“REDUCTION IN FORCE” What Now?

by Jenea Bowlin

“REDUCTION IN FORCE” What Now?

I consider it to be nothing short of a privilege to have the honor of participating in the career search efforts of area professionals. Over the course of the past decade plus, I have been on the receiving end of “Reductions in Force” on more occasions than I care to admit to. The fear, the shock, the shame, and the anger are very familiar emotions to me. Inevitably, when an employment relationship unexpectedly comes to an end for whatever reasons, we are always given the unsolicited advice of “everything happens for a reason”. I am here to tell you that it is very difficult to humbly accept this very glass half full/light at the end of the tunnel/optimistic outlook on unplanned unemployment when caught in the trenches of such a devastating turn of events. I am also here to tell you that in many cases, this can be a very true statement. How does one pick up the pieces and put them back together following the emotional and financial blow of unexpected unemployment??

As a recruiter, who has been in “your” shoes so to speak, I offer you additional unsolicited advice…
“Partner” with recruiters. Third party recruiting firms specialize and focus efforts on a niche area of professional talent. Do your homework and partner with recruiters who target your area of expertise. Recruiters are working all day, every day to earn relationships with area businesses and offer employment opportunities to as many candidates as possible. We are “in the know” of many hiring needs. We have a vested interest in employing as many professionals as possible. More often than not, recruiters are proactive in their efforts of connecting with prospective candidates. If you are searching for a new professional opportunity and offer a background that is in line with our specialized niche of business needs, let’s connect!

Please keep in mind that recruiters are essentially hired by companies to secure top talent for their business needs. We must recruit within the parameters specified by our clients. Regardless of our selling ability or creative nature, we simply cannot force a square peg into a round hole. As you establish relationships with recruiters, ensure that you offer them insight to not only what you can do, but what you aspire to do. Personally, my goal is never simply to help a candidate find “a job”. In addition to your skills, experience, and education, I truly want to know what makes you tick. What offers you professional satisfaction? What is realistic for your needs in regards to compensation and area of town to work in? Try to avoid the “I’ll do anything approach”. You have a unique background and skills that would offer tremendous value to an organization. Share that insight with me. Offer me information that will enable me to make smart decisions on your behalf.

As you meet and develop a professional relationship with a recruiter, keep in mind that you have the potential to be a reflection of their business. If I connect you to a temporary or long term employment opportunity, you will be a walking billboard advertising myself and my company. Have you given me the confidence that you will be a positive reflection of both yourself and my business? Please don’t try to guilt or bully me into finding you a job. Again, I have a vested interest in securing professional opportunities for as many candidates as possible. It is very attractive when candidates are accountable to their career search and view recruiting partners as an additional resource to those efforts.

Have I connected and served as a resource to very talented, professional, and personable candidates who I have not placed in an employment opportunity. YES, I certainly have! Connect with recruiters, but don’t stop there. Always network, utilize LinkedIn, and continue any and all search efforts on your own. Unfortunately we do not have a crystal ball to know when we will be invited to recruit for an opportunity that aligns perfectly with your background and aspirations. Unfortunately you can do everything right when connecting with us, but the reality is that you quite possibly might secure the right fit career opportunity through your own efforts or other resources before we do.

We want to help you! Helping you might come in an array of shapes and sizes.
• Your resume: we review countless resumes daily and regularly offer resume advice.
• Interview practice: treat an interview with a recruiter as you would any interview.
• Confidence: there is a fine line between confidence and cocky. If you are not confident in yourself, why would you expect me to be confident in you?
• Temporary opportunities: Eliminates gaps on your resume and offers an interim solution / Builds your professional network and secures current professional references / Keeps your skills sharp and develops new skills / Potentially Transitions Into Permanent Employment
• Ensure that we can contact you: check your email, set up your voice mail and empty regularly so that new messages can be received

Keep your head held high and include as many resources as you can to partner in your career search efforts.

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