I was having lunch with an employment journalist recently and we were discussing recent press releases put out by the CIPD. She had just received the release outlining the results of the CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook. The opening lines of the release state that the report – and I quote : “.. indicates that private sector job creation will more than offset public sector job cuts in the final quarter of 2010.” It also talks about a net positive balance of +11 (the figure which measures the difference between the proportion of employers intending to increase staffing levels – and those intending to decrease staffing levels) Apparently, this is the third quarter in a row to record a positive balance rising from +2 in the summer survey. And Dr Philpott, economic guru at the CIPD says that “signs of not only a sustained but also an increasing buoyancy in private sector job prospects is encouraging.” All good stuff then?
Err apparently not because only two weeks previously there had been a grand old hoo hah about their press release which stated that cuts in public spending would result in the loss of almost £1.6 million jobs across the UK economy with the private sector hit harder than the public sector. These predictions, say the release, are based on ‘soundings from public sector managers (whatever that means) and the CIPD were forced to swiftly defend their stance in a statement following criticism from the IOD. The predictions, say the CIPD, were based on the analysis and detailed predictions of our 135,000 members – and on data from the labour market outlook ( yes that really positive one I mentioned first). So not public sector managers then? As I said in my comments to a blog posted by Mervyn Dinnen on this subject, if it is based on 135,000 members then that probably ignores a large proportion of the SME community – who don’t have CIPD members on their staff – mine included. There was also an interesting blog on the subject from Andy Headworth which is worth a read.
But apart from all this, my point here really is about communication. Going back to the journalist and our lunch, the main point she made was that she felt she had no real understanding of what the actual message was – there were so many conflicting statements, so many ifs buts and maybes that the message – whatever it was trying to convey – was just lost.
I’ll leave you with their latest snappy headline:
“Private sector in pre-festive season jobs surge but more than 4 in 10 public sector organisations already making redundancies says CIPD/KPMG quarterly jobs survey”…….draws breath!
Come on CIPD – get on message!