March 1, 2012 Leave a comment
Every day, I see articles scattered about the internet about jobs. Job creation, job success, interview tips and tricks, what to put/not to put on your résumé…the list goes on. Some of these articles, however, don’t even describe the most important step in finding a successful job placement, not only for agencies supporting individuals with disabilities, but for everyone.
A legitimate question: how many of you buy something immediately after seeing it, without even asking what it does or how much it costs? Probably very, very few of you. What would make you more likely to purchase it? Probably a few things:
- The item’s purpose – What can it do for me?
- The item’s cost – How much will this cost me?
- The item’s performance – Is it well-built? Is it made by a reputable manufacturer? Does it have good reviews?
- The item’s demand – Will I really use this if I purchase it?
A lot of what NEBA does it similar to a customer contemplating a purchase, only the customer is an employer, and the item (not to intentionally dehumanize), is our job seeker. Employers have all of these basic questions (and then some) in mind. To paraphrase the above list into employment terms:
- The job seeker’s role – What can this person do to help my business?
- The job seeker’s pay – How much should I compensate them for their work? Can I afford it?
- The job seeker’s credentials – What are their skills? Does NEBA know they are a good match for my business?
- The job seeker’s effectiveness – If I hire this person, will it be worth my investment?
Back to the important key step in employment success. Before an employer can even begin to ask these questions, they need to trust the person they are speaking with. This does not happen in the first, or second, or even third or fourth conversation together. It takes time to build a relationship, and that is the first key to employment success for our individuals. Is it mostly in the job seeker’s hands to succeed? Absolutely. But with NEBA as the catalyst to employment and as the initial contact to employers, it is our relationship building that starts the journey to successful placement.
If you happen to receive a visit from a NEBA employment consultant, you can be sure we won’t blurt out our mission statement. We want you to do the talking first. It is about your business, not our job-seekers. We want to know what your business does. How you have reached your current status as a business. How today’s economy is affecting your bottom line, and your employees. We want to know how your business impacts the community. We also want to know your story. How did you come to be the employer that you are? Are there things you would change about your business? What’s your favorite ice cream flavor (hey, it can’t be all business)?
The bottom line: If we don’t know about you, we cannot possibly know about your business. If we don’t know about your business, we cannot possibly know if a NEBA job seeker would be a great match. Without taking the steps to nurture a relationship, there’s no point in even asking about job opportunities, because neither NEBA nor an employer wants to invest in something they don’t know about.
Senior Employment Consultant, Connecticut Services