I recently was on the way over to my father-in-law's house to pick up my oldest son from his sleepover at Grampy's and I got to thinking about why grandparents love visits with their grandchildren. I feel that grandparents, in general, love time with their grandchildren and love having them over for the night, but why? After all, my father-in-law could be out on the town doing a million other things, does he really enjoy spending the night at home watching "Handy Manny" or "Wall-E" or "Thomas the Tank-Engine"? Let's be honest, kids are a challenge and although my son is generally well behaved, his energy level could wear anyone down.
Then it hit me…no matter what happens on that sleepover, when the morning comes, my son is going home and Grampy is no longer responsible. Grampy can then clean up and get some rest or at the very least he can sit in peace for a little while. For parents, there is never enough peace, quiet, rest, or time to really clean up. You simply move toys into piles around the house so you don't step on them after you have taken off your shoes. (it always amazes me how much this hurts)
As recruiters, we speak to many organizations and hiring managers and it is interesting to compare their views of the marketplace. These views seem to coincide with the grandparents vs. parents points of view. There are management teams who are looking at this economy and, while recognizing the challenges, they perceive that now is the time to gain market share. They know that this is a unique opportunity to bring in a talented salesperson now that maybe wasn't available 6 months ago. These managers are taking the view of grandparents, who know that even if they are facing a temper-tantrum or demands for ice cream from their grandchild, this time will pass. Much like the challenges of the current economy, this, too, will eventually pass. And all recessions do eventually subside.
Some of our clients have understandably gone into bunker mode and are not going to hire or try to gain market share. They are the parents who are thinking, "I have another 18 years of this stuff. This is never going to end". After all, when you are dealing with a cranky child it is hard to think about anything except, "how do I survive this? How do I make it through to bedtime?" Or as a management team, how do we make it through 2009? What is interesting is comparing how you see things in the marketplace.
Now, I know some of you have read this and are thinking, "This guy is comparing the challenges of his kids to the challenges of the recession"…don't lose sight on my point. Is now the time to secure and grow market-share? Or do you think now is the time to just hunker down? Is your company in the grandparent or parent mindset?