The Association Letter

By Ted Dieck | Recruiter’s View - Business Climate - Employment Scene - Reviewed | Sep 2, 2010

Candidates fighting ambivalent employers and low-ball pay plans have a new option. Better than merely stringing together contract work, it is possible to create your own employment by moving higher up the food chain.

Here’s some of my letter to the Employment Assistance arm of a national association.

We are seeing a distinct uptick in employer interest just recently.

That’s the good news. However, this isn’t your garden variety recovery. There is confusion in the jobs markets.

Your members will most likely talk about the quality of employer interest. They will describe headhunters as “clueless.” They will complain that full time employment dissolves into short term projects. They will tell you they are fed up.

Candidates who have been on the market for any length of time may become jaded, not by the lack of jobs, but by the lack of candor.

They’ll tell of a Job Fair advertising 600 employers and delivering just thirty, the top presenter being Good Will.

Boardroom Chaos Spreads To The Street

On the company side, employers have been fighting for their corporate lives.  Often their actions are out of line with their values.

Hiring Authorities have trouble giving a compelling reason why strong candidates should come and join them.

Even if company representatives were to utter every word a job seeker hoped to hear, the reality is, candidates have become deeply suspicious of any offer.

And internally, existing employees increasingly disagree with their own leadership over corporate behavior. Corporations have been rewarded for cost cutting, even at the expense of customer service. Falling sales are easily offset by rising profits. Reduced R&D is replenished by acquiring other companies.

The world is upside down.

Job seekers consistently report that employers seem to go through the motions of interviewing as if their goal was to avoid hiring anyone. Considering the rewards for failure, can there be any doubt?

Opportunity Seeking, Not Job Seeking

We have re-discovered a solution that sometimes works in this environment. It’s based on commitment and collaboration.

Typically, when companies contact us about doing a search, we quietly check how committed the employer is to actually succeeding in the search. And then we firm up ways that we can work together.

These two values work so well that we find we can actually create jobs, even without an existing employer. Over the last half year, we’ve had interesting success by forming collaborations around innovators.

Innovators, by nature, are deeply committed. Inventors invent, even when they’re not employed.

Remember, that in the United States, corporate R&D is either diminishing or it is being moved offshore. That means there’s a disconnect between people who continue to innovate in the United States and the companies most able to bring their ideas to life.

A Brief Moment In Time

We see a window of opportunity here. At this particular moment, new ideas in the U.S. are in decline, for reasons we don’t need to dwell on. Corporations are sitting on historically huge piles of cash. And they’ll gladly invest in automation if it means they can avoid the liability of maintaining an employee.

To participate in this anomaly, we seek out specific kinds of innovators, we help them up their games, and then we introduce them to the environments where their work can thrive.

One reason collaboration is so important is because we have no specific destination when we start out. We let the market pull us.

And the destinations we discover do get interesting. Sometimes, we put a few unemployed people together and form a for-profit bootstrap operation. You might be amazed what is possible with commitment and collaboration.

Sometimes, we’ll offer a new machine design that fits the product line of an existing company. The designer potentially becomes an employee.

One of my favorites involves introducing an inventor and his machine to his own existing employer. Yep, you read that right. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how that one goes.

Bottom Line

Using a value added strategy, we are bringing ready-to-go ideas to life on a very low risk, high return basis. Current economic conditions favor start ups or acquisitions with low implementation costs. The market especially favors low cost automation that will eliminate employees.

Candidates fighting ambivalent employers and low-ball pay plans have a new option. Better than merely stringing together uncertain contract work, it is possible to create your own employment by moving higher up the food chain.

Align with companies that sell into emerging markets, or align with companies that serve those companies. The rewards can be huge when seriously committed people collaborate effectively.

Have An Idea?

We are interested in your thoughts. Please leave your comments below or contact me directly at or phone 954-915-0000.