Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The new frontier

Well, it's that time again, I'm out on the market. And it sure is scary out there.

As someone who has kept a pulse on things over the last couple years (for both professional reasons as well as this blog), i was still unprepared for how dead things seem to be.

Unfortunately, like many others out there who are industry journeymen who are targeted by companies like ITS, I find myself in a dead-zone between traditional recruiters who are focussed on staff-level jobs and executive recruiters who target senior and executive management jobs. And in an economy like this, there are staff level jobs are out there (compensation is falling - or at least not keeping up with cost of living) but the senior management jobs are getting very "selective." That's code for: unless you have an absolutely killer resume, we're not going to waste anyone's time...

The point of painting that picture is that there is an even greater demand for the kind of services that ITS markets. And i sense that job seekers are more and more desperate; so ITS is probably able to do a pretty brisk business still. My current job search combined with the feedback i get on this site has me wondering what other legitimate avenues exist for a seasoned job-seeker.
Not to be all doom and gloom. One bright spot I've seen is that one site out there does more than just passively present information. I've been impressed with what my experience so far with The Ladders. [Disclosure: i have absolutely NO affiliation with the ladders other than having my resume there and being signed up for their $30 per month service which i intend to keep till I've been at a new job for a couple months...]

The Ladders targets specific markets and types of jobs (specific industries and jobs over 100K per year). They offer a lot of other services at reasonable prices and you can pick and choose. I had them do a free resume review (which i knew up front was inviting them to offer to rewrite it for me for a fee...) However i was impressed that the review was extremely detailed and specific to my resume - like 4 screens full. Whoever did it put in at least an hour of dedicated work and knew their stuff (experts may disagree on what is the right way to write a resume but having read enough of them myself i can tell the difference between boiler plate advice and thoughtful opinion.) And on top of all that, i got an actual phone call from the reviewer saying they were about to send it out and to call if i had any questions.

Add to the the job listing was pretty well matched for what i am looking for - and while i know there are many others out there competing for the same jobs (it's not like I've found some secret cache of jobs) at least i am able to spend my time on competing for the jobs i want rather than spending my time to even find what I'm looking for.

With all that said, I'm finding that my best sources are recruiters that I've worked with before (that is, I've hired people from them) and my professional network. This all leads me back to my original question - is there anything new out there. What I'm seeing is just reformulations of the same old recruiting and job search systems that have been around (and been pretty inefficient from both an employee and employer point of view). And with the decimation of internal HR departments, and the "race-toward-the-bottom" with recruiters, the whole process seems more and more like a crap-shoot with little a candidate can do to "work the system." With all the neat new online services over the last 10 years (Facebook, Twitter, eBay), does anyone see something new coming on the job-finding front?

Just wondering?

Ooops... Accidently rejected some comments

In an accident i can only blame on lack of coffee, the moderator of this site (me) accidentally rejected some comments. What happened is that i was going through removing duplicates of recently added comments (double clicking submit isn't very cleanly handled by the interface i guess as this happens to 1 in 10 posts...) And i ended up rejecting 6 additional comments.
so if you've placed a comment on this site in the last week or two and don't see it published, i apologize for the mishap. (or rather that missing coffee apologizes!)
At any rate, if you still wish that lost comment to show up, please resubmit it and i will make sure that i am properly caffeinated before moderating in the future.