Friday, April 6, 2007

The New Language Employment Market Language.

There have been several strong employment markets over the past few decades, but none with the need and urgency for talent as we are experiencing across Canada.

The labor market situation is so frantic that both sides of the hiring table are developing a new language to explain their situation. Understanding what each side is saying with this new language will give employers and jobseekers a huge advantage.

Recently, I spent the day at a Massive trade show featuring several hundred companies showcasing their products and services. Every manager I spoke confirmed their struggles to find talent . At the same show, I met hundreds of professionals looking for a new career. Each group answered questions in a new language created by their experiences in this labor market. A language filled with excitement, frustration, confusion and contradictions.

Here are a sampling of questions and answers by employers and job-seekers

My Q@A with Employers and Hiring Managers.

Q: What is the greatest challenge facing your company.
“We just can’t find the enough talent. We have a staff of 10 and we need 400 by next month. But we’re so busy, it’s crazy. We are trying so many different ways to find talent”

Q: Really, what are you doing?

“We put ads in papers, working with recruiters, attending career fairs and giving our employees a bonus if we hire their friends or family.” Oh and we bought this neon yellow sign that spins on our front lawn hoping that the right talent drives by is enticed by a spinning sign saying ‘We are Hiring’

Q: What budget have you allocated for your hiring needs?
“Oooh, we don’t really have much of a budget. The yellow sign kinda was a unexpected expense.

Q: But I thought hiring talent was your number one problem facing your company?
“No kidding, …“We just can’t find the enough talent. We have a staff of 10 and we need 400 by next month. But we’re so busy it’s crazy. We are trying so many different ways to find talent” ….

Here’s what jobseekers can learn from this madness and contradiction
Figure out who you want to work for. Do some research and create a top ten list of companies you want to work for. Don’t worry if the company doesn’t have a job posted or a sign on their lawn. In this labor market assume they’re hiring. Send a letter to management expressing your interest and how you intend to bring value. Assume that they have been too busy to find you. Go find them!

My Q@A with Job-Seekers.

Q: It’s a vibrant job market, what kind of exciting career are you looking for?
“I’d like a challenge. I’d like something that will utilize my skills and experiences”.

Q: Really, but what would you love to do? It’s a great market for jobseekers. What’s going to get you excited about getting up in the morning and going to work.

(With a little more excitement) “ I’d love to find a challenging position, I would love a career that utilizes my skills and experiences. Oh, I’m also great people person, and a team player”

Q: What are your salary expectations?

We’ll, I’m making 50K now, If I would need at least 50K , but I’d like move up to 55K

Q: But, it’s a red hot, tight labor market! Every employment market advantage is tilted to the advantage of the job seeker.

You’re right! At least 55K and parking, yeah parking. I’ve always wanted parking!
Translation for employers.

Job seekers are seeking fit and respect and not necessarily more income. They want a company that not only says that people are their greatest asset but acts like it.
There is still a ton of talent looking for the right place, but this talent can’t find your company because you have not drastically changed your strategy to find them. With the right recruitment strategy, there is no labor market shortage.

Oh, and take the spinning neon sign off your lawn.

Minto Roy
PCMG Canada / Careers Today Canada

Vancouver, B.C. Canada

One Very Important thing you should now about Hiring Managers.

Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Hiring Managers have one important common trait when it comes to hiring.

Learning this commonality about how hiring managers think will give average jobseeker a huge advantage in competitive market.

For years, I 've worked with thousands of professionals on their career search, I have gained tremendous insight, real ideas and powerful strategies on how to differentiate someone from the competition. I have also recognized a common trait possesed by most jobseekers. This common trail is job searching not fun, it's frustrating.

Well, if you think finding a new job is not fun. Try hiring and finding talent in a hot job market.

Working in recruitment has given me a deep understanding about the hiring process from the employer's side. Through discussions with thousands of entrepreneurs and hiring managers I have come to realize another overwhelming common trait. It might surprise you to learn that even though hiring managers and jobseekers sit on opposite sides of the corporate table, they feel the exact same way about the whole hiring process.

Hiring managers don't enjoy the process of hiring new staff. It's not fun, it's frustrating and very expensive.

Most job-seekers drudge the the various aspects of finding a new career; polishing the resume, looking through the internet, newspapers, networking with strangers, handle mulitple rejections and dealing with the unemployment stigma.

These same rings to true for hiring managers. Hiring is frustrating. Managers candidly inform me about their added stress with the time requirements, the process and the expense of finding new talent. There are alot of common feelings of frustration between the jobseeker and the hiring manager.

Most companies today, simply delegate the responsibility of hiring to a departmental manager. This manager must then add on the hiring responsibility to their already busy work schedule.

Think about it. "Bob" the manager of an IT department needs a software developer. Beyond his regular 40-50 hours a week, Bob must now add on the responsibilty of posting, recruiting, screening resumes, conducting multiple interviews with strangers and presenting offers. Bob has to add of another 10 hours a week onto his already busy work schedule. That's time away from his regular duties, his family life, and his personal time. He's not terribly excited about that.

Perhaps, some larger companies have dedicated Hr. Departments or recruiters assisting them, but not most. Eighty to Ninety percent of all new hires are hired by small to medium size companies.
These companies dedicate the responsibility to a manager or the owner simple does it. That means, managers like Bob, work more hours when the company needs new employees. Furthermore, Bob is going to work those extra hours until he finds the right employee.

