to put the impact into context.

Guernsey’s economy is still thriving and the island’s finance sector has remained buoyant for many years. This is primarily down to the excellent people employed throughout the island and effective industry controls.

Unfortunately, Guernsey’s prudent approach has not been replicated in other jurisdictions. So while redundancies here have attracted a lot of interest, most can be attributed to branches in other parts of the world not performing as well as they once did. In fact, some Guernsey branches (of bigger organisations making redundancies) were performing relatively well.

Guernsey’s recruitment industry remains strong

Yes, unemployment has regrettably increased. But it’s important to remember that there are still many jobs in Guernsey – at all levels and in all business sectors. Plus, companies continue to expand.

For skilled and experienced employees, this means there are excellent opportunities for career advancement. For employers, it means there has never been so many talented applicants vying for the positions businesses need to fill. It is also pleasing to note that international businesses still choose Guernsey as their preferred place to do business.

Strong foundation for future growth

It’s important to stay positive throughout this time, despite the startling – and sometimes defeatist – headlines in the media.

It’s also time to look toward the future, rather than dwelling on the past. This doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to what has already happened or not learning from the current economy. Instead, it means we should recognise that it’s not all doom and gloom – and that Guernsey is well placed to emerge from this downturn stronger than before.