In case anyone hasn’t gotten the memo yet, this seemingly endless election season is finally over, and like it or not, our president-elect is Donald J. Trump.
Things always change significantly when a new party takes power, especially if the new party has control of both houses of Congress. It did in 2009 after President Obama took office, and it’s about to again. Whether or not you supported Mr. Trump, we can all surely be united in our hope that the coming changes will benefit our country for the better!
The effect any political change has on any given industry will vary, of course, but ours seems to be particularly driven by events and policies set in Washington DC. Here are a few ways November’s election results will affect those of us who recruit, screen, and hire people for a living.
Employers who were counting on another Democratic administration to keep turning a blind eye to the hiring of illegal immigrants are likely in for a shock. While it is quite likely that the incoming Trump administration will strike some sort of deal with those who want to legalize the non-criminal illegals currently here in exchange for real border security (read: wall), that doesn’t mean businesses that hire illegals won’t be scrutinized and heavily punished. The law is the law, and just because the previous administration didn’t enforce it to the same degree the incoming one will doesn’t change that.
Further, whether or not illegal immigrants currently here are allowed to stay (they almost certainly will), real border security means the price of labor will gradually rise. With staffing companies often as a buffer to some degree (because we’re so darned great at recruiting), many manufacturers have lagged slightly behind the market in increasing their wages and we’ve had to drag them along kicking and screaming. To that end, we will have to continue to educate our clients on what the market will bear as far as wages are concerned, because the days of paying minimum wage or slightly above for even the most basic jobs are coming to a swift end.
Speaking of wages, American workers are likely to get another pay raise, along with better employment prospects, if Trump manages to follow through on his plan to implement fair trade policies. Without going into a lot of detail here, it really comes down to simple supply and demand. If it becomes less cost efficient to shut factories down and move them overseas than to simply pay Americans what they are worth to make products here, companies will lean toward the latter. Win win!
For staffing companies, this represents both an opportunity to service manufacturing clients that might otherwise be overseas as well as another chance to educate clients on pay scales.
And for the record, has anyone noticed that were talking about effecting an increase in American wages without having to artificially raise the minimum wage, thus killing the job prospects of millions of Americans right along with the viability of countless small businesses? That doesn’t mean Trump won’t instigate some sort of minimum wage increase eventually, but it won’t be as drastic as the one Democrats have proposed.
Let’s face it, there was very little good about this law, and the fact that it didn’t drive our industry totally out of business is a testament to both the grim determination of the great people in it as well as the dogged persistence of the American Staffing Association. It’s not that the entire law was bad – the preexisting conditions requirement was actually a nice idea and indications are that it will be kept, but whatever comes next HAS to be better than what we have right now. Thanks to Trump, what was only destined to get worse (and will still get worse before it gets better with the oncoming premium hikes) will almost certainly be improved significantly in the coming year. This will be a tremendous win for the American worker reeling from rising medical insurance premiums.
Question. Have you recently heard anyone who actually runs a business or hires people for a living say we need MORE regulations? Thankfully, President Obama’s penchant for bypassing Congress and imposing burdensome regulations with the stroke of a pen is coming to an end, as is the non-business friendly elements that pack boards like the EEOC, NLRB, etc. President-elect Trump promises to reverse many of Obama’s orders and repeal two regulations for every one passed. If he follows through on even a portion of this, America will be better off.
Folks, it might not be next year, or even the one after that, but mark my words, thankfully the American worker IS going to win in the Trump era. This is good for America and it’s good for the staffing industry. As we all know, the only thing certain is change. The sooner we come to terms with this as an industry, the better equipped we will be to deal with the inevitable changes coming OUR way.