Over the past few months, I’ve heard two radio commercials that are very interesting. Both are targeting employers and offering web-based solutions for recruiting new employees. The two companies sponsoring these ads are Zip Recruiter and Pro Jobs Network. The fact that these companies exist and are advertising shows that the job market is tight for small and mid-sized businesses. Employers need to have another company recruit and screen candidates. It’s easy to focus on negative news like major corporations laying off thousands of employees. At the same time, we need to remember that most Americans work for small and mid-sized companies. As long as online recruiting companies are advertising, it’s safe to assume that they are hiring. That’s good news for the economy and American workers.
P.S. Zip Recruiter offers functions that job seekers can use to search for jobs. Pro Jobs Network is only for employers.
One of my clients is worried about getting laid off. Three people in is his department have been let go. They are all higher paid employees age 50+ who have been with the company for more than ten years. He has been with the company for 15 years and makes more money than the people who have been let go. His boss has reassured him that his job is not in danger, but my client knows that his former co-workers were told similar words of encouragement.
Could my client take action against his employer for age discrimination if he’s laid off? He could, but he doesn’t want to go through the hassle. What he’s doing instead is being proactive in updating his resume and starting a job search before he gets bad news. He’s not happy with the way the company has changed and would probably want to look for a new job even if he wasn’t worried about getting a pink slip. His income has been flat over the past few years. The best way for him to get ahead is to find something new. Don’t look back unless you’re doing so to move forward.
I have a client whom I will call Mary. She has been a business manager for 15 years, working at a family-run business where she is not a family member. After going on vacation a few weeks ago, she returned to work only to learn that she had been laid off and replaced by her assistant. Mary had been hired by the business’s founder. Now, his son runs the business, and his primary value is cost control, which lets him keep more money in “the family.” 15 years of loyalty mean nothing.
A few years ago, one of my friends worked as a manager for a home health service. The owner of the business had three daughters. My friend trained one daughter, then another, and then she trained the youngest daughter, who took over her job. The business owner told my friend that she appreciated her work, but family comes first. The irony is that the company went out of business three years later.
Not all family businesses are cruel or disloyal. But, if you work for a small family business, it’s probably good to remember that – as my friend’s boss put it – “family comes first.”
One of my clients was recently offered a job in sales. It was not a good job, but he took it, afraid that he would not get another offer. Then he got another offer with a better company - for more money. He asked me what he should do and felt that he was bound to "keep his word."
I told him that he had to do what was best for himself, not a company that would lay him off without a second thought. Executives and high level professionals move from company to company chasing the best deal. In a time of flat wages and salary cuts, the only way for non-executives to get ahead is to do what is best for your career and your life.
My client took the better offer, and he is happy that he did. We've watched employers close companies and lay off workers for thirty years. They only care about their bottom line. Employees need to learn that lesson.