US employers continue to add more executive management jobs than they are eliminating as the American economy continues to emerge from recession, according to ExecuNet's latest Executive Job Creation Index data. In May, the number of companies adding new executive roles and "trading up" with new hires for existing management jobs was 28 points higher than the number actively reducing leadership head count, according to the survey of 185 executive recruiters. May ranked as the fifth consecutive month in which executive jobs were created, following a period of significant retrenchment by US employers and a difficult period for executive staffing levels.
By Suzanne Lucas full article found at bnet.com
Everyone knows it’s easier to find a job when you have a job. But, it looks like companies are now admitting their preferences and even excluding unemployed applicants altogether. Here’s a quote from an engineering job posting: “Client will not consider/review anyone not currently employed regardless of the reason.”
It’s not as big of a deal as everyone is making it out to be. There are a few companies that are trying to stem the tide of resumes by eliminating groups of people. I’m sure it’s true that the unemployed are more apt to send a resume for job postings for which they are not qualified. Stop doing that: You’re giving the rest of your unemployed friends a bad name.
Any smart company will be willing to look at people who are currently unemployed. I’ve been involved in the layoff of literally thousands of people. THOUSANDS. Some of those people were incompetent and we were happy to get rid of them. (Yeah, lady who called me to complain that her severance should be increased by two weeks because she had worked during leap year, I’m talking about you.) Most of them, however, were good people who we would have been happy to hire back if we had an available position for them. When a company is cutting a product, a facility, a function, or a group they are going to lose good people. And if your company is bought out, well the flood gates are open. Being in bad financial straits also necessitates the termination of good people.
There are advantages to hiring unemployed people. No lengthy delay for a start date. No non-competes to worry about. No fears of counter offers from the current employer.
But, how do you avoid the stigma of being unemployed? Well, some of it you absolutely can’t. Don’t try lying about your current employment status. You’ll get busted and could lose an offer. But, here are a few tips.
· Network, network, network. I guarantee that even if the staffing department has a lame requirement that you must be employed, if the hiring manager wants to hire you, it will be overridden. You need to network around the recruiters.
· Don’t apply for jobs you aren’t qualified for. I know you’re smart and you could learn to do the job, but if it requires a master’s degree and you don’t have one, don’t apply.
· Keep busy during unemployment. If I asked, “So what have you been up to in the 6 months since you were laid off?” and the answer is, “applying for jobs and eating Cheetos,” you’re not making it past the initial screening. Do, something, anything, related to your field. Go to a conference. Volunteer with your professional association. Call up your child’s teacher and say, “I’m an accountant. I’d was wondering if you’d like it if I came and did a presentation on how math applies in the grown up world.” And then make sure it’s a great presentation because if it is, the kids in your child’s class will go home and talk about that awesome Accountant, Clara’s dad. And who knows, their parents just may need an accountant.
· Stop the mindless applications. Before you send in that resume, research the company and write a quality cover letter. Be prepared on the off chance they call.
· Don’t answer the phone if you were asleep when it started ringing. Honestly, I understand. Some people are night people. If you don’t have to be to work, why not stay up late and get up at 10:00? Nothing wrong with that. But, if you get a phone call at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning and you answer with that groggy voice it’s not going to look good for you. Better to let voice mail get it and call back after you’ve sung a few verses of your favorite song to get the sleepiness out of your voice.
· Did I mention network? You have to get out there. You cannot survive unemployment without doing it. And if you are fortunate enough to be employed, think of your unemployed friends when a position opens up at your company.
Don’t panic when someone tries to tell you there is no hope. Yes, some companies are stupid, but you don’t want to work there anyway.
The answer may be simpler than one would expect: humans don’t like doing things that they are not great at, especially if there are grave consequences when executed poorly.
Hiring can make or break any business. This is especially true with small and medium-sized businesses. In general, most people are not very good at hiring employees. In fact, according to hiring expert Charles Handler, Ph.D.: on average, 45% of new hires leave in the first 6 months and 15% of new hires are fired within the first year. And if you thought that was bad, the harm that hiring mistakes can do to your business is much worse: wasted time, reduced morale, lost clients ... I could go on. In fact, employee turnover costs range from 1/2 to 5 times an employee's annual wages.*
How did hiring, as we know it, become so broken? Many experts believe it’s because hiring has become more of an administrative task than a strategic or managerial priority; a painful task that’s frequently delegated to an administrator, or a recruiter. Business leaders must become more invested in hiring, so they can avoid spending far more of their time and resources managing and firing. Here are some helpful tactics:
1) Focus On What’s Important:
Only you know what it is you are looking for, so make sure to prepare before you start hiring. One key thing to note is that it’s just as crucial to understand what isn’t important, as what is. Avoid becoming romanced by qualifications that are not relevant to getting the job done. Make sure you also have a good understanding of what sort of personality you’re seeking, because, as the old saying goes: you can train skills, but you can’t train fit.
2) Hiring Is Sales:
“When someone mentions the name of a person that they’ve worked with that they think is exceptional, a little clock starts ticking in my head. From when the clock starts, I give myself seven days to track them down, back channel, get them in for two series of interviews that are intense and focused, and make an offer and have them accept it.”
3) Become Good At Asking Questions and
Typically, even when employers do a good job of getting the right candidates to the table, they don’t prepare adequately for the interview. The interview is critical for avoiding a bad hire and ensuring you’ve got the right person. You can forget about trying to “fix” unfit employees after you hire them, because this is either impossible or a huge waste of time, no matter how strong a manager you are.
Avoid asking a standard set of questions. Instead, ask questions based on your candidate’s own strengths and weaknesses, compared to what’s required to successfully perform your unique job. Try to focus on areas where they appear to be weaker than others, or where their performance might derail while they are working for you. Make sure you keep digging when you ask your questions (ask “why” a lot), as this is your opportunity to really get to know this person before committing to them. You have to feel comfortable that you can live with all of your candidate’s weaknesses and that they won’t become obstacles that get the way of their success.
I’ve learned a great way to get some really honest responses is through difficult questions such as: “Who was your last boss? What will they tell me about your strengths and weaknesses when I call them this afternoon?” Another tactic is meeting with your candidate in a social setting (go for a drink with others, if you can) where they are more likely to be themselves.
Let me know how these tactics work for you and don’t be afraid to email be with any questions!
*Charles A. Handler, Ph.D. (2009) Using Technology to Support Informed Decision Making Within the Hiring Process.