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就业市场紧张,求职者如何抓住良机?

GEOFF COLVIN 2018年02月11日

在竞争激烈的求职中如何脱颖而出?

以前,在开发出TurboTax和QuickBooks的软件公司Intuit,招聘人员可以要求求职者参加多次面试,再决定是否录用。但现在这样做已经行不通。该公司人力资源总监雪莉·怀特利表示:“我们现在没有那么多时间。”对优秀人才的竞争变得日益残酷,所以“我们不得不改变招聘方式。”该公司通过一支对人才具有敏锐判断力的员工团队,在一天之内完成求职者的面试和测试,然后团队碰头做出决定。怀特利说道:“我们邀请求职者来面试,然后当天就发出了工作邀请函,这种情况屡见不鲜。我们必须这么做。我经常因为招聘问题夜不能寐。”

注意学着点儿:困扰科技公司的人才争夺战愈演愈烈,并且即将扩展到整个经济领域。美国经济经过近九年的缓慢扩张之后,如今驶入了快车道,正在以前所未有的速度创造就业。猎头公司光辉国际(Korn Ferry)的报告称:“新年伊始的就业市场表现强劲,延续了近几年的势头。”最受欢迎的求职网站Indeed.com表示:“准备迎接招聘高潮。”随着就业市场进入数十年来最紧张的状态,一直希望换工作的劳动者终于等到了机会。

预测者从简单经济学的角度出发,对于即将到来的招聘高潮充满信心。美国公司创造的职位空缺约有600万个,接近历史最高水平。但雇主填补职位空缺的速度却创下了近三年来的最低水平,因为越来越多人找到了工作,已经停止求职,导致雇主找不到需要的人才。需求增长和供应减少必定会带来价格上涨,而劳动力市场中的价格就是薪酬。

Time was when recruiters at Intuit, the software company that makes TurboTax and QuickBooks, could ask job candidates back for multiple interviews before making a decision. Not now. “We don’t have that time anymore,” says HR chief Sherry Whiteley. Competition for excellent candidates has become so brutal that “we’ve had to reinvent how we do recruiting.” Using a team of employees who have proved themselves sharp judges of talent, the company puts candidates through a day of interviews and tests. Then the team convenes and makes a decision. “A lot of times we’ll bring people in, and they get same-day offers. We’ve had to do it,” says Whiteley, who adds, “Recruiting keeps me up at night.”

Watch and learn: The war for talent that obsesses tech companies is intensifying and is about to spread economywide. After almost nine years of mostly sluggish expansion, the U.S. economy has shifted into a higher gear and is creating jobs at a record pace. “The new year has started with a job market as robust as any in recent years,” reports the Korn Ferry recruiting firm. Indeed.com, the most widely used job site, says, “Get ready for a hiring boom.” With the labor market tighter than it has been in decades, workers who’ve been yearning to change jobs finally have their moment.

Forecasters are highly confident of the coming boom because they’re looking at simple economics. About 6 million jobs are open at U.S. companies, near an all-time high. Yet employers are filling jobs at the slowest rate in three years, unable to sign the employees they need as more people find work and stop looking. Growing demand, shrinking supply—that’s the formula for rising prices, known in the labor market as pay.

2018年2月1日《财富》杂志的封面。 

虽然最近的统计数据显示就业市场的需求有小幅下滑,但仍在过去几个月的范围之内。市场紧张情况虽然有所缓解,但依旧处在历史最高水平。美国目前的失业率为4.1%,这是自2001年经济衰退之前美国经济繁荣达到高潮以来的最低水平。美联储一直认为5.6%的失业率代表“充分就业”;如果实际失业率低于这个水平,则假设求职者都找到了新工作。去年,美联储将其充分就业估算下调至目前为止史上最低的4.6%,但即便如此,目前的失业率依旧低于这一水平,这意味着无法找到工作的求职者相对较少。

