Want a job? Use a job developer's technique

When I was working in mental health as a vocational rehabilitation counsellor at www.fcmhas.ca (now www.amhs-kfla.ca), , a colleague of mine passed on information on how he lands jobs for clients. (And dare I say that these clients have barriers that others in the competitive workforce may not have).

“D’s” title is “Job developer,” which means that he would meet with employers regularly, nurtures his network of contacts and then matches available jobs to
assist clients. In effect, my colleague “developed” jobs for people with many barriers to employment. This last point about networking is a moot point for your job search. (Ironically, employment specialists do not always practise what they preach; some confess that they do neither network actively, nor nurture their existing contacts. This is imperative, no matter if you are unemployed or not).

Research indicates that you stand an 80% chance of landing your next job from someone you have met or contacted. Those are formidable odds. And something should be said about the so-called “weak links,” which are people who appear to be irrelevant to your job search.

Once, when I was laid off by surprise at a military base, I immediately turned to my circle of contacts, and fortunately, I received two job offers in a week and ultimately accepted a satisfying  position.

Just as Job Developers aim to attract employers to assist their clients, job seekers need to attract employers to demonstrate their value. Enter the “exchange theory.” This theory, is designed to build a bridge between a need and a solution. In short, you give something and you get something. How does this help you as a job seeker? Read on….

Employers, on the whole, are motivated by 2 factors: their needs must be addressed (for example, improve customer service, boost productivity levels or reduce costs). Secondly, employers must perceive value in hiring you. Translation?

Each party in the “exchange” must perceive that the benefits of hiring you must outweigh the employer’s costs. For example, convince the employer that you can help him/her with a high turnover (hiring is expensive) or being a reliable employee.

As a matter of fact, an employer told me earlier this year that she was disenchanted with job placements from college students because they were NOT reliable. In spite of a shaky economy, employers have consistently told me that the number one thing that attracts them is loyal employees. (Yes, I realize that contract work is very prevalent), but job seekers need to be mindful of this.

Job developers also use another technique which relates to the market theory. What’s the gist of the market theory if you are unemployed? 

Features and benefits. 

In other words, if you are preparing yourself for an upcoming interview, what would you identify as your “features?” 

Perhaps your unique talents or credentials?

Your new blog that holds sway with those in your chosen field? 

Bilingualism? Diverse experience? Now think about what benefits that can you present in an interview. Perhaps your stellar performance ratings

Be prepared to incorporate the exchange and market theories into your active job search. Obviously, it works for job developers to create employment. Why wouldn’t it work to propel your job search? You don’t have to be a marketing specialist to embrace these techniques.

Incidentally, my colleague asked me to assist him with short-term placements. I “hit the streets” and espoused the exchange theory
for the benefit of those disadvantaged clients. 

It worked! I landed job placements for him, using the principles of job development. You can

Speak to the employer’s values and goals. Assure the employer that by
hiring YOU, the company will enjoy short-term and long-term benefits.

Melissa Martin, bilingual military to civilian coach
blog: http://www.webinarcareercoach.blogspot.ca

twitter: @melissacmartin

Linkedin group: military to civilian employment

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