HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY
LET’S FACE IT – the traditional approaches people use to search for a job are outdated and not helping the thousands who have been downsized in what is becoming one of Alberta’s worst ever recessions.
Many recruiting and outplacement systems are broken and simply not built to manage the huge candidate volumes of this downturn. The result is thousands of people playing the “job lottery”: submitting endless resumes and online applications. An approach built on “just hoping someone calls you back” is nothing more than an invitation to an endless game of frustration.
The situation is much worse for those who have been in an industry for so long they’ve become disconnected from the current realities of how to search for a job. And it’s not their fault. The truth is we’ve not properly equipped them for this environment, and many traditional job search services propel them only to further desperation, panic and fear.
There are thousands of skilled people in the labour force who are truly desperate to find a job. These are people who think that if they could just get in front of the decision makers, they would land their next opportunity.
They are 100% correct.
The fact is, EVERYONE has value - and a place - in this job market.
The challenge most people face is that they lack the access they need. An online job portal where you apply for a job along with 100 other desperate people is not access. It's hope. And hope is not a strategy. Certainly not in 2016, and especially not in Calgary.
And what about traditional headhunters? Yes, they can be useful. But they work for companies, not individual people who have lost their jobs.
So, as our local media continues to spill over with stories of rising suicide rates and families in crisis, we need a better way. These stories just highlight how overwhelmed the entire job search system is – not only for candidates, but also for employers. How can they possibly make the best decision on candidate selection when they're swamped with hundreds of applications for a job?
SO, WHAT SHOULD THE NEWLY DOWNSIZED DO?
Be SMART, STRATEGIC & PROACTIVE. Here’s how:
- Acquire an understanding of who you are, your value, and what you want;
- Develop a strong brand that illustrates your distinct value to your target market;
- Obtain access to senior decision makers, and a team to strategically market you to industry.
The closest thing to a workable model in this economy is what agents do for athletes or actors or writers.
These agents ensure someone is ready for market before they go to market. Then, they create the opportunities for their clients to meet key decision makers. Because agents build these high-level networks proactively - they know who is buying, what they're buying and how to match talent with buyers.
SO, WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF JOB SEARCH?
We believe it will start at the mid-to-senior professional level where, for example, a Director-level individual who has been laid off will have a team working for them to build their brand, to facilitate introductions, to directly market them to organizations and executive level decision makers.
At Higher Landing, we do this by providing our clients the opportunity to pitch themselves to a live panel of influential executives with expansive networks who are there to share their contacts and give back to the community. We call these executives our "Grizzlies".
In Calgary, we have been especially encouraged by how many senior decision makers are not just willing, but EXCITED to give back to the community and facilitate opportunities for talented people who need help – and access. There's a strong desire among our Grizzlies to help people get back on their feet, and we're excited to be a part of that.
The new reality of job search in 2016 is that you need to be SMART, STRATEGIC AND PROACTIVE.
So, remember your value, create a strong brand that has targeted market appeal, and appoint a team to proactively and strategically market you to industry.
And when you make it up the ladder, make sure to offer a helping hand to those still trying to make the climb.
Jackie Rafter, President
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have any questions about this sometimes daunting process of outplacement, transition and/or transformation, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the comments section below.