After seeing the collapse of Hastie Group this week and a raft of job losses it stirred up some interest in the question of future employability for business owners, Directors and long term employees. If you are a business owner, partner, senior manager or a long term employee, what would you rate your chances of getting another job quickly if everything went pear-shaped?
Would you employ you? How would you sell your skills and experience to a potential employer and would you work for someone again? What is your intention in the new company? Will you stick around? Basically these are things that we often have to assess at application and interview stage for candidates that are in this situation. Some are very clear on these things and some really leave us guessing.
A few months ago we interviewed a senior manager that was responsible for business development and sales who approached us for a similar role that was advertised. When asked why that person wished to leave the role, their response was due to the lack of new business coming in and they could now see “the writing on the wall” for the company. If you take a step back, it was this person’s responsibility to seek new business and create opportunity so that this didn’t happen! Our big question: employable or unemployable?
Getting back to you. Hypothetically, if something happened to your business whether as an owner, senior manager or long term employee what would you do? We all know that the world won’t end, that’s for sure. You may however, be in a sticky situation if you don’t realistically look at who you are and your value to the next company. We are all proud of our individual achievements and you are definitely skilled in your workplace however, how do you sell that? Some points to consider based on feedback that we get from our clients:
- As a Director, Entrepreneur, Partner or business owner the first thing we look at is your reason for moving on. You may have fulfilled your goals in your own business, a family member may have become ill, your industry may have changed or has been affected, a partnership may have dissolved and the list goes on… Be clear in what that is and most importantly what you want to bring to the role. You can be considered a high risk placement or even a threat to the next employer. What would you think of a rival business owner coming to work for you – would you be scared that they may spend 12 months with you, gather your information and your database, leave and start again back in competition with you?
- As a long term employee – basically, you appear safe, as you have showed the tenacity and dedication to stay at a job or career for a period of time greater than 3 years (yes, we now consider “long term” greater than 3 years – shocking isn’t it?). However, the big question is what did you do whilst you were there? Did you work in a company for 10 years and have just 1 job that entire time, or did you progress your career in the company? Suddenly you may appear unattractive and questions start getting asked about your ability to learn and adapt, your motivation level and performance levels.
- For both groups, salary is the biggest question – where do you fit? what are you comfortable with, can you take a cut and start again. This is one of the biggest hesitations that we experience on both sides of the fence. We all have a “personal worth” that we need to consider however you also need to consider what the market is paying (with some flexibility for your added skills). You sometimes have to leave the ego at the door and listen to what the job is worth to the business. Just remember, at the time of budgeting for the role, the company did not know you and were certainly not considering your perceived worth to assign a salary range to it.
What you need to do is to plan your attack. The first thing is to focus on your intentions and think of why you are looking at a new role and what your intentions are for the next business. Second to that, create a resume or CV (a great exercise to do even if you are in your own business) to see exactly who you are on paper – write down your achievements over the years, your qualifications and professional development and group the jobs or tasks that you are most skilled in. To us at New Point, the perfect candidate is clear on who they are, have the right intentions for the job, know and can give examples of their skills pertinent to the role and have a likeable character to fit with the team. Do you fit that profile?
Would you employ you?