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countercyclical hiring

Charles R. Greer


Countercyclical hiring is a staffing strategy that is pursued to a limited extent by companies seeking to obtain bargains in key managerial and professional personnel by hiring during economic downturns. With conventional hiring, which occurs on a procyclical basis, companies hire during economic upturns. As such they attempt to hire employees at times when other companies are also competing for labor. Thus, there is higher demand for labor during economic upturns and it should be more difficult to obtain highly qualified key employees ( Bright, 1976 ). As a result, companies that do not practice countercyclical hiring should find it more difficult to obtain the human resources needed to develop an advantage vis‐à‐vis their competitors. The contrarian strategy of countercyclical hiring is based on the rationale that companies can invest in their stock of human resources by hiring key managerial and professional employees before there is a realized need, based on the knowledge that the services of such highly qualified individuals will be needed in the future. Thus companies that pursue countercyclical hiring strategies stockpile human resources for the future ( Greer, 1984 ; Greer and Stedham, 1989 ; Greer and Ireland, 1992 ). To date there have been two empirical studies of countercyclical hiring. The first found that companies that practice countercyclical hiring do so because ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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