Last week I tried to explain the dilemma we are all in in the economy, especially about people hiring. It’s all over the news. In fact the headline in today’s paper was “One in Six People are Out of Work.” I don’t know how true that is or isn’t, but I guarantee you if you read that, and you are looking for a job you are totally depressed. If you’re a manager in a company, you’re thinking “All of those companies that are laying off, something must be going on. I sure as heck shouldn’t expand. In fact, I lost one of my customers the other day. Maybe things are really bad!”
The government hasn’t done us any favors by basically “shutting the country down.” It has encouraged doubt, uncertainty and fear. Think about it objectively. You have been basically told to stay in your house, you can’t go to church (but the abortion centers are open as well as the liquor stores as well as the marijuana dispensaries if your state allows that.) So, the government won’t let you pray together but they’ll let you kill babies and get stoned. Think about how the government is trying to control your life. Now most of us think it’s for the better. But if you objectively think about it, you should probably think again. But I digress.
Until our social norms become more normal or even more reliable, most employers are going to be afraid of hiring. This could go on for weeks or months. The doubt, uncertainty and fear of the social norms carry over into business. Let’s face it, it’s easier to be fearful than it is to be courageous and bold.
Lots of hiring authorities cut back on people because they were afraid. Many of them overdid it and are going to find out really quickly that they really need to hire some of those people back or hire others. I talked to four people this week who were “furloughed” by their company and wouldn’t even consider going back if they had an alternative. That’s why they called me. “Tony, if you can find me a better job or even as good of one, I don’t have any problem leaving these guys at all.”
Now, most employers are going to be afraid for some time to hire. They’re going to say, “Well, we’re waiting to see what happens.” They’re scared. Their customers are telling them that they’re scared too and they are not hiring. As you can see, this kind of attitude snowballs.
If you are a candidate looking for a job, you’ve got to approach a perspective hiring authority with the idea of, “Look, I know you may not desperately need to hire somebody right now, but soon you will and I need to be the guy or gal you talk to. I can give you plenty of good reasons of why you want to hire me whenever you are ready. I know you don’t have an opening now but you will.” Now, I know this takes real guts and you’re only going to get one out of every 10 people to agree to simply interview you. Remember you’re not trying to sell them on hiring you today…although that might happen. Remember, you are selling a date, not marriage.
I might have mentioned it a couple weeks ago, but one of my candidates agreed to go to work for my client on a straight commission basis for the first month just so they could see how hard she worked. She made them a deal that was really hard to pass up. And, in order to get hired now, candidates may have to make “the deal you can’t refuse.”
I had one of my clients tell me this week that he knew recession was going to come along. Really? Of course, somewhere down the line a recession’s going to come along and now were here. Okay! I’m here to tell you that there’s going to be an expansion of business…somewhere down the line. And that will be followed by another recession somewhere down the line. It’s all stupid.
Here is the point. If you’re a candidate looking for a job, you have to talk to lots and lots and lots and lots of prospective employers. You got to give them really good reasons why they ought to hire you. Maybe they’ll hire you today, maybe they will try to hire you six months from now and maybe they never will. But sitting around acting scared isn’t going to get you a job. If you make a good enough impression on a prospective employer, even when they’re not looking to hire somebody, they may very well remember you when they are ready to hire. I had a candidate a number of years ago who went to work for a company I referred him to…. seven years later.
If you’re a hiring authority, interview good candidates; you never know when you’re going to need them. In fact, you should always be interviewing good candidates, whether you need them or not.
We have to all quit acting afraid. Okay, times are difficult and times are challenging, but the sooner we wake up as individuals and go try to do something about our situation the sooner we will dig out of the malaise we’re in.