Unemployment. For many people today, this word elicits a plethora of emotions. Most Americans have been impacted by unemployment, whether personally or by witnessing a family member or friend struggling to find a new job. But today, I’d like to offer encouragement for those individuals who are currently wrestling with the stigma of this word.
Unemployed candidates are becoming equally as appealing as employed candidates
In past years, employers were leery of candidates that were unemployed. The thinking was “this person must be unemployed for a reason.” Fortunately, this no longer holds true as the hiring climate has changed. Most unemployed candidates are viewed as being unemployed due to a previous employer’s economic hardship or an acquisition that may have led to a workforce reduction. I’ve seen many clients interviewing and hiring unemployed candidates at the same pace as employed candidates.
Nothing lasts forever, not even your troubles
This includes a person’s period of unemployment. Seldom in our adult lives, do we actually have the time to stop and reflect. We wake up early, put the coffee on, race to work, juggle multiple projects during the day, come home, make dinner, take care of ‘items’ and fall asleep. The cycle repeats. Weekends can be busier than weekdays for many! Where’s the time to stop for a minute & really decide whether you are doing what you were meant to do? How often have you or a friend complained of being in a certain line of work? Being unemployed can offer a unique window in time to think of new possibilities. Go online and search different jobs, read blogs about positions, expand your world, look at new schooling opportunities. Some of the most successful people in life are those who are willing to take new risks. Why can’t you be one of those people?
The Power of Positive Thinking
All of us can be tempted to feel insecure or not good enough at times, but these thoughts typically have no root in reality and are, simply put, rarely true. Each person has unique gifts and talents. As a result, the way a person views themselves often determines much of their future. I have seen time and again how the power of positive thoughts leads a person to a better life. Remember that unemployment is only a season of life. For some more thoughts on positive thinking, visit SuccessConciousness.com.
“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. With national unemployment hovering above 8% but employers still reporting significant trouble in filling open positions, it seems an apt description of the current labor market. We’ve heard the terms “talent mismatch,” “skills gap,” and “talent shortage” repeatedly in the news, and I’ve written on this before on Staffing 360. There is no shortage of stories on the topic. Recently, ManpowerGroup released the 2012 results of its annual talent shortage survey revealing that “49% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions” and CareerBuilder's new Talent Crunch Study reports that 38% have open positions for which they can’t find qualified people. Their study also highlighted some of the many reasons that companies should be concerned about those unfilled spots:
- 34% of those surveyed reported job vacancies led to low quality work because of overworked employees;
- 23% cited a loss in revenue;
- 33% of employers said vacancies have caused lower morale; and
- 17% saw higher turnover rates.
ManpowerGroup reports that in the US the top 10 hardest jobs to fill were:
- Skilled Trades
- IT Staff
- Sales Representatives
- Accounting & FinanceStaff
- Machinists/Machine Operators
If you are a business person you are no doubt aware of these challenges and looking for solutions. Both Manpower and CareerBuilder offer some advice. CareerBuilder’s study reports that half of employers of all sizes are planning to hire workers who don't have specific industry experience and train them and 31% plan to cross-train current employees. Those surveyed have or are considering offering flexible hours (25%), higher salary (22%) and remote work options (15%) in order to attract the talent they need. This article from biztimes.com highlights what Manpower and others refer to as “teachable fit” where employers identify promising candidates or employees, who may not be a perfect fit right now, but who have the potential, with training, education and time, to grow into the position.
If you are a regular reader then you know that I am certainly one who has advocated that businesses must recognize “the perfect” rarely exists. In past columns I’ve called on both employers and workers to invest in education and said that a commitment to ongoing training is necessary if they want to remain truly competitive. The results of these studies imply that more and more businesses are recognizing this and I hope that workers will recognize they must take advantage of these opportunities to advance their skills and knowledge.
Businesses must employ a variety of strategies to address talent acquisition issues. Savvy businesses know that contingent workers can be a good solution in many instances; augmenting your IT department with IT consultants may be the difference between success and failure. This Forbes article, Temps: 3 Reasons to Hire Them Right Now, nicely summarizes the benefits and I’ve talked about it before (Temporary Staffing’s Best Kept Secret). Author Kevin Kruse also rightly points out that whatever you call these workers “Temps. Contractors. Freelancers. Contingent Workers. Independent Professionals…businesses today are getting stuff done with non-permanent talent [with] some serious chops.” He calls them “super-skilled ninjas with advanced skills and strong work ethic” and based on many of the talented consultants at ATR, I have to agree!
Though you may think, and hope, that you are doing more with less, in truth, you are probably doing less with less. If you’ve got critical positions that remain unfilled, now might be the time to ask if you are fruitlessly waiting for the elusive perfect candidate when a teachable one is available. And you definitely don’t want to be waiting for a fairytale ending that never happens when ATR is ready to help you find what you need in a smart, dedicated consultant. We’re just a phone call or email away!
President and CEO
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Back in January we wrote a post titled 5 Keys to Looking for Work in 2012. In that post, we reported that the US economy had hit an inflection point. There were numerous signs that hiring was picking up and that hiring activity was only going to accelerate. As it turns out, those indicators were correct.
The most recent job numbers have surprised even the most optomistic of economists as U.S. job growth has been the strongest we've seen since 2006.
U.S. Manufacturing picks up in March
U.S. Unemployment Applications Drop to Lowest Level in 4 Years
U.S. Job Growth Widespread
Other secondary indicators of recovering job growth are starting to show up as well. Just last night on my way to the grocery store I heard an ad on the radio for open positions at Nvidia Corporation. It’s been years since I've heard or seen advertising targeted specifically at recruiting employees. In addition to this, the three major U.S. car makers all saw major sales increases in March. Both positive signs for a recovering economy and job growth.
Here at ATR international, we're seeing the effects of a recovering economy as well. Our clients are hiring, our recruiters are busy, and people are finding work. 2012 continues to look like the year our country makes major strides towards a recovery from one of the worst economic periods in recent history.
Director of Marketing