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The Sequester's Impact on Executive Hiring and Recruiting, and What Job Seekers and Recruiters Can Do About It.

On Friday, March lst, Obama passed the sequester into law.   The sky did not fall, the moon stir rises above the horizon, and the IRS still expects me to pay taxes.  But the sequester will have an impact on current employees, job seekers, and recruiters.   Let's examine the impact, and what you can do about it.  You can either watch my video presentation or read the text displayed below the video.  Take your choice.  What are your opinions of the impact of the sequester?

Do you remember Johnny Carson?  Millenials may not know him, so they should watch his sketches on YouTube. He was my favorite comedian and talk show host of all time.  His comic sketches as Carnac the Magnificent, Sage and Sooth Sayer are classic.  So today I will be a Sooth Sayer.  

This past Friday, the sequester went into effect.  Planes did not drop out of the sky, and I was still able to boil water on my stove.  But, based on feedback from executives and recruiters over the past several months, leading up to this, the overwhelming consensus is that it will have, at the very least, a dampening impact on hiring, but it could also propel us back into a recession.  

So my first sooth is that executives will face a more difficult challenge in finding a new position.   But in the long run, our economy will be much better for it.   While this might sound heartless, cutbacks in our out-of-control government spending are mandatory.   But in the meantime, whether you are employed, or seeking employment, you need to be prepared for this.  

My second sooth is for recruiters. Corporate demand for recruiting services will be negatively impacted.  Recruiters need to prepare for this as well.  Whether you are a job seeker or recruiter, here is what you can do to be a survivor:

First, let's focus on job seekers:

1.  Do NOT discount that it will impact you.  Do NOT believe that you are immune from being downsized, or if you are already in the market, from finding it even tougher to land that next position.

2.  Develop some insurance policies.  Dramatically build your LinkedIn network.  You should have  at least 1000 connections. Be targeted in the people you select for connections.  It should be a combination of recruiters, VC's, PE's, corporate decision makers and members of boards.  

3.  Communicate regularly with your connections and groups using LinkedIn updates,  blog posts and groups participation.  (Yes, you should have a blog.  More on that later).  

4.  LI communication tip:  LI allows you to export all of your connections to an excel file and segment them by numerous criteria of your choice.  You can then use a contact management program or email service like IContact to regularly provide RELEVANT emails to your connection segments  (ie. new blog posts, articles you have written, new technologies, and insights from your leadership experiences).

5.  It goes without saying, that your resume or portfolio should always be current, but, in addition, create a VISIONARY VALUE PROPOSITION in writing.   Corporate decision makers need a reason to hire you.  A traditional resume in today's tough market just doesn't cut it.

6.  If you don't have a blog, start one.  It is a priceless strategy to establish your credibility, vision, strategic thinking, and value proposition.  It also demonstrates that you are current and contemporary in today's social media world.  It is not as much work as some people think  When you post at least once a week, it establishes you as an authority, and the SEO gives you great presence on the web. A huge plus is that you should always include your blog link to recruiters and corporate decision makers for every position you pursue.  That is a home run.

7.  Participate in numerous industry conferences, trade shows, and alumni networking events. Too many senior execs don't network as often as they did when they were younger.  Never stop networking.

8.  Whether you are employed or unemployed, view yourself as an independent contractor. Continually be on the look-out for the next opportunity.  Take job interviews.  And continually build great industry partnerships with key influencers.  

Now let's focus on Recruiters:  Are you prepared for a decline in search assignments?  Here are a few tips for survival:

1.   If you are an expert in an industry or functional area (practice), perhaps you can provide organizational development assistance in light of the recession.  (Notice I didn't say be a "consultant".  The world is overloaded with consultants.  You want to "implement"  bottom line organizational strategies for clients).

2.  The web is loaded with services to easily build your own website to showcase those services.  Take the time to put something like that in place.  Don't wait for the economy to be impacted.  Start now.

3.  Evaluate other services you might be able to provide including outplacement, career coaching, interviewing strategies, salary negotiations and resume writing.  Our organization provides those services and I would enjoy talking with you about our Recruiter Alliance Network as an alternative revenue source.

4.  Perhaps you should consider adding other practice areas to your business and partnering with other independent recruiters.  There is strength in numbers.  Many recruiters avoid doing splits.  You might want to rethink that strategy.

So whether you are currently employed, a job seeker or a recruiter, you want to position yourself to survive in the turmoil our economy is about to go through.   One of my favorite quotes is  "An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure."  It might be wise advice to follow.

Corporate Warriors represents senior executives seeking new opportunities.  Please contact me if you would like to learn how we can help.  And if you are a recruiter, I would enjoy talking with you about our Recruiter Alliance Network.

I wish all of you the best of success.  Make it a productive day.

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