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.

  1. I completely agree. It’s stupid to base expectation on Monster, or any one source. Economic trends are supposed to come from, oh, say, actual sources, such as unemployment claims, a government source. Hmm. In the market I’m in, jobs are practically thrown at you, and you can market yourself fairly well, and the competition is almost fun!

  2. Quite agree Nick but it still amazes me how many people rely on these job sites to get the perfect job…We are now starting a workshop to help people understand how to market them selves…any advice would be great or maybe you could come and give a session for us

  3. This is Eddie’s therum of human resources recruiting. The availability of talent is directly proportional to the compensation,benefits and stability offered.

    Eddie’s collary is the level of hiring is in inverse proportion to the to the compensation,benefits and stability offered

  4. Yes – and immigration is an issue…..they say we will need 800,000 more nurses by 2020 and the situation is acute in many areas even today. And the same with Doctors.

    People are complaining that there are no jobs??? I see hard working immigrants from many places like Ireland/Poland/Serbia/Korea/Ghana/China….and these people are truly exceptional workers. Some are working construction – doing roofing and outdoor construction work when it the wind chill is -25….and are happy to do it. They appriciate the freedoms and opportunities that this country has to offer. And they often work extra hours….as they would have been doing back home – but with much less reward/consideration/satisfaction.

    Don’t believe half of the news you read. No wonder print editions of news publications are going the way of the dinosaur.

  5. I did land my current position by posting my resume briefly onto Monster.com where a headhunter found me.

    I made it clear what my expectations for a new job would be after reading Nick’s book. The headhunter promptly bought Nick’s book and read it.

    After he read it…he asked me to kindly not mention it others because it tells to many secrets:)

    Thanks Nick – your the best!

  6. Nick,

    I have been making a career transition after the consolidation monster ate my business. I spent the first few months working the Monster et al job boards. I soon realized I was investing an enormous amount of time and energy for absolutley no return.

    Now I focus my efforts on finding the good companies to work for and marketing myself to them directly.

    I joined a job club and your newsletter is frequently referenced to answer difficult questions.

  7. Job boards, schmob-boards! Whatever it takes to get the job of your dreams is what you should be doing 90% of the time. Job boards serve a purpose in the unemployment race. But, they are not the end-all, magic bullet that will save you from having to do the necessary homework in securing your next position. As ATH has repeatedly pointed out, the job is in the hidden market. The hidden market is not found on job boards. Getting up out of your chair, going into the world to meet with professionals in your industry is where to find the hidden market’s jobs. Painful as it sounds and may be to do, it’s all in networking, face to face. And, now we have this blog to help us along our way. Looking forward to it. Thanks, Nick!

  8. That Dell article is from 2002, Nick. In fact, Dell has plenty of disposable “talent” that they are getting rid of. Copy and paste the link below or click my name for a more recent article.


  9. Charles,

    Goobers indeed! You’re right! The reference to Dell is from a 2002 article. My fault — it came up in a search for companies complaining about lack of talent, but I missed the date on that one. And you’re right: Dell is now laying people off. I’m eating a few words…

  10. Just to let you known that even monster known they suck, because they used recruiter to hire their own people.
    In 2006 I met a recruiter, that obviously asks me to keep the information confidential.