Based on a report by George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller, Bloomberg reports up to 500,000 jobs will be lost due to the looming fiscal cliff. Last week SAIC announced a 700-person layoff and last month Boeing announced they would reduce their Defense Division management by 30%.
What does a Defense company do during these down turns?
Most of the companies I talk to are re-looking at every dollar they spend and cutting expenses every way possible. Some are simply bracing for the inevitable and hoping beyond hope they can figure out how to stay afloat. The lucky ones have enough programs of record to weather the storm or are being acquired by the primes.
The smart ones are hunting. Yes, they are hunting for new work, but that’s not what I’m talking about. They are hunting for people, for experts.
If there is any good that could come from this massive downsizing, it’s the re-distribution of ideas and talent across the industry. Many of the large companies are offering early retirements and some of their top talent is taking this option. While most of these experts are looking forward to reducing their handicap, many wish to remain engaged in the industry.
The means that some companies, especially small- to mid-sized companies, that have never had access to this talent may be able to gain their support in the form of consultations and short-term projects.
For some, there may just be a silver lining to the cloud of defense cuts.