Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Employers Are Hiring And What You Should Do About It


There are three significant factors driving companies to hire in this market.

1. They are choosing now to innovate, expanding their capabilities and resources.

2. They are in turnaround and are looking for people to effect change.

3. They are taking the opportunity to upgrade their talent pool, snapping up better people who have become available.

These ideas were expressed to me by Allison Hemmings, founder of The Hired Guns, an agency that represents marketing, creative, media and technology people.

Asked which job seekers are finding success in this tough environment, Hemmings Google kids to the C-suite," and says, "if you have a strong digital portfolio, then people are definitely hiring."

So what does this mean for you? First you should look at the company you are applying to and figure out: do they want to turn things around, or do they want to innovate, or do they want better people than they currently have?

Then look at your own experience, capabilities and track record and see how you can best position yourself to meet their needs. This is a time when simple replacement hiring is rarely happening - there is almost always some forward-looking, larger agenda attached to each new salary budgeted. (A senior manager, complaining to me about some of her staff who are under-performing, said, "I would fire them like a shot, but I won't be allowed to replace them. So I keep them anyway.")

You must view yourself as the best in the world at your specific thing and tell your story in such a way as to convince an employer that you - and you alone - will fulfill their requirements, brilliantly able to do the job they need done and meeting their larger agenda as well.

Hemmings reminded me that about 80% of jobs are found through networking. That does leave some room for headhunters, and Hemmings recommends interviewing several recruiting firms to find a good match and someone who will be your partner in the search. She suggests using one of the big firms and supplementing it with one or two boutique headhunters who specialize in just the niche and company type you are interested in.

Michael Pollock is President of Pollock Spark ( www.pollockspark.com). He is an Executive Coach and Consultant to Creative and Media professionals. He works with people in film, TV, advertising, design, marketing, music and the Internet, bringing them the experience, techniques and inspiration to take their businesses and careers to new levels of success. © 2009 Pollock Spark

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