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

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