Breaking the ice in the hiring freeze
January 15, 2009

Finding a position that fits is difficult during a recession, but not impossible.

Finding a position that fits is difficult during a recession, but not impossible.

It is two weeks into 2009 and I am among the 11.1 million unemployed citizens in the United States.  I began my job search nearly two months ago.  The close of the dismal fiscal year and the holidays seemed to stifle my efforts in the beginning; however, I have discovered a bit of hope.  As a recent college graduate, I find myself better positioned than many because I am an educated, cost-effective hiring option.

Companies are laying off long-time employees by the thousands because it simply costs too much to afford their high-paying salaries and benefit packages.  But a young professional, such as myself, who is looking for a position primarily to gain experience—and who is willing to work hard to succeed—is enticing to many firms because my salary expectations are much more humble.  Not to mention, my education and corporate internship experience have provided me with skills that are necessary to operate in today’s digital business environment. 

Staffing agencies hold promise, opportunity

Although hundreds of companies have instituted hiring freezes, I have had great success in landing interviews by registering with two staffing firms — OfficeTeam and EverStaff.  I highly recommend this method of job hunting as employment opportunities become increasingly harder to track.  Many companies are employing personnel through staffing or temporary-hire firms because, in some cases, it allows them to curb overhead costs.  For example, employees working on a contract basis often remain on the staffing agency’s payroll.

Working with a recruiter or staffing agency can be beneficial to you too.  Here’s why:

  1. Reduces the hassle of the hunt — Recruiters are well-connected and in-the-know about hiring trends and job openings.  They will touch up your resume and help tailor it for available positions that match your skills.  All you have to do is make sure that you are available and prepared for interviews.
  2. Hiring experts guide you through the interview process — Staffing firms are excellent resources for job hunters.  Recruiters are trained professionals who understand interviewing techniques.  They can teach you appropriate responses that will grab the attention of the hiring manager.
  3. Allows you to screen companies — Temporary work may not provide all the benefits of a full-time position; however, for a fresh graduate it provides the opportunity to get to know an employer before fully committing to it.  If the company happens to be a good fit, the position may give you a foot in the door.
  4. Job insurance — Recruiters are there to provide client companies with qualified personnel.  In other words, they have the connections to help you land a job.  If one position doesn’t work out, another is likely to be available.  The agency will continue looking for an assignment that will better suit you. 
Aim to succeed in your job search

Aim for success in your job search--you are sure to find it.

The employment climate is frigid, but it is not unbearable.  I know many of my peers are struggling to brave the treacherous environment.  I encourage you all to remain hopeful and keep trying.  Jobs are out there. 

Landing your dream job is unlikely, but relevant positions are available.  Find one in which you can grow and gain valuable experience that will help you reach your career goals in the future.  Be open to the possibilities.  Good luck!