Despite a recommendation from a United States Senator, and a recommendation from the head of one of the Commissions that requires Senate confirmation, and another recommendation from the #2 person within another agency (and who happens to be one of the largest contributors to President Obama’s campaign), I could not get invited to the Presidential Job Summit. In hindsight, I should have just dressed up and crashed it as that seems to work, but that just wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. I am not sorry that I wasn’t included other than I had hopes that something tangible would come from the session. I may be one of the few Americans who watched all of the sessions online. More to come on that and my learning from watching all of those sessions (btw, you can too on www.whitehouse.gov).
In the meantime, here is an idea that might help, without government subsidies or any taxpayer money… This initiative would be all of us helping each other out and participating in our own support in getting people back to work. This initiative revolves around reducing one of the largest barriers that get in the way of hiring and that is the cost of hiring someone new. The creation of a new job or the replacement of someone in a job, there is always the consideration of hiring costs. And, when the cost is too high then reluctance comes into the equation. How can we take down this hiring barrier?
Hiring Advice for Retained and Contingency Search Firms: I have never been one who thinks that the low-cost producer is the best search firm. I also see a place for search firms going forward as there is certain talent and certain jobs that need a search firm to assist them along the way. That said, in this business the hardest part of the work is sourcing the candidates and doing the research to come up with a short-list of people. This is where the cost is within this business. What if these recruiting firms were to take their cost down by a 1/3 to a 1/2 of the costs if the company agrees to hire someone who is unemployed? These people are available, easy to know, and quicker to hire. Is there a possibility that recruiting firms could lower their prices because they are able to lower their internal costs, thereby making the same margin but passing the savings along to the employers so that they can hire more easily and more affordably.
Hiring Advice for Recruiting Process Outsourcers (RPOs): RPOs place tens to hundreds of thousands of people into jobs. There are somewhere around 15 large RPOs in this country who already run on a very slim 10%-ish profit margin, so there is not a lot of room for cost reduction, but even they could help in some cost reduction. What they could do is ensure that that there is an easy flow of the unemployed to the open and available jobs. What an RPO does so successfully is that they can scale and hire 1000’s of people in a matter of weeks. So, jobs can come and be filled before everyone knows that they are there. What if the RPOs were to come together and work with the unemployment agencies in every state to work off the unemployment rolls to tap into? If we could make those two sets of databases talk to each other seamlessly and havethe RPOs report the number of unemployed people being placed it could be a huge confidence boost to those who are unemployed and also signal to employers that there is a fast and available way to reach these people and still get the quality levels needed.
Hiring Advice for Employers: How do we change the perception that hiring someone who is unemployed today is okay and that the quality of that person is not tainted because they are out of work? It is human nature to want what we can’t have and much of the recruiting industry is here because of that principle. Firms are hired to root out employed people who are not looking for a job because they are thought to be better than someone who is not employed. What if that perception changed and the employers could ask for a price reduction (or demand them) because they were open to or desiring to take someone off of the unemployment line. We are in a time where it is not universally true that the employed are the better people. We have seen sweeping layoffs and companies going under because of far-reaching economic issues. Great and good people have lost their jobs and now are living in a place where they can’t find other employment. We need to look at them through a different filter and appreciate the talent within the country who just need another chance.
None of this costs a taxpayer a dollar. All this takes is an emphasis being put, by everyone, on getting people back to work, by helping each other out. Our government has some issues in the area of working together; we in the private sector can overcome differences and can assist each other and make a real difference!
If you are an employer or a recruiter, do you have your stories and ideas on how we can all work together to get people back to work by working together?