10 Most Effective Strategies for Finding Interim Employment
workplace is very different from the workplace of our parents.
Companies are outsourcing more of their operations to reduce both
payroll costs and full-time staff. They utilize temporary workers and
independent contractors when staff shortages or project needs develop.
It is no wonder that Manpower, a temporary staffing company, is the
largest employer in the world. For downsized professionals, periods of
unemployment will likely occur more frequently, so it is essential that
you learn how to find interim work until full-time employment can be
obtained. Here are ten strategies to help you compete in today's
competitive employment marketplace.
1) Research the trends
affecting employment and careers. Since companies reorganize and
transform on a regular basis, long-term employment is more volatile and
the career ladder no longer exists. Staffing in the 21st Century, a
report issued by The Academy for Advanced and Strategic Studies,
promises significant changes in the composition of the workforce. The
report projects that up to 65% of a company's full-time employees will
be replaced using contract workers and third party service providers.
Learn how companies use people resources, The growing use of contract
workers in middle, senior, and executive level positions, demonstrates
the extent to which companies are using professionals for short-term
and project related work. According to the American Staffing
Association, between 1991 and 1999, the professional segment of
temporary employment grew from 2.4% to 9.7%. During that same period,
annual payroll soared from $335 million to $2.6 billion, and growth is
expected to continue at double-digit rates.
3) Determine your
marketable skills, As companies reduce their full-time staff levels,
they need industry specialists for interim periods and critical
projects that can hit the ground running, work independently, and exit
the company when their work is completed. William Bridges, a leading
consultant on work transition and author of Creating You & Co.,
suggests that you must identify your skills from the perspective of how
these skills will add value to a potential employer.
4) Create a
one page résumé. Managers are inundated with mail (electronic, snail,
voice, and fax), and usually scan correspondence for relevancy. You
enhance the chance that your résumé will get read, if you compress it
to one page. Think of a résumé as a large business card that provides a
summary of skills and experience. Begin by replacing the career
objective with bullet items listing industry and job specific skills.
Next, list employment chronologically with a summary of
responsibilities associated with marketable skills. Finally, include
education, associations, and certifications you have achieved that
support your skills and experience.
5) Expand your contact
network. Many position opportunities are not advertised, and are only
obtained through networking. Professionals must therefore cultivate
personal and professional contacts. You should also include individuals
with whom you have had limited or very distant contact since they are
often more helpful than close acquaintances. Keeping in mind your
marketable skills, develop a 2 minute response to the question, What
type of work or position are you seeking? Call or meet all contacts,
stress your availability for interim work, and keep your network
advised of your progress.
6) Computerize your contact list. Permanent employment no longer exists, therefore, finding work will be
a recurring activity. Computer programs can help you manage your time,
organize your networking activity, keep better records, and make you
more efficient. Contact management database programs, such as Act or
Goldmine, are easy to use and provide mail merge and call tracking
capabilities. You can also create a customized database with Microsoft
Access, or use a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Lotus.
Know your value in the marketplace. You can calculate your hourly pay
by starting with your prior annual salary, adding 35% for the benefits
component, and then dividing by 1000. For example, a $75,000 salary,
with benefits, equals $101,250, or a target hourly rate of $101.25.
Consider working below that rate if it provides skills building
opportunities and you can structure a flexible work arrangement. The
good news about interim work is that it provides opportunities for
full-time employment in 30% or more of the assignments.
Contact staffing companies who specialize in your skill set. In
addition to self marketing, you should register with specialized
staffing companies. Many firms that traditionally only placed secretary
and clerical workers, have now established separate divisions for
professional and technical positions. To locate them, check your local
telephone directory or pick up the Kennedy Publication titled The
Directory of Temporary Placement Firms for Executives, Managers, &
9) Develop a personal marketing plan. Contacting people to ask for work is very difficult, and many
professionals are easily frustrated when their letters and phone calls
are ignored. Thus, it is critically important to set and adhere to
daily calling goals. Be concise with your introductory comments, be
able to communicate a 10 second commercial summarizing your skills,
and keep the call focused on client problems that can be solved with
10) Stay connected with your contacts. A
consistent follow-up strategy will demonstrate your professionalism and
help you maintain a strong contact network. Once established, stay in
periodic communication (email is ideal) with your contacts, especially
those who provided other references. Let the initial contact know of
your progress and give an update on the results of their referrals.
Schilling, an ex banker turned entrepreneur, was downsized in 1987. He
started Schilling Professional Staffing, Inc., Wallingford, PA, to
provide interim professional level staffing to financial institutions. Call Rick at 610-874-1441 or E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2005 Schilling Professional Staffing, Inc. All Rights Reserved