After a few days out here in California, I’ve noticed loads and loads of interesting trends as it applies to the industry that I thought I would take some time to share with you. Apologies if this doesn’t have a smooth and natural flow, it’s more of a bunch of interesting things I’ve noticed that I thought I would share.
Some background on this convention: it is the Student Veteran Annual National Convention. The population of attendees for this convention are Veterans who are either in their senior year of school, are in an MBA program, or have graduated from college within the last 2-3 years. Minus the Veteran part, who does that demographic sound like? Almost everyone and their mom from corporate America came out for this and after walking around last night checking out the various companies and openings that are available, here is what I’m noticing.
One of the things that’s often overlooked by the job-seeker is the hilariously short attention span we have as a country and how you can use that to your advantage. Companies like BP, Wells Fargo, and others who have gone through major “scandals” of late are seeing a sharp drop-off in applicants who want to work for their company. While we can be all kinds of upset about what these companies did or were accused of doing, those companies aren’t just going to disappear or fall off the map. They are here to stay and they’ll recover from these “scandals” much like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman, Citi, BoA, etc. did over the past decade. Eight years ago the majority of the country wouldn’t touch Goldman when it came to applying for jobs there, but these days, they are a shit-hot commodity. Everyone wants to work there. Those who “bought low” on Goldman in 2009 by applying with only a handful of other candidates were able to lock up a job in an amazing company that has quickly recovered.
BP, Wells Fargo, and even Amazon represent those types of opportunities, today. A few months ago I had a candidate who had a solid skillset but very little experience time-wise in the field. When it came to the job he applied for at my company, he was probably the fifth best candidate for a certain role. I recommended to him that he take a look at Wells Fargo based on where he was geographically and they ended up hiring him for the exact same role and for another 30k more than he would have made with us.
With companies who are weathering the storm right now, the candidates for jobs are experiencing a slight bump in their advantage over the company that is only a short-term opportunity. Take advantage of that.
Buy Low (Healthcare)
There are a large number of readers on here who are in the medical field, namely, nursing. You have the exact same opportunity to buy low at a “company” that has offices across the entire US. That company? The VA.
The VA has a terrible reputation right now for how they handle benefits and healthcare for Veterans. As someone who has their entire healthcare bill covered by the VA, I’ll say that maybe 50 percent of that reputation is deserved. But guess what? They aren’t going anywhere.
Trump can saber-raddle all he wants, but the VA will never go away. The VA may see some of its market-share shrink under a Trump administration if he pushes to privatize some of the VA services, but they aren’t going away. People have a lot of doubts about the future of the VA under Trump so the people who are applying to work at the various VA facilities across the country is falling, and falling sharply. Healthcare professionals are presented with a golden opportunity right now to get into a government (and almost “non-fireable”) position… as well as lock up a government pension.
Seriously, this is an amazing opportunity to get into a pretty “safe” gig. Take a look.
In a somewhat surprising (to me, at least) move, there is a major push going on right now towards virtual behavioral interviews across Corporate America. Another thing that is gaining massive popularity? Virtual Career Fairs.
After talking to a major (Top 10 in Fortune 500) company last night, they are moving towards virtual interviews because it allows them to see how a candidate responds and it provides them even further context on a candidate’s communication skillset than they can get from a phone interview. Things like posture, hand movements, eye contact and how you respond in un-natural actions (Skype) are all being evaluated. Candidates feel somewhat “exposed” during a virtual interview and it makes some people uncomfortable. How the candidate handles this uncomfortable situation is something companies are starting to look at. Virtual interviews are going to be a big boost for the number of readers on here who are looking at working in another part of the country than they’re in right now.
The Snowflake Effect
Congrats, millennials. You won. In a somewhat sad development, companies are starting to look even harder at how people manage their team in today’s environment. As most of you know, the entry level market right now is comprised of almost strictly millennials. Because so many millennials have demonstrated that they will “shut down” if someone is mean to them, companies are looking for people who are proven managers of the millennial population.
While it is not quite this dramatic, yet, Corporate America is increasingly shifting towards managers who can get their team to follow instruction by “asking” someone to do something, rather than “telling” them to do something. Corporate America isn’t to that point, yet, but we are getting there. The ability of the manager to influence people based on personality and EQ (rather than on their job title) is becoming increasingly popular. I don’t want to give off the impression that I like people who are dickheads to other people, so don’t take my sarcasm as thinking I hate people and am rude to them. It’s just a sharp contrast in the work environment compared to twenty years ago. The Don Draper’s of the workforce are slowly being pushed out of the workforce that you see at the low-level manager position within companies. As you look at advancing within your own company, EQ is so hot right now. .
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