这是美国经济的整体失业率水平。而知识工作者、管理者和其他商业人才的失业率更低。拥有学士学位或更高学位的工作者,失业率只有2.1%。管理类职业的失业率为2%,另据劳工统计局统计,其中“商业与金融职业”的失业率只有1.7%,几乎可以忽略不计,是整体经济领域当中失业率最低的职业。德勤管理咨询公司(Deloitte Consulting)的主管乔希·贝辛,一直在人力资源领域有着巨大的影响力。他表示:“目前就业市场对于专业人才、领导人才和新技术人才的争夺已经趋于白热化。”对于正在考虑跳槽的商业人士而言,现在是一个千载难逢的好机会,可以找到更好的雇主,或者得到大幅加薪。

在新就业市场,薪酬似乎也在发生变化。劳工统计局表示,截至2017年9月的12个月内,私营行业的工资水平提高了2.6%,较前一年提高了20个基点,远高于过去十年中前五年的水平。而且最近的工资上涨只是刚刚开始。经济学家们普遍认为,2018年,美国的工资水平会继续提高,管理岗位和其他专业领域的工资水平可能会加速提高。事实上,有些城市的失业率已经下降到与商务职位相当的水平。这些城市的薪酬水平已经开始大幅上涨。以明尼阿波利斯为例,该市最近的失业率为2.3%,工资年比增长了4%。

与其他商务领域一样,科技领域在薪酬方面同样首开先河,而且这种做法可能会席卷整个企业界。据TechCrunch报道,谷歌(Google)曾为一名内部工程师提供价值350万美元的限制股,希望其拒绝Facebook的工作邀请。(这名工程师接受了该笔交易。)其他行业对优秀人才的争夺虽然不会变得如此激烈,但人才争夺战将不可避免。

为了吸引人才,雇主们正在各出奇招。人力资源管理学会(Society for Human Resource Management,SHRM)发现,有些公司正在放宽对毒品零容忍的政策,因为他们“迫切希望填补职位空缺”。当然从事安全关键岗位的人员仍需要接受检测,另外飞行员和卡车司机等工种还要遵守联邦规定。有些雇主似乎准备继续对所有求职者进行毒品检测,并将对使用阿片类物质、冰毒和可卡因的情况采取强硬立场,尽管有关证据只是道听途说。但禁止使用大麻会淘汰一大批求职者。目前美国30个州以及哥伦比亚特区已经在某种形式上将大麻合法化,因此有报道称至少有一些雇主开始将大麻与酒精同等对待:不要神志不清地来到公司或者妨碍工作,其他都没问题。

令人意外的是,雇主们在另外一个方面也放宽了标准。他们不再像过去一样,要求求职者必须达到一定的教育水平。职介公司HRU Technical Resources的负责人蒂姆·萨基特最近告诉人力资源学会的会员:“对于多数组织内的许多岗位而言,现实情况是教育水平对实际绩效没有任何影响。”他认为人力资源经理只是因为“懒惰”,才会简单粗暴地用学历来筛选过多的求职者。但现在许多岗位的求职者稀少,雇主必须苦苦寻找。他向人力资源经理们发出的信息是:“在2018年,你会录用那些在2008年绝不会录用的人。”

萨基特也为求职者提出了一个重要的问题。既然今天的雇主不得不考虑如何使员工真正取得成功,那么他们到底希望求职者具备怎样的技能和品质?目前的大环境或许确实适合寻找新工作,但求职者仍可能面临竞争。雇主会以什么标准评判求职者?

