In a previous post, I talked about the 4 reasons that businesses aren't using One Stops for recruitment. In today's post, I want to propose some services that might provide more value-add from the business perspective.
Better Business Services
- Provide Intensive Job Search Preparation and Coaching
- Support 1099/Contract Workers
- Become Content Curators
- Convene and Host Community Conversations on Business Issues Using Innovative Strategies
1. Provide Intensive Job Search Preparation & Coaching
The number one thing we hear from employers is that job seekers are unprepared when it comes to the job search. Get any group of employers together and ask them about their recruitment concerns and this is what you'll hear:
- They don't know how to sell themselves with a resume and cover letter.
- They don't know how to customize their skills to specific employer needs.
- They don't follow instructions when they complete online applications.
- They don't sell themselves well in interviews.
- They aren't entrepreneurial and focused on how they will bring value to the company that hires them.
Of course, we also have the ongoing complaints about the "lack of work ethic," the "expectations that are too high" and the "lack of soft skills."
All of these are issues that we could do a better job of addressing through our One Stop job seeker services. This opens up a whole other conversation about how to work with the job seeker side of the house (which I'll get to in future posts), but if we got REALLY good at preparing people to sell themselves and bring value to potential employers, that's a service employers are looking for.
2. Support 1099/Contract Workers
In 2001, the number of U.S. self-employed "1099 workers" was 1.3 million. In 2012, it rose to 10.6 million. (See Forbes: The Rise of the 1099 Economy). Many companies are turning away from hiring permanent, full-time employees and toward more project-based, short-term hiring of "solopreneurs" and contractors to get work done.
Making the shift from "full-time employee" to "gun for hire" is a big one for most people and there's little that's being done to systematically support these 1 and 2-person micro-enterprises. Yet, helping them to start and grow their tiny businesses would not only help our local economies, it would also benefit existing businesses who could access skilled people in different ways.
We could serve both job seekers and existing businesses if we got serious about supporting solopreneurs. For job seekers, we open up new possibilities for developing multiple income streams. For existing businesses, there are new opportunities to bring in needed skills without having to commit to a longer-term hire.
While we're on the topic, employers could use good advice on working with 1099 contractors--who qualifies and what does the business need to do to avoid problems with the IRS? And job seekers need help in figuring out how to pull everything together--how to cobble together a full-time income on contract opportunities?
3. Become Content Curators
One challenge that all businesses have is identifying the BEST information from a sea of online posts and articles. This is where "content curators" come in. They sift through resources, scanning for information and articles that would be useful to businesses, and then put this info together into digestible nuggets that employers can use.
This requires us to know where there are gaps in the information that employers want and need as well as requiring us to educate ourselves about how to find and package the information. But becoming an effective content curator is a major way to build up trust and influence and is a strategy that we should consider pursuing as a system.
4. Convene and Host Community Conversations on Business Issues Using Innovative Strategies
This is something that WIBs have been doing for awhile, but I'm suggesting going way beyond employer panels which typically don't invite or encourage meaningful conversations.
I'm talking about doing things like:
- Hosting knowledge cafes
- Convening and hosting unconferences and unpanels
- Running FailFaires
- Convening and facilitating Mastermind Groups
The value we can bring here isn't about being the content experts. It's about becoming conversation and relationship-building experts. We can provide the space and structure to encourage more innovation and deeper connections to build business partnerships and growth.
This is by no means an exhaustive list--it's a starting point for us to expand our thinking about what we could do to support businesses in our communities.
Yes, these services would take us out of our traditional comfort zone, but that's what business is all about now--reinventing yourself to meet the needs of a new economy. We have to learn how to play along if we want to continue to be resilient and relevent for the future.
What are your thoughts? What other services should we add to the mix? Leave me a note in comments and let's discuss!