Have you ever been unemployed? I have. It’s happened a few times in my life. I’m not talking about transitioning from one job to a new one. I’m talking about not working in your profession. It’s hard.
The reality of the financial implications hit first and you’re kind of taken over by fear. You think that EVERYONE would want to hire you immediately, and that you’re sure to land your next job quickly. That rarely happens. These items aren’t “new” and there are countless blogs and pieces of advice for jobseekers.
However, I think there’s a HUGE opportunity for HR to make a difference and turn the tide for people who are in transition. Likewise, there’s a HUGE opportunity for jobseekers to take a different approach in their search as well. It takes a different mindset for both sides of the unemployment quandary.
I grew up in Ada, Ohio (otherwise known as the center of the universe). It’s a rural village in Northwestern Ohio that can be compared to growing up in Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show. People are very down to earth and full of sage advice. My Dad has lived in and around Ada his entire life. He pulled me aside one day and said, “Steve, there are two types of people in this world – givers and takers. You need to decide which one you’ll be.”
I know my Dad didn’t come up with this saying. However, he and my Mom have been the model of givers in all areas of their lives. I’ve tried to live this in my life as well. It’s where HR needs to be too in my opinion.
I think HR folks should make themselves available for people in transition. I have been working with people who are between jobs for years. Here’s a big difference – I haven’t hired any of those people, and I haven’t charged them a dime for my time and efforts. Sometimes, I meet for coffee, take a phone call, review a resume or make a call to someone as part of my network. At the HR Roundtable I facilitate, people in transition are welcome to come, share their resume and network with HR pros to show others that they have always been talented pros themselves. I truly get geeked when a person sends me an e-mail to tell me they’ve landed !!
You see, I believe great companies who hire great people will be companies that differentiate themselves from the pack. Why wouldn’t I help other companies get better? To me it’s the benchmark for great HR !!
Here’s what I’d like to challenge HR and jobseekers to do . . .
- Intentionally network with each other even if the person in HR isn’t hiring. HR folks know others in HR. So, even if the company isn’t hiring, a person may open a door to someone who is !!
- Don’t ignore the long-term unemployed HR. Talented people are everywhere around us. Look at people for what they bring to your company, not how long they’ve been between jobs.
- Remember to help others first. Too often jobseekers get their next job and forget the network who helped them land. Don’t be a taker !! Be forewarned on this. Folks I know who have only used others to get a job are usually looking for another job in 18 months. Avoid this behavior and keep networking.
- HR folks – connect with other HR folks. We still have miles to go before we truly become the “community” people write about. Link In with each other. Follow each other on Twitter. Meet each other in person. We can help others by being more connected ourselves.
Finally, understand that my Dad’s saying is true whether you read this and act or not. So choose who you want to be. I know this – by giving to others, my life is richer every day and I wish the same for you !!