Look on the bright side, it’s not all bad news

I’ll let you in on a family secret: HRH senior also swam in that sea of trouble called human resource management – HRM to the initiated.

Of course, it was different then, as the old git never tires of telling me, when he’s not trying to borrow a tenner to cover his pension shortfall.

“It was payroll and hire and fire back then,” he told me last week over a cup of Earl Grey and a shortbread biscuit. “There were none of these namby-pamby employment protection and maternity rights. We kicked backsides and, if I was you, I’d start learning to do the same. A recession is on the way. It says so in The Independent. That’s why that big girl’s blouse called the election when he did.”

Well I guess if the Lib Dem house paper forecasts doom and gloom then we’d better sit up and take notice.

And the Indy isn’t alone. Other, almost worthy, bodies seem to agree. The Institute of Chartered Accountants forecasts an economic slowdown and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says half of the UK’s employers plan to reduce their workforces in the coming year.

This will send a shiver down some HR directors’ spines, but not mine. I’ve almost finished Staffing in a recession, a minor masterpiece that advises the board to prepare for challenging times ahead and place its staff-downsizing policies in safe hands – mine.

I also point out that a recession will have its pluses. Age discrimination can go on the back burner – if you are not hiring, you cannot be accused of discriminating.

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