Monthly Archives: November 2012

EUROPE ATTITUDES

BY: Adam Gavriel

Crossroads Consulting is always trying to keep you up to date on what is going on in the world of employment. Here we literally are looking at how citizens around the world think of the job market.

It’s a fair question…as dismal as the jobs report has recently been in the United States, this recession has grown to affect the entire world. A post released on Monday the 26th of November from Gallup.com reports that the job outlook across the European Union has been steadily decreasing this year. While the American unemployment rate continues to hover around the 8% mark, over in Europe, the EU has seen a steady deterioration.

Gallup asked the question: “Thinking about the job situation in the city or area where you live today, would you say that it is now a good time or a bad time to find a job?”

The results were astounding.

Germany came back with the best ratio with 46% of respondents believing it was in fact a good time to find a job. Of the other countries surveyed, 32% in Sweden believe it’s a good time, in Finland that number is 24%, Poland found 18% subscribing to the positive outlook, while France was at just 16%, the UK at a dismal 9%.

Greece is, unexpectedly, in a class by itself. The chickens have certainly come home to roost ion the overly entitled and now bankrupt society that Greece is. Just 1%, that’s right, just 1% of their residents got the warm and fuzzies about their nation being a good environment for job hunting.

The unemployment rate in Greece was 25.1% in August and reports say that it has increased slightly in September from its already record high number. In most countries in the EU, the unemployment rates have not improved since 2011.

In terms of how outlook has changed among job seekers, Finland takes the “title.” It was reported in 2011 that 36% of Fins believed it was a good time to be looking for a job; whereas as mentioned above, that number has dropped 12 percentage points down to 24%.

Despite Germany’s staggering 46% believing times still looked rosy ahead, but that number is also down 2% from the 2011 survey. Job outlook has only increased in seven countries of the EU, those being Latvia (+8), Malta (+6), Lithuania (+6), Estonia (+5), Poland (+4), Bulgaria (+2), and Romania (+2). There was no change in four countries, and the rest of the surveyed, sixteen countries, reported a more bleak outlook on the jobs situation.

Gallup also took a look at those who currently hold full-time positions for an employer and compared it to the 2011 numbers. Fortunately, these numbers have remained relatively stable, but they are still quite discouraging. Sweden is now the only country who reported full-time employment of over 50% There were significant increases in full-time employment in France (+12%) and Luxembourg (+13%) from 2011 to 2012. However there were also so disappointing drops in Slovakia (-7%), and Denmark, Cyprus, Austria, and Spain who all experienced drops of 4%

There is no denying that we have reached a discouraging time across the globe in the economy. The recession that has hit the United States has certainly been felt across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Some may even believe that it’s better to focus on American’s problems before reaching our hand overseas to help, however as we’ve noted it’s going to take a full team effort to get the global economy working again. Think about it this way, the more people working in the EU, allows more imports into that country. And of course, the more they’re importing, the more they’re going to need the countries that they import from to continue to manufacture. It’s going to take a worldwide effort.

At Crossroads Consulting we are looking to reach our hand out and help pick those up who need the assistance. We are asking you to check our nationwide job openings and send us your resume right away! If you’re not confident in your resume, our resume evaluation and editing service can help. It’s thorough and VERY affordable. We’d love to take a look at it for you to make sure it best shows your qualifications to employers.

Remember, we want to be there from point A to placing you in your new office. Crossroads Consulting is here to put the ‘human’ back into ‘human resources’

THE C-R-C OF JOB SEEKING

BY: Adam Gavriel

As you may or may not know there are three key pieces to getting hired in today’s market. Well, really everything you do is an important part of the hiring process, but most employers are going to be looking for the key three. These being, of course, the cover letter, resume, and what cannot be measured tangibly, connections. I know we have posted here many times resume tips and cover letter tips, but it never hurts to refresh the memories. And as the unemployment rate remains higher than anyone would like it to be, we feel as if a fresh reminder can’t hurt.

However instead of just going for pure tips here in this post, we are going to remind you why all three elements are necessary, and very important.

First off, the cover letter.

