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Tag: first job

Recent grads are the silver lining

If your network of family and friends is anything like mine, it has undoubtedly been affected by the current economic situation.

While catching up with family over the holidays, I’ve heard a handful of stories from some who have already been laid off and others who are crossing their fingers while co-workers with less seniority are let go.

It was strange to be comparing job searching strategies and resumé writing tips with my relatively wealthy uncle who is in his 50s and has been jobless since October. He’s taking a resumé workshop, filled mostly with other middle-aged workers who have recently lost their jobs as well, while he decides if he wants to go back to work or retire early.

My cousin’s husband recently lost his sales job as well. He was successful enough that my cousin quit her job earlier this year to stay at home with their two young children. Within a few months, they went from being a stable single-income family to a no-income family that has to put plans of moving into a bigger home on the back burner.

I know they’re lucky and things are a lot worse for some others who have been laid off.

Hopefully things will turn around soon, but “experts say” things are only going to get worse in the new year:

As bad as the past few months were, even the rosiest of economic forecasts shows on average Canadians will get poorer in 2009, and many – perhaps as many as 200,000 additional workers – will lose their jobs as the economic recession deepens.

However, we should look at the types of jobs that are being lost. Some are demanding government cash to stay afloat: manufacturing, particularly the auto sector, along with the financial sector, is hemorrhaging jobs. Forestry, retail, travel and tourism, and real estate aren’t great industries to be in either, if you believe all the hype.

But things aren’t all bad.

Currently, Canada’s unemployment rate is sitting at 6.3 per cent and it’s predicted to rise to eight per cent in 2009. Looking back to previous recessions, however, we saw the unemployment rate reach as high as 10 per cent in the early 1990s and 13 per cent in 1980-81.

In fact, some industries, such as IT, the skilled trades and health care, can’t find enough people to fill their jobs. As an educated, motivated work force with comparatively low salary expectations, recent grads are probably in the best position of any group of job candidates in the current economy.

TalentEgg itself is a great indicator that employers are still hiring for a lot of entry-level roles, as Lauren said almost a month ago. TalentEgg wouldn’t exist if they weren’t. New entry-level roles are added to the site almost daily. In particular, agriculture, energy, engineering, health care, management, marketing, sales and technology jobs seem to be the most in demand.

Brazen Careerist founder Penelope Trunk recently posted some encouraging evidence that young workers are holding their own in the current economy:

  • jobs for candidates with little to no experience are increasing
  • there have been and still are plenty of entry-level jobs to be had
  • the unemployment rate for workers with a post-secondary education is much lower than that of the general population

She says “that young people shouldn’t be thrown by the bad news that old people are pushing. Things are not that bad if you’re beginning your career.”

A good indicator of these points might be that while everyone else is cutting back, Gen Y is still spending.

What do you think about the current job market for new grads? Should new grads be worried about finding jobs in 2009, or is Penelope Trunk right?

In Campus Recruiting: Out with the old, in with the new

Things are changing, and they are changing fast. Practices that were common place for hundreds of years have recently been almost completely wiped out by new technologies. When was the last time you sent a paper letter to a friend? I know I haven’t sent one in years. Email is way too effective and convenient for me to even consider using paper mail. I can send it from wherever I am, whenever I want and get an instant confirmation that my mail has been received. When was the last time you used a paper phonebook to look up a telephone number? Personally, I can’t even remember that long ago.

I have noticed a theme amongst my fellow generation y-ers. We want to be able to do what we want, when we want, where we want. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and all of the super popular social networking sites have that in common. They can be accessed anytime, anywhere by anyone. So it seems rather silly to me that companies use career fairs to reach this group when trying to hire them. The thought process must have been something like this: (This isn’t meant to offend anyone, its just meant to shed light on some of the major problems associated with the approach some companies are taking to campus recruiting)

Employee #1 says: “Gen Y students and new grads are early adapters of online networking. They prefer to be able to access content at any place, time or location. They are extremely busy with studies in their final year of school.”

Employee #2 says: “OK, now that we know that let’s do the exact opposite when trying to reach them. Let’s create a career fair at a fixed time and location and hopefully they will come.

Employee #3 says: “Great idea, let’s spend thousands of dollars doing it all over the country”

Some students definitely still go to career fairs, and they will continue to do so. It is a minority, so already we have eliminated a substantial portion of students who would have potentially liked to work for you. Most students probably were too busy, didn’t know about it, were too lazy, couldn’t get there, etc. Of the students who do go, a smaller percentage will actually visit your booth. An even smaller percentage will be interested enough to apply. And an even smaller percentage will actually be qualified. So at the end of the day, you may have spent a substantial amount of time and money to reach an extremely limited pool of potential employees, in one geographic location. Oy.

The solution to this problem seems a little too simple…create an online space where students go to find out about employment opportunities, career advice, and really everything a career fair can provide and more. If they want to find out more about what it’s like to work for Kraft or Molson at 3 a.m. then let them. If they want to apply for their first meaningful role while they are stuck in traffic, why shouldn’t they. That’s what we have been trying to accomplish with TalentEgg. Before we came along, there wasn’t a place that was the place for students and new grads. There wasn’t an easy way to find your first job as a new graduate. We thought there should be and now there is.