Jobs Outlook for 2015

According to economists, the job market will continue to strengthen in 2015.

Paul Davidson, in an article in USA Today wrote:

A strengthening labor market will not let up this year, economists say, with job growth approaching or exceeding the estimated 15-year high reached in 2014.

Later in the article, Davidson writes:

This year, many economists expect low gasoline prices and rising household wealth to drive consumer spending, offsetting weakness overseas and helping the economy to grow at least 3%, vs. an estimated 2.4% in 2014.

That, along with more bullish employers, should power average monthly job gains to 250,000 to 300,000, says Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for The Economic Outlook Group.

This is definitely the type of news we all enjoy hearing….

Power Pose before an Interview

Your mother’s advice to stand up straight turns out to be good advice after all.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal:

“New research shows posture has a bigger impact on body and mind than previously believed. Striking a powerful, expansive pose actually changes a person’s hormones and behavior, just as if he or she had real power.”

And the changes a person experienced were not simply how they felt. There were measurable differences in the study subjects hormone levels.

The article goes on to state:

“Merely practicing a “power pose” for a few minutes in private—such as standing tall and leaning slightly forward with hands at one’s side, or leaning forward over a desk with hands planted firmly on its surface—led to higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in study participants. These physiological changes are linked to better performance and more confident, assertive behavior, recent studies show.”

According to Dana Carney, who is an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business:

”Striking a powerful pose can reduce symptoms of stress.”

What does this research mean for job seekers?

Amy Cuddy, an associate professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, addressed this very issue in a study she led to see how adopting a “power pose” could impact the performance of interviewees. According to her study:

“…participants who struck power poses for several minutes before beginning a mock job interview received better reviews and were more likely to be chosen for hire—even though the evaluators had never seen them in the poses.”

So next time, before a big meeting or an interview, make sure you stand up straight and a adopt a “power pose”.

You will find that your Mom was right after all.

The Resume Black Hole – Part 2

I posted about the Resume Black Hole a few weeks ago – but I found another article that I had saved on this topic – so I thought I would revisit it.

Candidates always tell me that they often feel when they apply on-line that their submissions get lost in the Resume Black Hole.

Well – this article from the Wall Street Journal by Lauren Webber will do little to alleviate their fears.

The article is from 2012 – but based on comments I have received from candidates recently – the figures quoted in the article appear to still be pretty accurate.
You can read the article here.

Lauren writes:

Résumé overload isn’t just a big-company problem. Job seekers often are surprised when they don’t hear back from small businesses. These businesses rarely hire enough people to make an applicant-tracking system cost-effective, but even a one-time posting on a well-trafficked job board like can garner hundreds of responses.
Only 19% of hiring managers at small companies look at a majority of the résumés they receive, and 47% say they review just a few, according to a recent survey by Information Strategies Inc., publisher of Your HR Digest, an online newsletter.

These are pretty daunting statistics for job seekers….

Bottom line – Networking – whether using your own contacts or the contacts of a 3rd Party (e.g. a Recruiter) remains by far the most effective way to get an interview.

The Importance of Talent

I came across an interesting post on the Wall Street Journal site on how ‘Talentism’ is replacing Capitalism.   You can read the article here.

The post quotes Dr.Klaus Schwab (founder of The World Economic Forum), who stated at the opening of the 2013 event in Davos:

“Capital is being superseded by creativity and the ability to innovate – and therefore by human talents – as the most important factors of production. Just as capital replaced manual trades during the process of industrialization, capital is now giving way to human talent. Talentism is the new capitalism.”

The author goes on to write:

“Bob DeRodes, executive vice president and chief information officer for Target Corp., agrees. ‘In my 40 years in information technology,” Mr. DeRodes says, “I have never seen the battle for talent more heated than it is right now.” Asked why, he says, “It’s because more companies realize that technology talent is make-or-break in today’s world.’ “

Great business leaders have always understood the importance of Talent. Alfred Sloan, former head of General Motors once famously quipped:

“Take my assets, leave my people, and in 5 years I will have it all back.”

Bottom line:

No matter how well crafted company’s business model is, no matter how brilliantly conceived a company’s Manufacturing process is, they are worthless without the right people to implement them.

Superior talent always wins in the end.



Monkeys Reading Resumes

A couple of years ago, I read a very interesting post over on the Executive Career Coaching blog.  The post is still online.  You can read it here.

In the post, Carl Schumacher writes that you should write your resume as if a monkey was going to read it.

Carl writes,

“If you were driving down the street and you saw a Billboard but you couldn’t make out what it said because the worlds were too small and the message was hidden in a thousand words, you would probably not understand it or crash your car trying to figure it out.
But on the other hand, if it said “EAT AT JOE’S” there would be no mistaking the message.