I find it hard to believe that the cover letter has become a lost art, one in which is rarely used anymore. I can count on one hand the amount of resumes I get per day with a cover letter. Trust me, I do read them. That’s not to say I don’t give equal consideration to a resume without a cover letter, I do. But what if the job includes a necessity for writing skills? You better believe that a cover letter can help in your consideration there. Just like your college essays (remember those?) a cover letter can help differentiate between two very similar candidates. Make sure you write your cover letters. Make sure they are personalized to the hiring manager (researching and finding their name can go a long way in your consideration for the position) who is easy enough to find on most companies websites. Make sure they get the employer to flip the page, or scroll through the e-mail to your resume.

Now everyone’s favorite, the resume.

Resumes are simple in concept but tough to master. It’s hard to make a great resume. So many factors go into the creation of a resume, personalizing it to your liking, getting your objective and work experience in there all while trying to limit it to one page. Remember, most hiring managers use only 6 seconds of their time to peruse a resume. You have to make an impact, and fast. Mix up your verbs. Nobody wants to read a resume that shows how you “managed” 100 times over. Make sure your relevant experience to the position you are applying for is readily accessible. And try to keep it to one page!

Finally, what most people don’t consider but ALWAYS should, connections.

Everyone you have met and you will ever meet is a potential connection. Old boss? Connection. Old Co-worker? Connection. Try not to burn any bridges in life, because you never know who can come in handy in the future. And that’s not saying that you should be “using” people, but if the opportunity presents itself where an old acquaintance can get your foot in the door, you better jam your foot right in there.

There are many professionals out there who will tell you that they have not even had to use a resume or cover letter to obtain a position solely due to connections, and they aren’t lying.

At Crossroads Consulting we strive to be the ultimate connection. With job openings to over 50 positions nationwide we’re here to help you get your foot in the door to that position. Of course, we’ll need to see a resume (and preferably a cover letter as well) we’re here to get Americans back to work. As true patriots we are horrified at the current unemployment rate and are striving to return it to a normal percentage. We understand that times are tough, that you may have even given up on seeking employment these days, but we implore you to get us your resume TODAY so we can start helping.

If you’re not confident in your resume or interviewing skills, we have the ability to help you there as well. Our staff wants to be there from point A to Z in securing you the position as we are here to put the ‘human’ back into ‘human resources

SALES DROP – SPIRITS CAN’T

BY: Adam Gavriel

Despite what the results from the 2012 United States Presidential Election might tell you, with Americans re-electing Barack Obama, the US economy is a LONG way from improving.

According to a report at Bloomberg.com, for the first time in four months, U.S. retail sales fell in October.

It’s reasonable to attribute a small part of that drop to the devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to the Northeastern United States, and the country’s biggest hub in New York City, but that certainly wasn’t enough to account for it all.

“There’s probably some hurricane impact,” Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research LLC in New York said. “But when consumers are cautious they tend to spend more on staples than discretionary items, and that’s exactly what happened this month.” It was Dutta, who correctly forecasted the October decline in sales. “The broad story is that consumers remain cautious.”

While the 0.3% drop seems on the surface to be a small number, it continues to show that consumer confidence is falling, and by extension that’s less money is being pumped into the economy. The bad economy might also explain the drop in the auto-industry, an Obama favorite talking point during the 2012 election cycle. The auto industry saw its sales decrease in October by 1.5%.

The report of the drop in retail sales comes on the heels of the reported 7.9% unemployment rate in October, the second month in a row the US average has remained below 8% and still higher when the POTUS took office four years ago.

Some believe this drop will be an aberration with the prime shopping holiday-season rapidly approaching.

“As the holiday shopping seasons begins, Hasbro Inc. (HAS)’s retail customers are ‘looking forward to a good year,’ said David Hargreaves, Chief Operating Officer of the Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based toymaker, during a conference call with analysts on Oct. 22. ‘Certainly consumer demand has held up pretty well. I think they’re sort of cautiously optimistic.’”

While the economy continues to languish somewhere between just being a soft economy and flat out recession, millions of Americans are still finding themselves out of work with no end in sight. In fact so many are depressed in their inability to find work; they have given up searching for it altogether. That’s why Crossroads Consulting can be so helpful in these extremely difficult times. We’re ardent optimists and we believe in the strength of America. We have not given up hope and believe that our best days still lie ahead. There needs to be cooperation in Washington among both Conservatives and Liberals to work together to resolve what issues we’re facing.

