What the HR profession can (and should) be doing about jobs

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Jobs are our Turf

Sharlyn Lauby recently wrote about what she called the single most important component of economic recovery – job creation.  She opens with the following shot:

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama said the administration was going to focus on creating jobs and getting people back to work.  It’s about time.  Really.  We’ve all known for a painfully long time it will take getting people back to work to kick this recession in the butt.  Employed people spend money and spending money grows the economy.  I’m not Ben Bernanke and even I figured this out.

The initiatives to create jobs can’t come soon enough.  In fact, I’m curious to know what’s going on with the outcomes from the jobs summit that was held last year.  You remember the jobs summit?  My recall of the event was very few human resources professionals were on the invite list.  Such a shame.  You’d like to think that any conversation about creating jobs would have HR pros in the room.

I’ve been biting my tongue about this for quite some time.  I have my own theory on why human resources wasn’t at the jobs summit.  It’s because HR pros aren’t focused on job “creation”.  Instead they’re focused on job “readiness”.

You can read the rest of Sharlyn’s relevant thoughts on job creation and a bunch of good comments by clicking here.

What are HR people doing about jobs today?

There are a lot of efforts going on out there already.  Those I am about to mention are by no means comprehensive.  Rather they are an illustration of the various ways people are approaching the difficult task of job creation.

  • In Tampa where I live, there are groups like the Tampa Job Finder Network seeking to help people form a support network.
  • Mark Stelzner and his JobAngels program use twitter to provide job referrals and advice.
  • Laurie Ruettimann and Franny Oxford are utilizing their blogs to profile people who are seeking new positions.
  • Karla Porter is working on plans to do a seminar for job seekers in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area

One of the programs that I would consider a role model program for community effort is Milwaukee Job Camp.

At Job Camp, all they do is:

Unlike job fairs, Milwaukee JobCamp teaches attendees the latest, most-successful job search methods to help you rise above the competition in today’s tough market. This FREE, one-day event gathers the top experts and resources to help you elevate your career and land that great job.

  • Create a personal brand message that quickly communicates ”who you are and what you’ve got.”
  • Write a stand-out resume that results in interviews, with one-on-one Resume Doctor analysis.
  • Receive personalized job interview feedback from local recruiters, hiring managers and HR staff at Interview Improv sessions.
  • Get expert training on Social Media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Hear inside information on the job market and learn job search strategies from motivational speakers, interactive seminars and participatory workshops.
  • Make new connections with Speed Networking.
  • Share info and meet others from your industry at Industry Huddle tables.
  • Join Table Talk discussions to learn more about a myriad of employment-related topics.
  • As part of the registration process, attendees can also submit their resume to our sponsoring organizations.

We need more efforts like these.

Let’s create a National Job Camp Day

What is really need is for the HR community to really step up and put forth a coordinated effort.   Just think of what could be achieved if  SHRM chapters across the country would partner with the chamber of commerce or other civic organizations and put forth efforts like Job Camp across the country.

There is an idea.  There  is more than one model.   If you don’t think my idea is a good one, tell me what you think would be a better one!

Let’s go make something happen!

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