A job applicant, complaining about the shortcomings of the recruitment process, blurted out:  “It is just not fair!”  If you want fair, his job coach said, “Come to Dallas in October.  We call it the State Fair.”

In many market segments today, finding an executive job can be one tough challenge.

To watch the Video: https://youtu.be/NqyzWJhLKGA

I know that may be surprising given all the Washington crowing about our record-breaking, robust economy, but the truth is that in many industries, including healthcare, retail, media and some manufacturing segments, there are fewer jobs today than there were five years ago owing to changes in traditional business models.  

In many cases we are enjoying lower costs while having access to more product choices and the convenience of same or next day delivery. But this means fewer leadership and management positions in retail. 

Communications and publishing enterprises have seen disruptions in their traditional revenue streams and that has resulted in fewer jobs.   

In healthcare, we all want to see lower costs and more transparency and convenience, but here, too, there is a downside; healthcare organizations are contracting and consolidating through mergers, pushing executives and managers into a crowded job market. Most are grossly unprepared in terms of their job search skills and the emotional energy it takes to find new position.

If you are in the job market, you have three options: go it alone, hire a career transition advisor to help you navigate the process, or outsource your search to a firm that specializes in job candidate promotion.

Let me explain the cost reality of finding a new job.  Let’s begin with the time and commitment to doing the basic heavy lifting:

  • You will need to spend a minimum of four to six hours a day, five days a week in your office
  • You will need to post a minimum of five or six times a week on LinkedIn – from business news stories that interest you to observations about new legislation, or even mini case studies highlighting your prior successes. You have to do it often and you have to be smart about what you post since this is all about your brand.  If you want someone to find you, you cannot hide out in your home office waiting for the phone to ring.
  • Here is the kicker:  you will need to connect with 15 t o 30 new contacts a week, primarily in your targeted job search markets.  You may begin your connection using LinkedIn, but you have to move forward with a telephone call or some other communication that will allow you to create a productive relationship that yields actionable business intelligence. 
  • You have to lose all those inhibitions and dislikes about cold calling and using social media.  I understand you may not like it but the list of people who don’t like cold calling is long and distinguished.  Get a grip
  • You must scour job openings or stories about business growth on a daily basis to help you identify organizations that may be in the market for additional leadership resources.  Remember, many jobs are never posted on line
  • You must learn strategies to help you bypass the Applicant Tracking Systems that are the devil for most job seekers
  • The competition is intense.  You must have a sense of intensity and urgency
  • So, what if you hire someone to do all those uncomfortable parts of the job search you would rather not do, how much will that cost?  I have seen several proposed fees of a $10,000 retainer plus a final fee based on a percentage of the successful executive’s first-year cash compensation.  In a couple of cases, executives who have used this type employment service ended up paying the firm most of their signing bonus of around $25,000 to $30,000.  If you land a position that pays $250,000 with a 15 percent fee to the employment firm, your final out-of-pocket would be $37,500 plus the original retainer

These eight points lead to one immutable truth:  finding a job, especially in a competitive job market, is hard, time-consuming and often times frustrating work.  If you hire someone to do it for you, — outsourcing — it is very expensive, from $20,000 to more than $50,000 based on information supplied executives who have used this type of service.

For executives who have had assistants or other direct reports to do those tasks that did not like to do, this truth can be a shocking experience. 

Here is my career tip for today:  find a career transition coach who understands the current market, an experienced advisor who will teach you the dos and don’ts and who excels in helping job candidates master the interview process. 

This is a much cheaper alternative.  Trust me.