Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It never fails

Whenever I have absolutely no creative positions open, I get a deluge of portfolios sent to me. There must be some inverse relationship between job openings and the presence of candidates. When you have one, you don't have the other.

And so the case with me right now. I must have been sent about 15 links in the last week and barely one job opening on the horizon. Blame it on the economy, the subsequent bailout, the dollar menu, whatever. Clients are cutting back, scopes are slimming down, and there are less creative jobs available. Or maybe it just seems that way.

Whenever I go onto LinkedIn or Creative Hotlist, which is practically daily, I see lots of jobs. If I were an art director looking for a job right now, I'd feel confident that there are a lot of choices out there. Granted those choices might be in Smalltown America but they are there.

This Summer I saw a huge load of jobs in Arkansas; Saatchi X was hiring like crazy. So I asked a few people if they would ever take a job in Arkansas. (Mind you, these are Californians I was asking). Resounding no all around. Ditto to Austin, Texas where Enfatico is currently hiring like crazy.

So I know the jobs are there, it just becomes a matter of where. And who will take them. Maybe the gutsy people. People willing to trade off location for opportunity. People far more brave than I. But at least I know who to share all these new links with.

1 comment:

Chicago-Judi said...

Love your blog!

This particular one made me smile because I see the same thing all the time. But it makes sense, because with talent, as with any commodity, the laws of supply and demand prevail. When demand is higher, there is less supply because they're all being 'bought' (hired). When demand is low, as it is these days, the supply is high because people are losing their jobs and companies aren't hiring for fear of the economy.

As far as jobs in non-major cities, I think employers need to wise up to get the good creatives. I see agencies (albeit the smaller ones) and corporations alike in not-so-hot markets trying to get the creme de la creme of creatives, and almost always focusing their search on the 25-30 year old age range (based on number of years experience they are asking for).

Come on guys... hot young creatives are NOT going to move to Indianapolis or Cedar Rapids or even St. Louis. It's not just the city - it's also that fact that they know their next job isn't likely to be there (fewer jobs available), and they will have to move again.

So what to do? How can companies in those cities get good talent to help them grow their business and meet their clients' demands?

Easy - stop focusing on the young'uns! I know plenty of highly skilled and experienced talent over 40 or even 50 who would love to move their families to a smaller, family-friendly and more economical city.

These people also bring with them business savvy and acumen that would take years for a 25 year old to attain - and they aren't 'stuck' in the mindset that they have to equal or surpass the sometimes high salary they were making in a big city job. It's about quality of life to them, not salary.

As someone in the staffing/recruiting industry, I constantly see companies in small markets wasting their time trying to attract top creative talent - but when I show them someone who meets all their criteria, including relevant and specific experience, salary range, desire to relocate to their city, a great portfolio, but who has 20 years of experience instead of 5 or 10, they are summarily rejected without even a phone screen.

Our country is going into a period in history where there will be a shortage of workers, but if companies still blindly fixate on hiring employees in that ubiquitous 'mid-range' (people in the 25-35 year age range), they will be very unhappy with their recruiting results and business will suffer.

--Judi Wunderlich