Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Is There Hope Around the Corner?

The nation’s unemployment rate fell in July for the first time in 15 months as employers cut fewer jobs than expected.

In July, the U.S. Department of Commerce said the economy shrank by 1 percent from April to June as opposed to 6.4 percent from January to March.

With indications that the economy is stabilizing, the obvious question is, “When is the right time to start hiring?”

The answer is not so obvious, but according to a recent survey by Careerbuilder.com and staffing company Robert Half International, four in 10 employers plan to hire contract, temporary or project workers, and another four in 10 will be hiring part-time employees in the next 12 months.
And that’s good news.

Since July, we have seen an increase – though slight – in the number of local businesses requesting temporary and permanent workers. Temps are usually a barometer for a better employment market and Westchester County appears to be experiencing a slight uptick, with businesses trying to stabilize and looking to return to previous production and revenue levels. Because there is still widespread unemployment, the glass is not exactly half-full.

Nonetheless, this promising news comes just when we need it most as many job seekers, unemployed for several months, have moved from eager to desperate. Despite the job pool, employers continue having a hard time finding skilled professionals for open positions according to the Careerbuilder.com/Robert Half survey. Employers said on average most of the resumes they receive are from unqualified candidates.

There are a million reasons why job applicants respond to positions that they are unqualified for. Perhaps they want to break into a new industry, turn a hobby into a paycheck or move up in title – or perhaps they are just so desperate to work again they apply for the vice president position when their highest level attained has been manager. Won’t hurt, right?

For PNT Marketing Services Inc., a provider of data-driven marketing services with offices in Valhalla, Long Island City and McLean, Va., the search to find a qualified candidate to fulfill a senior position has been a difficult task with applicants overselling themselves on resumes and not paying attention to the very specific requirements posted to job boards on Dice.com and Hotjobs.com.

“People are ignoring the basic requirements on a job ad and using a shotgun approach just on the off chance that something might come out of it,” said co-CEO Tony Coretto.
This slight quickening in the employment market is a pivotal time for job seekers and businesses alike. Applicants need to be at the top of their game, setting aside the desperation and depression of unemployment to focus on interview preparation, tailored resumes, tapping resources, researching prospects and answering the right job ads.

For the small- to mid-sized business owner who is juggling many functions and looking to hire in the next 12 months, the recruitment process won’t be easy. Owners need to redefine their job specs and hone in on exactly what type of person they are looking for. Don’t let the deep talent pool fool you into thinking the perfect employee is in the stack of 250 resumes. And if that perfect person isn’t found, you’ll pour through 500 more resumes. You may not find anyone perfect, but you may find someone who fits your organization, helping you work toward your goals with creative problem-solving and the right skill set and experience level.
Rich Greenwald, a careers and staffing consultant, is owner of The Concorde Group in White Plains, N.Y.

No comments:

Post a Comment