目前雇主最重视的一种品质是坚毅 — 按照艾伦·迈克格尔在《你的生活经历可能帮助你找到好工作》(How Your Life Experience Could Help You Land a Great Job)一文中的解释,所谓坚毅是指毅力、洞察力和动态适应能力,这种品质往往来源于克服生活中的逆境或不利局面。

另外一个热词是“潜力”。它所代表的含义并不是听上去那么明显。基于个人简历对求职者进行评价的模式,会假设求职者在下一份工作中的表现,与在前一份工作中的表现至少是类似的。但越来越多的雇主发现,在遭到持续破坏的商业环境下,你未来的表现与之前做过的事情并没有太大联系。猎头公司亿康先达(Egon Zehnder)的CEO拉吉夫﹒瓦苏德瓦表示,今天的员工,如同共同基金一样,“往期绩效并不能作为预测未来成功的最佳指标。我们的客户希望找到的人才有精彩的履历,但履历或许并不能预测他未来是否会有所作为。”

那么,雇主如何发现真正前途光明的求职者?埃森哲(Accenture)的全球招聘总监珍妮弗·卡朋特认为,第一步是抛弃简历。她认为:“简历会淘汰优秀人才,”因为多数简历并不能告诉雇主他们需要的信息,例如创造力、是否愿意努力工作和是否热爱学习等。 “这些是评估求职者潜力最重要的因素。”

瓦苏德瓦称亿康先达做了大量工作,来确定代表求职者潜力的标志。最为显著的是“好奇心 — 乐于学习的精神,愿意接受新理念的开放心态。” “适应能力,应对持续不断的破坏和混乱的能力”同样关键。而最重要的能力是:“愿意了解自己,接受反馈,做出自我调整。”瓦苏德瓦称,这些因素代表了一个人的潜力,已经成为公司高层人事决策时的关键变量。 “一家公司可能有两名大致相同的求职者,此时的决定性因素就是潜力。”

但简历可能不会很快消失,所以求职者应该在简历中表现出这些品质和能力。

另外一些受欢迎的品质则更加具体。我们每天都听说数字技能很重要,事实也确实如此,但这些技能不止在软件开发商和互联网公司有市场。可以说现在每一家公司都是技术公司,在任何一个行业,具备数字技能的求职者都会得到最好的工作。例如,人力资源公司罗致恒富(Robert Half)列出了2018年创意和营销领域最热门的工作。前五名分别是内容策略师、数字营销经理、数字项目经理、数字策略师和营销分析经理。

过去五年在Glassdoor.com上发布的招聘信息也表现出相同的趋势。在该网站发布的软件类职位增加最多的行业,并非计算机行业,而是零售业。这对于求职者的意义不言而喻:每一个行业都在向数字化转型,每一个岗位都需要具备数字专业技能。

但比数字技能更宝贵的是,将数字技能与一些更大的事情结合起来。固特异轮胎(Goodyear Tire & Rubber)的CEO理查德·克莱默表示:“关于技术和数字技能,可以将人们分为两类。有的人只有纯粹的技术技能,例如如何直接面对消费者。有的人却可以想出新的商业模式:如我们如何利用技术创造价值,了解我们的目标客户,以及我们正在解决什么问题。这确实很难。但在开始写代码之前我们必须了解这些。”

两者之间的差距,就像有人可以解决客户如何向出租车公司发送叫车短信,有人却可以设计出一家Uber或Lyft。克莱默称:“谷歌或许有许多这样的人,在传统公司或者中间市场公司可能只有五个或者十个这样的人,他们的收入水平不成比例。但他们确实能带来改变。”

另外,通过征求不同就业市场管理部门的意见,还得出了另外一个主题,它所代表的趋势意义更加深远。亿康先达的瓦苏德瓦称:“人性化方面的因素比技能或智商更重要。我们经常听到客户在谈论领导力的人性化因素:如弱点,谦逊等等。”与以往相比,各行各业开始越来越重视人际交往技能,或者所谓的软技能。罗致恒富表示,甚至在严格限定的技术类工作也越来越重视“软技能和领导能力”,而且“现在许多雇主将这些技能视为某些IT岗位的必要条件。”

