Many employers are confused by the workforce landscape. They are frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be the flow of qualified talent seeking employment with their companies, or answering the corporate call to come and join the team; and furthermore, they have no idea how to remedy these problems. The most common complaint recruiters hear from hiring authorities is that they’ve placed their ads, they’ve networked with everyone they can think of, and still they aren’t finding what they’re looking for. The solution is simple:

Partner with a true industry insider. Many HR professional and Hiring Authorities have been in their current role for many years, yet more than likely, they have changed industries more than once. These changes in career path are typical and are important to personal growth, but these changes also add to the difficulty of using their network of people to find the talent they are looking for. Recruiters– the right recruiters–have been working in their industry for years, never really straying too far from their network and competency. A recruiter with more than 3 years of experience will have an enormous amount of contacts and knowledge of their industry, and can add incredible value to the search and recruitment process.

Cover Letters: Are they valuable?

As an executive recruiter, I see hundreds of resumes a week, and speak with dozens of hiring managers as well. In all of my six years of experience, I’ve yet to have a hiring manager ask me to send a cover letter to them, yet I receive numerous resumes with cover letters.

There is an old saying the truly applies to the usage of cover letters in the recruiting industry; The times, they are a-changing. Years ago, the only chance a prospective candidate had to introduce themselves to a potential employer was via the cover letter. This was their elevator pitch on the how, why, and where they would be a good addition to the company. Without the cover letter, the client couldn’t get much of a feel for the candidate’s personality. That’s one place where recruiters bring their value. Recruiters are the new cover letter. It is their job to not only assess the skills of the candidate, but to also serve as the cover letter for the candidate. This is done through lengthy conversations, as well as skill and cultural assessments. It has become the new paradigm to have these cover letters created by an assessor and not by the candidate, so the information is unbiased, honest, and geared to the needs and qualities the employer believes to be valuable; every employer has differing standards. Each company has a unique set of requirements for their positions, and no two organizations have the exact needs of another. Some are in need of producers, and that is their focus. Others are looking for chemistry fits, while still others are in need of people with strong core values, and work ethic. One of the biggest assets of having a recruiter working for you on either side, is that they will give you an objective perspective on the hiring situation, and they can tell you what’s really going on.

Hot Spots: Does Your Major Matter?

Do you need a business degree to work at a business? Must you major in Journalism or English to work at a news paper? What about computers? Do you need a Computer Science degree to program computers? The answer is pretty obvious: No.

The biggest factor in your college degree is in the fact that you have one. Most employers we deal with do ask for a college degree, but rarely specify a course of study. The few times they are specified, it is because this person will be working in a highly specialized field like Metallurgy. Some degrees can be more useful than others, especially when the top requirement from employers these days are communication skills, but you can work in any major and still possess those.

Aside from communications, there many other qualities that hiring companies look for. The list of most sought after qualities are honesty, integrity, and interpersonal skills. None of these require a particular major to have any sort of mastery.

The best bet for any jobseeker is to be a complete player. If you have your degree in business, you could benefit from some writing courses, or some public speaking, while art majors would do well to take some business classes, with some math. This will get you started out in the right direction, since it’s the basic skills you gain from college that are so appealing, not the course of study. Remember, there is no teacher like experience, so don’t concern yourself with whether or not you’ve taken the right classes and gotten the right degree, but celebrate the fact that you went to college and demonstrated the true skills they seek, like determination, teamwork, communication skills, honesty, and integrity.

Those are the true skills people seek out in one another.