Well, the news is out and once again, I shake my head. Bloomberg reports that, according to the US Labor Department, jobless claims are at a 27-month high. Goobers! And I guess we can bank on that (or close our empty accounts) because, “Monster Worldwide Inc., the New York-based owner of the most-used Internet site for help-wanted advertising, said today its employment index declined in January to the lowest level in almost two years.” (Its “employment index”? Monster’s success rate at filling jobs sucks. Why do any statistics from Monster matter? Er, ah, it’s news.)
Just last week, Dell Computer announced there’s a talent shortage in the tech world — Dell can’t hire the people it needs. The Twin Cities — Minneapolis/St. Paul — say there’s a shortage of accounting workers. Vermont is facing a shortage of crisis proportions in its tourist industry. In Baltimore, it’s a shortage of medical workers — and not just doctors and nurses. The health industry can’t fill “well-paying technical jobs that don’t require as much post-high school education.”
Goobers. The news is nutty, and if you let it influence your own job-search efforts, you’re doomed. Your prospects have nothing to do with the economy, or with the job market, or with jobless claims. You don’t need one of the jobs that went poof last month for 10,250 more workers who are now on unemployment. You need one job. One job you can do profitably for one good company.
When I started out in the headhunting business, the woman who hired me into her search firm told me this: “Your job is to find great workers for our client companies, and to add new company clients to our roster. You will consider a lot of prospects. You will be told no every hour of the day, every day of the week. You will hear no all the time. It doesn’t matter. You need just one or two yeses each month to get on the road to success.”
It goes double for you if you’re job hunting. There are not 400 jobs for you. There might be a handful. So don’t waste your time on the slimy Monster trying to pick one of 30 million job postings off its back. Use your head. Look at the pariahs in the business world — the companies that are laying people off. Filter for the best ones, because the truth about speeding trains is, they’re not all going off the track. They’re slowing down, and in the process they’re picking up people they need to ensure their success next year.
Where are the jobs? You’re not going to find them on some dopey job board, because Monster’s product is not jobs. At Monster, the data base is the product. Monster doesn’t give a rat’s batootie whether you get a job. Monster’s “data” on the job market is about as meaningful as its 2% rate of filling jobs. And the message in both cases is the same: “Play the numbers, kids! Spin the wheel on the data base!”
Don’t go nuts with the news. The jobs are in the companies that continue to drive the economy. They’re in the companies that are hunkering down, tuning their businesses for the upturn. And they’re hiring.