公司要求这些人事技能的目的非常明显。史宾沙(Spencer Stuart)的猎头顾问贾森·鲍姆加特纳表示,目的之一是“使所有人感觉他们是组织的一份子,在组织内具有举足轻重的作用。” Intuit公司的怀特利认为,这是因为现在最优秀的求职者都“希望能够发挥作用,产生影响力。他们都是目的驱动型人才。”这种观点得到了广泛认可。亿康先达最近对全球500名CEO进行了研究。瓦苏德瓦引用研究结果称,另外一个目的是与追随者“建立情感联系”。如果没有情感联系,追随者会离你而去。正如鲍姆加特纳所说:“今天人们为你工作,是因为他们想要这样做,而不是他们不得不这样做。”

或许最深层的情感联系是让员工看到领导者发自内心地关心他们。这听上去或许没什么效果,但正在努力招聘和评估领导者的公司都认为这一点很重要,是雇主所需要的。固特异的克莱默表示,他需要的领导者“可以让下属知道有人正在关心他们。”

谷歌早在十年前拉斯洛·博克担任人力资源部负责人的时候就已经意识到了这一点,而许多公司直到现在才有这种意识。博克说道:“我们在招聘时参照的标准,比如SAT分数、学校、专业等,这些都是错误的。”博克参与创立了一家科技公司Humu,帮助领导者、管理者和其他员工更有效率、更快乐。 “我们经过三年研究证明,这些标准并不能预测工作绩效。”他们发现,要想预测一名领导者能否成功,只要看看他是否会与下属建立情感联系,是否对下属的生活和职业感兴趣,以及是否平易近人,这些比技术技能或者考试分数更有效。员工更开心,工作效率更高,他们跳槽的可能性就越低。

再说一遍,越来越多的雇主需要每个级别都具有深厚的人事技能。这也给那些一心想要抓住这次绝佳机会的求职者提出了一个问题:如果你熟练掌握了这些技能,如何在面试官面前表现出来?并不是说你可以在简历上贴一份证书。对于这个问题,博克给出了最佳答案,它甚至可以作为一份绝佳的面试计划书。“你可以预测面试官会提问的90%的问题,所以正确的策略就是一遍一遍地练习回答这些问题。在面试中遇到这些问题的时候,你不需要绞尽脑汁思考,只需要说出你提前准备的答案即可。如果你具备一定的社交和情感技能,你应该把它们应用到面试过程当中,就像你以前在生活中从未用过一样。你必须在30分钟时间里,让对方爱上你。这是说服雇主的最佳方式。”

还有一条建议:现在行动起来。你永远不知道陷入白热化的就业市场会持续多长时间。(财富中文网)

本文发表于2018年2月1日的《财富》杂志,文章标题为《人才竞争趋于白热化,求职者如何抓住良机》。

译者:刘进龙/汪皓 

 

Some recent statistics on demand have ticked down slightly but remain within the range of the past few months. Even if the market eased a bit, it would still be historically tight. Unemployment, at 4.1%, is the lowest since the economic boom that crested just before the 2001 recession. The Fed had long considered a rate of 5.6% to represent “full employment”; when it’s lower, anyone seeking work is assumed to be simply transitioning to a new job. The Fed revised its full-employment estimate down to 4.6% last year, by far the lowest ever, but with unemployment now well below even that, relatively few people seeking a job are unable to find one.

And that’s in the economy overall. Among knowledge workers, managers, and other businesspeople, unemployment is far lower. For workers with a bachelor’s degree or more, the rate is just 2.1%. In management occupations it’s 2%, and within that category, unemployment in “business and financial occupations” as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a near-invisible 1.7%, equaling the lowest unemployment rate among all job classifications economywide. “Right now the job market for professional, leadership, and new technology jobs is white hot,” says Josh Bersin, a principal at Deloitte Consulting and a longtime HR thought leader. For businesspeople looking to jump, now is a long-awaited chance to find a better employer and maybe notch a substantial raise.