So is my message when referring to your resume. If you were trying to show something to a monkey you wouldn’t do it quietly or subtlety. You would be obvious about what you were doing. You’d talk simple to a monkey — Monkey want a Banana? Monkey want a toy? — straight forward and obvious.”

Carl makes an excellent point.

Too often I have had tremendously qualified candidates write resumes that are vague or do not spell out in detail what their accomplishments are. The candidates try to be subtle in their approach. When I ask them to provide more detail or be more direct in their resume, the candidates will literally reply….”Well, the Hiring Manager will know what I mean.” or ” Any one who is in the industry will know that I have that type of instrumentation experience. I don’t have to spell it out on the resume.”

But that type of thinking is just plain wrong.

When you are writing a resume, you do have to be specific.
You do have to provide details.
You have to be simple and direct.

Or, as Carl Schumacher so aptly puts it….you gotta assume the person reading your resume is a monkey!!

The Resume Black Hole

I read an article a few years ago that detailed how companies were trying to deal with the tremendous volume of Resumes that were flooding their various Applicant Tracking Systems.

The problem according to Jason Warner (who at that time was head of staffing for Online Sales and Operations at Google) is that:

“…it is now so easy to apply for a job that more people apply for many more jobs, which means that recruiting teams at companies across the world now have to review a significantly increased volume of unsuitable resumes, which creates monumental inefficiency in the overall system.”

In other words, when you submit your resume online, chances are it disappears into a Resume Black Hole.

The question therefore is how to get around this logjam of resumes? How does one get oneself noticed in a virtual sea of resumes and avoid getting lost in the Resume Black Hole?

The answer is fairly simple. The truth is – Nothing replaces the effectiveness of good Old-fashioned, Old School networking.

Malcolm Gladwell had written a column in the New Yorker that discussed this very topic.
In the column Malcolm discussed the work of well-known sociologist Mark Granovetter on the topic of networking in order to find a job. Malcolm wrote:

“…the best way to get in the door is through a personal contact. But the majority of those personal connections, Granovetter found, did not involve close friends. They were what he called “weak ties.” …People were getting their jobs not through their friends but through acquaintances.”

Using ‘weak ties’, whether through your own networking channels, or through a 3rd party’s network [i.e. Headhunter] will enable you to bypass the virtual mass of resumes in HR and at least enable you to get your foot in the door.

As the old saying goes, and it definitely bears repeating, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

Where The Jobs Are

Interesting post on Lifehacker regarding the Best Cities, States and Countries for New Jobs in the Next Quarter according to the Consulting Firm ManpowerGroup.
You can see the article here.

According to the post – the top cities and metro areas (also listed are the percentage of employers that are hiring in that area) include:

Cape Coral, Florida: 32%
McAllen, Texas: 29%
Deltona, Florida: 26%
Grand Rapids, Michigan: 26%
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 24%
Oxnard, California: 24%

Lifehacker also provides a link where you can read the full report.

So if you’re looking for employment – and are willing to relocate – the above areas might be good places to begin your search.



A couple of years ago I read an article by attorney Lori E. Iwan.

One of the topics she addressed was the importance of preparation for an attorney.

In her article she quotes Louis Nizer, “Preparation is the be-all of good trial work. Everything else – felicity of expression, improvisational brilliance – is a satellite around the sun. Thorough preparation is that sun.”

Then Lori goes on to add, “There is no substitute for preparation. Regardless of the number of associates and amount of technology surrounding you in the courtroom, ultimately you alone must stand in front of the jury to present the case,…”.

That very same principle [i.e. the importance of preparation] applies during the Interview process. When we are being interviewed, we find ourselves in a situation that is analogous to the one an attorney finds his or her self in. We stand alone before the interviewer – there is no where to run – no where to hide – And that is the wrong time to realize that you should have done your homework – That you just can’t rely on your ‘improvisational brilliance’ – That you should have prepared for the interview. Preparation really is that important.

In future posts, I will discuss the specific things a Candidate can do to prepare for their interview.

Welcome to my Blog!

I have been a active blog reader for years, spending countless hours reading other people’s posts and thoroughly enjoying the process.

And I had even made an earlier half-hearted attempt to start a blog before. But, because of work and family responsibilities, my blogging efforts were put on the back-burner.

However, I have decided to start blogging again. The reason for my change of heart is simple. I decided that I really wanted to provide a place where both Clients and Candidates can learn about my thoughts and my philosophy about Recruiting and Talent Acquisition. And a Blog is a place where you can write about and discuss topics in more depth and detail than you can during a normal workday phone conversation.

In this blog, I plan to write about issues that will be of interest to both the Job Seeker as well as the Hiring Manager.

Comments and feedback are always welcome.

Now, in the words of Jackie Gleason, “And away we go!!”