So here's one important thing that you know and remember when your conducting a career search.

Like most jobseekers, the vast majority of hiring managers want to get the hiring process over with as quickly as possible.

You can truly utilise this insight by focusing on closing the hiring deal sooner with employers. Seek closure after you've been nterviewed. If you've done all the right things in targeting a new career opportunity; you've done the research, you've prepared a great proposal based on the company's requirements, you've nailed the interview and recieved great feedback, then ask for the job! Close the deal with the confidence of knowing that both sides want to get the hiring process over with. The average job seekers rarely attempts to close the hiring deal. With you new awareness be assured that the hiring manager want to hire the right candidate as quickly as possible.

Job-seekers concentrate to much focuses on bettering their competition. The true focus should rest on understanding the mindset and frustrations of the hiring manager. Solve their problems and they will solve your career problems.

Try saying this at the end of your next job interview;

"Bob, thank's for your time and candid conversation today. It's great to confirm that your company is infact an organization that I can see a great future with. I hope I have showcased the amount of value and effort that I would bring this position. I am confident that I am the right fit. What is the next step to move this forward to the offer stage."

If you can do the job and put in the right effort then give Bob a chance to decide. Remember, the Bob's of the world want you their life back.

Minto Roy
PCMG Canada Careers Today Canada

Vancouver, B.C. Canada


First off, let's be honest.

The employment market within IT jobs is rebounding, slowly.

We still have however, thousands of IT professionals, managers and skilled workers, out of work or underemployed. These individuals would have never dreamt 5-6 years ago during the I.T. boom, that they would be unemployed for a single day.

Remember the days when all you had to do was post your resume on Monster or Workopolis and employers would scurry to entice you to their Folks the world has changed.Martha Stewart went to jail. Schwarzenegger is the Governor of California and a shoe box in Yaletown is worth 400K. The process of securing career employment has also changed. Six-Seven years ago there were more jobs than technical people. The tech. community walked around with a level of casual arrogance that comes from being chased and never having to chase.
I meet many talented people who don't know how to chase great jobs. I tell them to look around, no-one is chasing you. No-one is around the corner and no-one is waiting for you.
Goblal changes, increased competition and leaner business models have caused a drastic shift in the way professionals need to approach the employment market. However, with the right approach, there is alot of great opportunities out there. But how do you know if you have the right strategy to land that great job?

Well, here's a great test that will test your career search strategy.

Before taking the test however, put some contest of what your result will affect. For instance, priorities in life are crucial, like most people our families and our health are #1. And again, like most people 1B represents our careers. Simply, most of us spend at least 8-10 hours a day of our life working. Everything we do at work provides for the health and economic well being of our families. Like it or not the right job makes a world of difference for you and those in your life.So with the realization, start the survey.

Each question is to be answered on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the highest grade. Please answer and total for the following 4 questions out of 40.Remember, if you are seeking new employment, then you are the product in a very competitive market of job seekers. So please take a moment to really think about these questions and be honest. The only person you are going to fool is yourself. I will, at the bottom of this article give you the average total score from professionals I have interviewed from my 10 years of working with professionals helping them secure their next career.

Question #1. On a scale of 1-10, what is your level of awareness of opportunities of professionals of your skills? (For instance, how many openings do you know about that are definite? How many opening do you know about that are in the works, etc...?)

Question#2.On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you with your knowledge of your market value. Not just estimate based on your last job. (We know you earned $90K in your last job, but for G-d's sake you've been unemployed for 6 months and have sent out 300 resumes and now call yourself a consultant and the next change to your cv will be an address change back to your parents house). How well do you know what your worth? Salary, benefits, vested stock options, future options, vacations, further education, etc.?

Quetion#3. On a scale of 1-10 How strong are your interview skills and strategy. Think about competing with 10 other people with similar skills going into an interview competing for one job. How well do you interview? I am not counting the fact that during a one hour meeting you can tell employers about what they already know from your resume; your work history, that your a team player, that your looking for a challenge and technology is your life. I am talking about your ability to market yourself with strategic information and a plan to set yourself apart from the 9 other candidates.

Question #4. On a scale of 1-10, what is the level of your contacts in your target market or industry? For example, if your looking for a job at 50-70K, how many people do you know over 100k that are in managerial positions in companies that would meet you or potentially hire you?

How did you do? These questions are not designed to be easy. I have found in life that humility is the first step to succeeding towards the next level. So, now that you've been honest and answered these questions, what's your score out of 40? Most people realize during this survey that they really don't have a great strategy for 1B in their life. And think about this. Those questions relate to marketing any product. How well do you know the product? Who needs this product? How does this product differ from similiar products? How well can I communicate the value differences of this product? Who do I know wants to buy this product? What's the product worth if someone does want to buy it? I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of professionals at all levels during my career. The vast majority score between 10-15 out of 40. Actually the higher I seem to go up in the corporate ladder the lower the score admited by the professionals. CEO & VP's invariably score between 10-12. Simply speaking, they know that their competition is equally impressive. They are extremely ready to admit where they are weak and get help. That is the basis of all success in life.I will follow-up this article next week with some concrete ideas and strategies on how to secure new opportunities in the employment market. There is no magic pill coming, these ideas will require; research, diligence, practice and consistency, but they will work. I welcome you to try the ideas and give me feedback. After all, it's only your life.

Minto D. RoyPresident/CEO
PCMG Canada/Careers Today Canada