Ahmed Uddin and Michael Nisenson have both noticed that employees are more willing to quit their jobs than ever — and that’s a great sign for the economy.
“Four or five years ago, people were totally terrified about making a move,” Nisenson says. “Now, they’re willing to make changes.” Uddin and Nisenson both work for AppleOne Staffing, a nationwide staffing company with a seven-person office on Village Boulevard. Uddin is in charge of the Princeton office, and Nisenson manages a number of the company’s staffing offices throughout the region.
AppleOne itself has been hiring recently. It just completed a move from 116 to 125 Village Boulevard in search of more office space to accommodate its expanding staff, which recently grew from four to seven.
AppleOne recruits employees in finance, accounting, marketing, legal, HR, and general professional positions. Nisenson says he has seen a tremendous uptick lately in companies looking to fill open positions. Further, skilled employees, seeing a better economy, are more willing to take a risk by leaving a secure job. Both of these trends are good news for headhunters. “In our business, perception is reality. Once people perceive the economy is better, you’ll find a lot more movement,” he says. “People think the market is bad, but actually, it is not. We find that people who have specialized skills are feeling very confident in their positions.”
If that’s true, then AppleOne’s figures support the idea that the economy is getting better. “Our direct hire placements are up about 1,200 percent this year,” Nisenson says. Nisenson grew up in Bergen County, where his mother was a teacher and his father was a plant production manager. A graduate of Rutgers, Nisenson owned a restaurant for eight years before switching to a career in staffing, having grown sick of getting up for work at 2 a.m.
Uddin says that in the Princeton area manufacturing management employees are the most in demand. Plant managers, production managers, and logistics managers all have excellent job prospects. Hot sectors in the Princeton area are pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and medical billing companies. He expects hiring trends to pick up for accountants as well as administrative positions, trailing the manufacturing jobs.
The recruiters have lots of advice for job-seekers, or people who are open to the idea of getting a better job than the one they have now.
Link In: When recruiters go looking for candidates, they use social media sites, especially LinkedIn, the business-oriented service. “Back in the day, traditional headhunting meant you had to call into a company department and identify a person. LinkedIn or Salesforce.com actually get candidate names and identify people in companies that you are looking for. It has opened up a whole new horizon.”
That means that in order to be visible to potential employers, you should keep up your LinkedIn profile. You can’t just use a website like your grandfather did to get his first job.
“Sending a resume out to a website or any of these old fashioned things, you’re not going to get a response,” Nisenson says. “I will not hire anybody who doesn’t have an active LinkedIn page for my particular line of work. I just believe that it is necessary to network, and somebody that doesn’t embrace that is going to be at a competitive disadvantage.”
Uddin says LinkedIn usage is high among middle-aged workers, but older and younger employees seem to be averse to it, with younger people using hipper social media sites, and some older people ignoring them altogether. (However, Uddin says, older people are becoming more tech savvy.)
Include a photo, but a professional one, not one like you would post on Facebook.
The One-Page Resume is Dead: If your LinkedIn profile catches someone’s attention, you may still have to send in a resume the old fashioned way. That document is still all-important for job candidates. Uddin says job-seekers who haven’t kept up with the times may be caught off guard by the latest trends in this area.
“The one-page resume went away two or three years ago,” he says. “I still get people with 25 years of experience trying to cram everything into one page. Managers don’t have a problem with a three-page resume now. It’s more beneficial to have a three-page resume than a one-page.”
Software Skills: It almost goes without saying, but computer skills are in demand. Familiarity with SAP enterprise software is a good thing to add to that three-page resume.
Don’t play hard to get: If you are called by a recruiter, you are better off acting like a professional instead of blowing them off. Even though they are “only” an agency, they are acting as a hiring company’s recruiting department, so it’s best to treat them as such, Uddin says. “Our job is to open doors,” he says. “If we call and we leave a message, don’t wait two weeks to get back to us. If we ask for a resume, don’t wait two days to send it. If you treat us the same way you would treat a company’s internal recruiting team, your chances of success increase.”
The Social Network: One reason to take a recruiter seriously is that the agency likely has connections to other companies beyond the one they are actively hiring for.
Nisenson believes many companies are turning to recruiters because after the hiring drought of the Great Recession, they no longer have the connections they once did.
Uddin and Nisenson said networking and maintaining connections is key for both employers and candidates. “It’s a competitive market today,” Nisenson says. “Not letting your resume sit in a pile with 10,000 other people really is the key to getting hired.”