As for the latter, even that seems to be changing in the new job market. In private industry, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries rose at 2.6% for the 12 months ended September 2017—20 basis points above the rate the prior year and notably higher than what we saw in the first half of the decade. That recent upswing is just a start, however. Economists widely expect that pay will continue rising across the U.S. in 2018—and likely accelerate for management roles and other professional fields. Compensation, indeed, is already rising smartly in cities where unemployment rates have plunged as low as they are in business occupations. In Minneapolis, for example, where unemployment was recently 2.3%, pay is rising at a 4% annual clip.

Here, as with much else in business, the tech sector has blazed a trail that’s likely to wind across the corporate realm. Google once offered a staff engineer $3.5 million of restricted stock to turn down an offer from Facebook TechCrunch reported. (The engineer took the deal.) No, the fights over top candidates won’t grow quite so fevered in other industries, but a tussle for talent there will be.

And employers are taking unusual steps to attract recruits. Some are relaxing their zero-tolerance drug policy because they’re “desperate to fill open positions,” the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has found. Workers in safety-critical jobs will still be tested, and some, such as airline pilots and truck drivers, are governed by federal rules. While evidence is anecdotal, some employers seem set to continue drug testing all applicants and taking a hard line on use of opioids, methamphetamine, and cocaine. But barring marijuana use eliminates a lot of applicants. With 30 states and the District of Columbia having broadly legalized marijuana in some form, at least a few employers are reportedly treating it like alcohol: Don’t show up impaired or get that way on the job, and you’re fine.

Employers are opening the door wider in another surprising way. They’re not demanding the same educational degrees that they used to. “The reality for many positions, across most organizations, is that education has no influence on actual performance,” Tim Sackett, head of the HRU Technical Resources staffing firm, recently told SHRM members. He believes HR managers are “lazy” and use educational attainment as an easy filter for an excess of applicants. But now that applicants for many positions are sparse, employers will have to look harder. His message to HR managers: “In 2018, you’ll hire people you never would have hired in 2008.”

Sackett is raising a major question for job hunters. As employers are forced to confront what really makes employees successful today, what skills and traits are they seeking in candidates? This may be a great environment in which to find a new job, but you’ll likely still face competition. On what basis will you be judged?

One of the qualities employers most value now is called grit—the fortitude, insight, and ability to adapt on the fly that often comes from overcoming adversity or disadvantage in life, as Ellen McGirt explains in the feature “How Your Life Experience Could Help You Land a Great Job.”

Another hot word is “potential.” It isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Our résumé-based model of evaluating job candidates assumes that what you’ll be doing in your next job is at least broadly similar to what you did in your last one. But employers increasingly find that in a continually disrupted business environment, what you’ll be doing next bears little relation to anything you’ve done before. With today’s employees, as with mutual funds, “past performance is not the best indicator of future success,” says Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO of the Egon Zehnder executive recruiting firm. “Clients want somebody with a great track record, but that may not predict a great future.”

How can an employer identify candidates who really do have a great future? Step 1 is by abandoning the résumé as currently conceived, says Jennifer Carpenter, Accenture’s global head of recruiting. “Résumés are screening out exceptional people,” she says, because most résumés don’t tell employers what they need to know—information about creativity, willingness to work hard, and love of learning. “That’s what is most important when we’re trying to evaluate potential.”

Vasudeva says Egon Zehnder has done considerable work to identify markers of potential. The most significant is “curiosity—openness to learn, to new ideas.” Also crucial are “capability to adapt, to deal with constant disruption and chaos.” Overlaying all those abilities: “willingness to learn about yourself, openness to feedback and to adapting yourself.” These factors combine to signal potential, which has become the crucial variable in top-level people decisions, Vasudeva says. “A company may have two candidates in the same ballpark, but the defining element is potential.”

Résumés probably won’t disappear anytime soon, so yours will somehow need to convey those traits and abilities.

Other in-demand qualities are more specific. We hear every day that digital skills are highly valued, and it’s certainly true—but the market for those skills extends far beyond software makers and dotcoms. Every company is a technology company now, which means that in every kind of business, candidates with digital skills will increasingly get the best jobs. For example, the Robert Half staffing firm has identified the hottest jobs in the creative and marketing fields for 2018. The top five? Content strategist, digital marketing manager, digital project manager, digital strategist, and marketing analytics manager.

