Embracing The OTHER Job Market
August 5, 2008
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Bob Maher, CMF
Bob Maher, CMF
Career Management Consultant, Maher Associates
In every marketplace, there are buyers and sellers. In the traditional job market, the one that our Department of Labor measures for us, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers. The commodity is productive work and the competition is fierce.

In the OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process. When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek. Thus the employer must sell their company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot. Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services. Consider the following comparison…

The “Traditional” JOB Market

Characterized by “requisitioned” jobs being filled by chosen job seekers.
Jobs rigidly defined by requirements and qualifications…reflected by the screening process aimed at identifying key candidates.
Process overseen by human resource professionals, regulated to consider minimally qualified candidates, hopefully within salary guidelines.
Job seeking public is screened for most desirable candidates.
Screening defined by keywords, often accomplished through computer/Internet job banks
Recruitment process subject to scrutiny of regulation and political correctness.
Actual selection still subject to formal process and subjective choice.

The OTHER Job Market

Characterized by available/needed work being fulfilled by job seekers, contractors, internal candidates, third-party consultants, retirees, part-timers, temporary workers, etc.
“Jobs” more loosely defined by subjective work expectations, defined by mutual agreement, fulfillment of need or contract…reflected through the identification of qualified candidates.
Process directed by hiring authorities seeking best available talent at marketplace salary expectations.
Qualified and available candidates are sourced and recruited, often through process of endorsement or internal referral.
Screening accomplished by word of mouth and endorsement, often supplementing the organization’s formal process of recruitment.
Often selection process has occurred before active recruitment has been fully engaged.
Actual selection often a rubber stamp formality to satisfy regulation requirements.

On the other hand, if an individual is under-employed, seeking a change, or actually unemployed, they must be visible to potential employers who are seeking their services. Creating this visibility is strategic, personal market planning and execution—in can be marketability without rejection! Personal marketing is a contact sport.

The Evolution of a Job…

In The Traditional JOB Market

NEED IDENTIFIED: Replacement jobs often redefined. No definition to a new need.

WORK ANTICIPATED: Discussion leads to decisions on job definition.

JOB REQUISTION WRITTEN AND APPROVED: Job requirements must be defined…expectations creep into the recruitment process.

JOB is “Open”: Job Requirements are often refined based on market feedback.

JOB is published: Job requirements and qualifications define the screening process.


In The OTHER Job Market

NEED IDENTIFIED: No competition.

WORK ANTICIPATED: Often job parameters are set based on market feedback.

JOB REQUISTION WRITTEN AND APPROVED: Internal candidates often get priority in employment process.

JOB is “Open”: Internal and external candidates compete for the same jobs.

JOB is published: Maximum competition!


Standing Out in the “Sea of Unwashed Faces”

Create an expectation of who you are and what you can do for your next employer by clearly positioning and targeting your collateral materials, both written and verbal. When stating your career objective, clearly state your appropriate work and make an offer of your services. Which of the following might be attractive to your next boss?

A “Traditional” Job Seeker might write…

OBJECTIVE: Experienced technical professional seeking a challenging and responsible management role for a growth motivated firm in the Dallas area.

Where a “highly qualified professional with potential for success in the needed work” might position and target themselves as…

Senior Technical Manager
Strategic Planning… Program Analysis… Project/Operations Management... High Level Design… Project Review… System Integration

Resourceful Technical Management professional with over fifteen years of progressively accountable experience in the integration and implementation of leading edge technical projects, services, and products. Consistently beat time, quality and cost requirements on complex, multi-million dollar installation projects.

The one thing you’ll need to know, and understand HOW to execute, for the rest of your career…Never be a JOB-hunter again! It’s muck more effective to be an interested, available and highly marketable professional. Always seek a good career “FIT.” Now, go find yourself an employer!

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