Most of the time I talk with companies today all I hear them saying is “I want it, I want it, I want it” and I believe The Who had it right when they said “Can’t have it” because this is what recruiters need to be prepared to tell their unrealistic hiring officials and clients in today’s market.
All too many times we recruiters are talking to IT Managers and Human Resource professionals about the jobs they just can’t seem to fill only to hear them go on with a list of skills and abilities that are required for the job that borders on the ridiculous. Add to that the fact that they most likely aren’t willing to relocate, their salary is most likely not at current market rate and what you you end up with a job that is almost not fillable.
Unfortunately too many recruiters do one of two things. The first is what most junior recruiters do as they are just happy to take a job order and so they go off to recruit for it (I mean waste their time). The second way is for a more senior recruiter who knows it’s unrealistic but is unwilling to give their clients the facts of the market place and try to get them realistic. So instead they take the job order, but just don’t work it at all.
However, neither of these ways will help you make a placement or earn your customers respect for your market knowledge. So while they won’t like what you say or may not even believe what you say today….time and their inability to fill the position will prove you right. Allowing you at some future time (2 days, 2 wks or 2 months) to step back into the process gain some much needed flexibility in their hiring stance and hopefully be able to recruit a candidate that meets their realistic needs.
Well I heard it on the news today that US corporations are again asking the federal government to allow more visa’s for foreign workers at high level technical and various other professional positions (including IT roles). Sure I agree that there may in fact be “shortages” of people who have a specific IT skill sets, but what I don’t agree with is why we don’t have people with these skills or how companies currently hire. Here’s a good article on this topic from Fortune Magazine
Big business in the US was once heavily invested in training their employees. You know hire smart people and teach them to do the job you want, then allow them to grow, promote them into greater roles and low and behold it’s called a career path. Unfortunately companies view their employee (or as they like to call them now “human capital”) as replaceable as the rest of the population views their cell phones. It all really happened with the .com boom and subsequent bust. Most companies had training departments to turn new college grads into the IT resources they needed, but with the bust budgets had to be cut. So along with everyone beating down the same path to outsource their development staff almost all training teams were dismantled and removed from the budget and never to return.
So a little over a decade later and we’ve hit the bottom again and are now rebounding and US companies are looking to hire, but they all want to do it on the cheap. Everybody wants the underpaid genius, and trust me there aren’t that many out there. So when they inevitably post their job to the web and get a trail of the ½ qualified or overqualified respondents, well they really only have themselves to blame as they haven’t invested in their “human capital” as much as they think they have.
Making the placement process, specifically the offer process, all come together can be a delicate ordeal, but during the crunch time that was the holiday season can make it a potential nightmare if something goes wrong.
As a 3rd party recruiter I’m accustomed to sometimes having to push the process forward from time to time, but typically once a company has actually made an offer HR is all on board with the process and moving full speed ahead as to satisfy their customer (the hiring official) and their future employee.
Unfortunately what we just went through was far from ideal. Last month as we were closing two placements we seemed to have HR actually working against us. I know they weren’t, but the candidates and managers had agreed on start dates and drug tests, background checks, temporary living arrangements, TN visa’s and everything else needed to get done so that candidates could resign and give their two weeks notice. Unfortunately we had people who went AWAL for days during the process (when they were at the office), couldn’t get routine information to the candidate (a job description for the complete the Visa application) and even when they knew candidates were waiting on information proceeded to either not provide the information to them at all or sent it along the slowest path possible. So I ask where is the sense of urgency to get things done NOW?
I’ll chalk this experience up to the ending of a bad year and the holiday season crunch, and I’m hopeful that this is strictly an anomaly and not a trend with HR’s unwillingness or ability to work with outside agencies growing worse.
It funny how people get so anxious and nervous about interviewing. Sure the people you meet with during an interview aren’t people you know and it won’t be easy to judge the meaning of their words and inflections much less their body language, but is it really that different from what you do everyday?
In your current position you’re constantly making sure your boss, peers and clients/customers are pleased with your work, attitude and effort. So aren’t you really interviewing everyday by default? I certainly believe so, in fact I think if more people looked at their job in this light they may put in just a little more effort, be just a bit more attentive to the needs of their boss/peers/clients and maybe (just maybe) have that extra effort allow them to be just that more effective in the current job.
For months we’ve been talking with those unfortunate IT professionals that have been affected by the economic downturn through RIF, layoffs, outsourcing, etc. about being flexible in their search. Flexible in the type of work they’ll do, their commuting distance, the salary they’ll accept…and finally we told them to be flexible in where they live and that while selling a house may be daunting there career livelihood may depend on it. However, after hearing Paul Krugman speak last week I have a new appreciation to understanding why it’s both good for the candidate, but also good for the broader US economy as well.
As the Q& A session was about to come to an end Krugman answered a question about the pros and con’s of a single global currency. Now I won’t bore you with all the details, but in discussing the con’s he equated Spain with Florida (as they both had their real estate bubble’s burst) and that Spain will have many years of deflation due in part to a single EU currency, their inability to devalue their currency and other social, cultural and language barriers preventing them from moving to other EU countries while Floridians can simply pick up and move to areas of the US with more job opportunities and growth.
So if you find yourself unemployed (or underemployed) do what’s good for you and your country and move.