You’ll see the same trend in job postings at Glassdoor.com over the past five years. The industry with the sharpest increase in software jobs listed on the site isn’t the computer biz, but rather retailing. The takeaway for job seekers is unmistakable: Every industry is digital, and every gig requires some of that expertise.

Even more valuable than digital skills, though, are digital skills combined with something larger. “When it comes to technical and digital skills, people can be put into two buckets,” says Rich Kramer, CEO of Goodyear Tire & Rubber. “There are people with pure tech skills—for example, how to go direct to consumers. And then there are individuals who can think through new business models: that is, how we’re going to use technology to create value, know who our customer is and what problem we’re solving. That’s really hard. But we have to understand that before we start writing code.”

It’s the difference between people who can figure out how customers can text pickup requests to a taxi company and people who can conceive of an Uber or a Lyft. “Google may have a lot of those people, but incumbent or mid-market companies may have only five or 10, and they make a disproportionate income,” says Kramer. “They really make the difference.”

One more theme comes through strongly in canvassing a wide range of job market authorities, a trend more profound than the others. “The whole human side is now more important than skills or IQ,” says Vasudeva of Egon Zehnder. “Everything we hear from clients is about the human aspects of leadership: vulnerability, humility.” Across industries, employers are prizing people skills, the so-called soft skills, more highly than before. Even in strictly defined technology jobs, employers are increasingly looking for “soft skills and leadership abilities,” says the Robert Half firm, adding that “many employers now view these skills as requirements for some IT roles.”

The objectives of those human skills in companies today are clear. One is “making people feel they’re part of an organization that matters,” says Jason Baumgarten, a search consultant at Spencer Stuart. That’s because today’s best candidates “want to make a difference. They’re very purpose-driven,” says Intuit’s Whiteley, an observation widely echoed. Another objective is “building an emotional connection” with followers, says Vasudeva, citing a recent study of 500 CEOs worldwide that his firm conducted. Without that, followers won’t follow. As Baumgarten puts it, “Today people work for you because they want to, not because they have to.”

Maybe the deepest part of that emotional connection is showing employees that the leader genuinely cares about them. It may sound hopelessly warm and fuzzy, but those in the thick of hiring and evaluating leaders agree that it’s important, and it’s what employers are demanding. As Goodyear’s Kramer says, he needs leaders “who can let you know that someone is looking out for you.”

Many companies are thus coming late to a realization that dawned on Google almost a decade ago, when Laszlo Bock was running HR. “We were hiring on the wrong criteria—SAT scores, schools, majors,” says Bock, who has cofounded a tech firm called Humu to help leaders, managers, and other employees be more productive and happier. “We did a three-year study proving those were not predictive of job performance.” What predicted a leader’s success far better than tech skills or test scores, they found, was simply making a human connection with followers, being interested in their lives and careers, and being accessible to them. Employees were happier, more productive, and less likely to leave.

To repeat, employers increasingly want deep human skills at all levels. Which leads to a question for the fired-up job seeker who wants to capitalize on this extraordinarily favorable environment: If you’re fluent in those skills, how do you convey that fact to an interviewer? It’s not as if you can put a certification on your résumé. Bock has the best answer, which stands as an overall wise job interview plan. “You can anticipate 90% of the questions you’re going to get asked, so the correct strategy is to practice answering those questions over and over. When you get those questions, you can just talk without having to think too hard. Then if you have these social and emotional skills, you need to apply them in that meeting like you never applied them in your life. In 30 minutes you’ve got to make that person fall in love with you. That’s the best way to convince an employer.”

One more suggestion: Do it now. You never know how long white-hot markets are going to last.

A version of this article appears in the Feb. 1, 2018 issue of Fortune with the headline “Ready, Set, Jump!”

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