The rising cost of fuel has hit all of us hard recently. I think we’re slowly realising that things aren’t going to get any easier. Just the opposite in fact.
Because our economies are so inter-dependent, when the cost of fuel rises, the price of everything else increases too. Fuel is used, obviously, in the production of the ‘things’ that we make and do but also to transport those ‘things’ for people to consume. Thus, when fuel prices go up, so does everything else.
This is not a blog about economics
As I understand it, the increase in fuel consumption from countries such as India and China is partly to blame for rising fuel prices. But I’m not going to try and explain all of the reasons because I don’t understand them 🙂
What I’m interested in is whether recruitment and employment will change as as a result of these increases.
Travel for employment is becoming too expensive
For example, I wonder if candidates will refuse to travel to interviews that are too far away? Conversely, recruiters may refuse to pay the interview expenses (which is rare anyway) of candidates who live far away.
I guess it depends on your conception of ‘far’.
I also wonder if fewer people in the recruitment industry will attend exhibitions and events. Will these events struggle to attract delegates unless they reduce entry prices? Or could they negotiate special rates with partner organisations such as coach and train companies?
The impact at organisational level
Because of the need to reduce ‘organisational footprints’, will HR departments insist that only people within a certain radius should be employed? Or will candidates need to prove that they use only ‘green transport’ to get to work?
The choice of personal transport may even become a selection criteria that employers use to choose between candidates.
I can see the headlines now, “Woman with 4×4 refused job”. Sounds like a legal minefield if you ask me.
I also wonder if people who commute long distances will start – if they haven’t already – to look for more local jobs. Maybe regional economies will benefit from workers choosing to stay in their locality rather than working away in the ‘big city’.
Will this then force organisations to relocate to be geographically nearer talent pools? Or will they be forced to rely upon their local workforce?
The impact on recruitment globally
Could it be that the threat of globalisation recedes as products become too expensive to ship from overseas? We might see the return of heavy industries to previously devastated industrial areas so that production is closer to the customer. This in turn would change job markets on local, regional and national levels.
My head hurts thinking about all of this.
Maybe nothing will change. Maybe we’ll all just get used to ever higher fuel prices and carry on as before.
I don’t think so.
For example, US drivers – long-used to cheap petrol prices – have already started changing their driving habits.
But I wonder if you have any examples of how the rising cost of fuel is affecting your job or travel to work? Do you recognise any of the scenarios I’ve painted above? How have you been affected by the rising cost of fuel?
I’d love to hear from you.