“If you are anything like me you’ve been paying close attention to the global financial crisis but still adopting a relaxed attitude that “it couldn’t get that bad in Australia”. Well no longer… as I continue to read articles and watch news stories I have woken up to the fact that we need to adopt an extremely conservative approach to business and managing our finances in what could be troubled times ahead. This is true for both large and small businesses alike.

Contract World has recently posted an extremely sobering review of the facts leading up to the global financial crisis and goes on to explain the impact for large and small businesses, including the potential failure of large US icons like Ford and General Motors. Whilst the Australian economy is supported by a strong export market to China, we rely more heavily on Japanese exports, one market predicted to be hit hard by the global credit crisis. When (if?) this occurs together with an inability of large infrastructure projects to secure finance, rising unemployment, falling property markets and the highest personal debt levels in history the prospect of Australia avoiding a slide in to recession seems unavoidable. Consequently we all need to be vigilant in how we manage our businesses (and household finances). For some very useful tips I strongly recommend that you read the article on Contract World. In short… prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t get as bad as predicted.

On a more positive note, aCE talentNET is pleased to report that at this stage we have seen no such contraction in projects and opportunities for our Talent Network. We will continue to work closely with our clients to ensure that they have the resources they need (at cost effective market rates!) to deliver the projects committed to in current and future budgets.

So what does this mean for the consulting market? Who knows what the future holds… I’m not really brave enough to make a prediction at this stage. I guess there are two immediate thoughts:
1. that the project/contracting market will downsize as larger organisations adopt conservative attitudes to project initiatives and, as mentioned above, large syndicated finance becomes harder to access thus putting on hold many planned initiatives; versus
2. larger organisations may turn to contract resources to deliver on project initiatives (whilst putting downward pressure on market rates) and avoid replacing and/or taking on new hires in a recession environment. Perhaps it will be a mix of both? Time will tell.

We would also like to say a big THANK YOU to all the Consultants that have taken the time to complete our Inaugural Consultant Survey… the response rate has been extremely pleasing. For those of you yet to complete the Survey we strongly encourage you to do so, as this is your opportunity to tell us how aCE talentNET can support you and your business. The Survey will take no longer than 15mins and completion before 30 November 2008 enters you into a draw to win a Nano iPod – how can you refuse??!! Complete Survey.

Until next month…
Deirdre Gruiters
Corporate Talent Agent
www.acetalentnet.com