More than twenty million Americans will attempt to find a new job or change their job, industry or career over the next year. Many more will attempt to start or buy a business. They will do so in the most competitive job market of this century. The layoffs in many major industries coupled with increasingly large numbers of post graduate and college-educated professionals entering the work force have significantly heightened the level of effort required to effect a career transition.
TMI Executive Resources (http://www.TMIer.com), a firm providing outplacement and career consulting services to thousands of clients around the globe, strives to help job seekers better understand today’s job market by offering insight on two traditional (and unsuccessful) job seeking approaches.
For most job seekers, classified advertisements seem to represent the largest single source of job opportunities available. The reality is quite different. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that only very small percentage (about 10 percent) of executive and professional positions are filled through advertisements in newspapers and other publications or on the Internet. Why? Newspaper advertising is extremely expensive. An average size ad in most local newspapers costs hundreds of dollars. A similar ad in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal would cost thousands! Most employers would prefer to avoid these expenses. Given the turnover rate in most companies, the cost of advertising for every available opening would be prohibitive.
Why is responding to ads unproductive for most job seekers? Essentially, it is a numbers game. In many cases, “classifieds” will generate hundreds of responses, yet all but one candidate will be rejected. If there is one candidate who has a more “directly transferable experience base” than you, he/she will win.
Agencies and Search Firms
A major misconception exists in the minds of most job hunters regarding the role of employment agencies and executive search firms. In his book, Executive Search: Gateway to the Best Talent for Your Business, Charles Polachi sums it up this way: “We don’t find jobs for people, we find people for companies. People think I’m in the business of making their next job change; I’m not.” One of the largest executive search firms in the country states that in the late 1980’s and 1990’s the recruiting industry filled about 7 percent of all executive, managerial, and sales positions, which is a sharp drop from the nearly 13 percent in the 1970’s. Many companies have neither the personnel nor the time to acknowledge many of the unsolicited contacts. A job hunter should not ignore employment agencies or search firms, but should put the agency’s role in the proper perspective – which is helping companies find people.
According to TMI, most people do best in the employment markets by finding what are referred to as private openings, positions that are about to become available or positions that could be created. These types of opportunities may be found by using a strategy that combines networking, consulting, industry/professional associations, search firms and the Internet.
The rewards are great for the job hunter who can find these private openings because you practically eliminate the competition and get to interact most with decision makers. Very often you are instrumental in writing your new job description and you have much more leverage when negotiating a compensation package.
Tom McNeil, the company’s president explained, “Most people will take a traditional and ultimately frustrating approach to changing jobs or seeking entrepreneurial ventures. After preparing a resume, they will usually answer several advertisements, contact a few agencies and
recruiters, and ask their friends to ‘keep their eyes and ears open.’ Others will write directly to companies or ‘knock on doors’ and then wonder why nothing happened. Most people seriously over estimate their knowledge of job changing, and few subjects are more vital to a person’s livelihood and overall quality of life.”
TMI Executive Resources is a worldwide organization that provides professional career consulting and career management services as well as entrepreneurship consulting to executives. Founded in 1986, TMI has provided services to over 4,000 clients around the world and has grown to six locations on the East Coast. TMI headquarters is located at 20 William Street, Suite 100 in Wellesley, MA. The company has offices in Boston and Springfield, MA; Hartford, New Haven and Stamford, CT and Washington DC. For more information, contact 877-864-3932 or visit their website at TMIer.com.