The Desk

February 22, 2009

New Job Search Strategies and Venues

Filed under: Hiring,Job Search — Yvonne LaRose @ 8:47 PM
Tags: , , , ,

I’m guilty and admit it. I’ve been publishing information you’re seeking but not here. It’s being published inconsistently in the places where it is appearing. All of these scatterings are becoming confusing. Time to regroup, be organized, and become consistent. (You can help me on that last one. Which of these three locations is the one you consider the place for me to provide this information?)

We already know that the economy is abysmal. Although economists won’t admit it, we are in an economic depression. Carefully study and compare our current situation to the 1930s and you’ll see the tick marks starting to add up to nearly equal numbers.

What’s interesting is how much we’ve grown in complexities in just barely a century. During the Depression of the last century, getting a job consisted of seeing a “Help wanted” sign in the store window, having a willing mind and able body and limbs, then handing the sign over to the owner with some positive conversation and the statement, “I’m willing if you’ll have me.” The owner did their on-the-spot screening and decision making and you either started or went along the sidewalk to the next place. These days, there’s personality screening, skills testing, physical and substance evaluation. There’s examination of whether you can get along with the staff as well as whether staff can get along with you. You examine the premises to determine whether it suits your tastes and whether the hours and shift are to your liking. It’s become very complex.

Some things we used to just suck up in order to stay focused and centered on getting the job done so the business could be a success (and we could keep working) become the focus to the exclusion of what the business is about. Maybe that’s one of the reasons our layoff and outplacement rates are as high as they are.

Whatever the issues, we’ve got jobs that are being cut from payrolls so that businesses can stay afloat. And we’ve got industries that are struggling to stay alive. Which means the time has come for us to rethink how we go about doing our work, where the work is located, and how to get the work. We need to consider what’s involved in staying on the payroll or getting called back. And those are the things I’ve been talking about in all three venues as well as some new ways of thinking about networking.

Entertainment

People in the entertainment industry have said it each time an awards ceremony is approaching. We need to think short term and contract. There’s too much work in the short run in all the areas that need to be covered. Those of you who are good in production and have Mac skills (not to mention graphics abilities) should be looking for and finding some tantatlizing opportunities that are contract in nature. That means they have price tags that can probably be negotiated. A two-hour project can easily turn into that plus a one or two day engagement if your work is good enough.

The key is to think short term and contract when looking for work. It’s no longer necessary to pledge your last dying breath to the company. Businesses are looking for ways to cut costs, not increase them. So to the extent you’re amenable to a hit and run relationship, where hit is each time the company needs the remote help throughout the year, you’re in business.

Other Industries

This contract and short-term work situation isn’t limited to the entertainment industry. Something that’s related to entertainment is makeup. And there’s word in the news that affordable makeup is quite a lucrative move — even for $60 per hour psychologists.

Speaking of psychologists, the other point that’s being made is that there is a growing need for people in all phases of health care in the public health care domain. This is because more people are losing their jobs along with their company-supplied health care insurance. The fallback is public health care and state-provided care.

A word to the wise is that you be sharp and stay sharp if you go into public health care at any level. Here in California we have facilities that are being closed rather than risk having inept personnel delivering poor to negligent care to the unsuspecting, consuming and in-need public. Lackadaisical attitudes and work habits are not the lasting qualities for these sites. Communication skills are imperative, that is, being able to talk with people in order to make them feel not only comfortable in distressful situations but also that they are being respected and receiving all the type and quality of care being given to mainstream denizens.

As the construction, banking, and real estate industries are floundering and people are wondering whether this is the prime time to dive in and start from the floor and move up or not, there is word that new jobs are coming out of this flattening. Green and energy is the way. Jobs in sustainable energy and renewable resources are becoming the alternatives. Look into what is transferable and what it takes to become a specialist in this area. You’re standing in the threshold of becoming tomorrow’s specialist and expert.

Tangential Services

The pressures from these new employment opportunities and ways of searching are creating new ways of doing things. This blog post is not for just job seekers. Nor is this blog. It is for all participants of the employment game.

For example, around 2004 we talked a lot about whether it was ethical to poach employees from a current client’s workforce in order to fill a requisition for another client with similar types of workers. Now the poaching issue has ramped up several degrees. The poaching is happening on an interstate basis and the cry of “no foul” is still that “we’ll do anything we want to do.” In order for that one to fly, we’ll just overlook the fact that there’s some form of interference with doing business happening in these situations so that we can still look ourselves in the mirror tomorrow.

Never fear. Some report that layoffs in the HR department are increasing. However, the HR network of experts says there’s a growing trend toward outsourcing HR needs with a network of experts. Some are available through state governed networks where the State certifies and maintains a list of experts in certain specialties.

Look for new ways to network, even at the office. We’ve had Fegen suites since the early 1970s that turned shared office space and virtual offices in the ’80s and ’90s. What’s now happening is space is becoming more a members office environment, at least here in the Los Anageles area. You can use an individual work station, with Internet access, for a few hours or all day. Other options available are weekly or monthly access for either a work station or actual office space. There’s mail and other support services in addition to conference room availability for meetings, presentations, and so on.

This may be an option for up and coming entrepreneurs who need to keep a cap on expenses while allowing their business endeavors to thrive. One of the questions you need to ask of yourself is whether the mix of tenants (as well as in the neighborhood) is right for your business and services. If they complement, it should be optimal. If it’s just a hodge podge without rhyme or reason, it may take too much work to make it work and all the services to be as cost effective as they could be.

Finally, there’s still another new service that should be useful to all three sides of the hiring desk. Indeed.com has a new service that I think I remember will be on a monthly basis. It provides a summary of the number of job postings that have been made in 12 industries and the amount of increase or decline in each. Very helpful information to have for all three sides of the hiring desk. Whether job seeker, recruiter, or hiring manager, it helps to know what the trends are in your industry and therefore get a better view of the dynamics that are driving answers to your advertising and not. If they’re not answering, you need to look at what elements are impacting you and take measures to do something about it.

Busy Times

Yes, these are busy times. These are compelling times. And it’s all exciting because we’re yet again on the verge of watching new ways of doing business and job search being taken in a new direction. Whether they’re better and less complicated is still something to be evaluated. But it’s definitely exciting.

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