Don’t give up! Go out and make connections and then use them. Find online resources or professionals to help and use them. At Crossroads Consulting we have a plethora of job openings from all across the nation that we are looking to fill TODAY. If you’re not confident in your resume, there’s no reason to not let us have a look at it for you. We want to help you from step 1, to the day you walk into your new position. Let us help you as we, “Put the ‘human’ back into ‘human resources.’

5 R’s

BY: Adam Gavriel

In business when the bottom-line is the be-all end-all of the company (which let’s just admit here, most of the time it is) companies need to focus on retaining their talent. It’s no secret that the more money a company makes, the more personnel it can hire. And of course, with all the focus on the unemployment rate, with the 2012 Presidential Election tomorrow, isn’t that what the big-picture is all about these days? Companies need to be able to bring in talent, but more important than that is retaining their human capital.

Most business models will tell you that it is cheaper to promote from within, to keep employees around rather than make a new-hire. These may be  discouraging words for some of you who may find yourself out of work these days, but they’re true words that need to be heard. This particular entry on our  blog will be a little more targeted to the companies rather than the individual.

David K. Williams, a contributor to Forbes.com, wrote an article entitled “The 5 R’s For Building Lifelong Relationships With Employees.For those of you familiar with the NBC comedy, “The Office,” my mind also shot right away to Michael Scott whose goal in the office was to not only keep the medium-sized paper company afloat in tough times, but to make his employees part of his life. And of course who could ignore the scene from “Rookie of the Year” where pitching coach Brickma (played by the movie’s director, Daniel Stern) teaches 12 year old Chicago Cubs rookie pitcher Henry Rowengartner the “three R’s” to being a big league pitcher: readiness, recuperation, and conditioning. Luckily for Forbes.com, Mr. Williams actually stuck to the letter ‘R.’

Here are Mr. Williams’ 5 R’s…

Responsibility

This is a great one. It’s important to show your employees that you trust them. Not only that however, is the delegating of projects that utilize skills that an opening position within the company might require. By this the company could be operating a somewhat “extended period of training” on employees that they have already hired.

Respect

Just a little bit.

I think respect speaks for itself in this aspect. Positive reinforcement is never a bad idea from a boss to an employee. Show your employees they’re not only appreciated, but necessary in the work team. If an employee feels as if they belong, they will be less likely to search for work elsewhere.

Revenue-Sharing

A bit of a tough one here to include in the list. It would be nearly impossible to tie revenue-sharing to all employees wages. While performance bonuses are quite common in the workplace these days, it would be quite difficult to tie an exact number to employees’ wages. Just ask the National Hockey League how difficult revenue sharing can be.

Reward

Of course very similar to revenue-sharing, rewards can be so much more than money. Plaques, company related property (a leather bound folder with a logo, or clothing) or even just a team dinner can go a long way in showing the respect (back to that ‘R’) that a boss has for his or her employees.

Relaxation Time

This is a new trend entering the work-place. As my generation (Gen-Y) enters the workforce, many of my peers expect to have significant time to spend away from work; with their families or future families that they plan on having. A very contrasting change from the previous Gen-X and Baby-Boomer generation who might have just expected work-time to be work time, and any family interaction after that was simply a gift. Gen-Y’ers might also expect work-time to not always be so stressful, and not only be about work. It’s an interesting concept, but it is a trend that seems to be rapidly changing within the workforce as more and more Generation-Y babies enter their professional lives.

And there are Mr. Williams’ “5 R’s” with a bit of commentary to boot.

Remember though, if you are a job hopeful looking to enter a company that believes in these standards, here at Crossroads Consulting we work with great companies all across the nation to get American’s working. At Crossroads Consulting we believe fully in these 5 R’s and we express that belief from our employees to the clients we work with. Everybody deserves that chance at respect, and we will be sure to read your resume from top to bottom. We also have services to help you out including resume optimization and interview preparation. We’re not only trying to get you working, but we’re here to put the ‘human’ back into ‘human resources.’