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    Job fairs boom amid economic crisis

    作者: 佚名  上傳時間:2009-03-06  瀏覽:185
     By Adla Massoud in New York  
    Long queues form at job fairs across the US [GALLO/GETTY]
    The line to get into the job fair stretched around three sides of one block.
    More than 2,000 job seekers turned out at a Midtown hotel in New York City to shake hands, exchange business cards and score a quick interview. Either out of work or soon to be, they were all seeking a way to turn their fortunes around.
    Thirty employers waited inside, each with their own selling points - from sales to health care to opportunities in the military.
    With the unemployment rate soaring to its highest level in over 15 years, many job seekers are feeling anxious. For every position available, there are many qualified candidates.
    Barbara Safani, the president of Career Solvers, a career consultancy company, says many of the firms in attendance may not be actively recruiting but rather using job fairs as an opportunity to market their brand.
    "A lot of companies still attend these job fairs to keep their pipeline strong even if they are not going to hire," she said.
    High-performing candidates
    Peter Stack, the vice-president of insurance company MetLife, which had several booths at the fair, said the economic crisis has not altered their hiring policies.
    "We´re still looking for high-performing individuals. It´s always good to have such rich talent," he said.
    Some employers are making the most of rising unemployment to improve their workforce, says Jennifer Grasz from careerbuilder.com, a recruitment website.
    "What we are seeing is that employers are taking this time to upgrade their talent roster. "They´re replacing lower-performing employees with higher-performing candidates that may not have been available in a healthier job market. So, they are able to access a greater pool of talent," she said.
    Grasz says the companies benefiting most from the economic crisis are outplacement firms - the outfits hired by employers to provide career counselling to the employees they lay off. Long-term unemployed According to a poll released by the Pew Research Centre, 40 per cent of Americans have been affected by some kind of employment-related problem in the past year, be it unemployment, underemployment, reductions in pay or hours, or family members being laid off.
    Fifty-six per cent of those polled expect the situation to either deteriorate or stay the same in the next year. The US Federal Reserve has also predicted that the economy will continue to shrink, pushing the unemployment rate even higher.
    With limited opportunities available, the unemployed are now finding it increasingly difficult to become re-employed and according to US federal data, the number of long-term unemployed - those out of work for at least 27 weeks - has doubled to 2.6 million in the past year.
    "I´ve been unemployed for almost a year now, and have applied for over 200 jobs," says 55-year-old Arnold Morse.
    "I worked as an accountant and it´s been hard for me to find a job because I don´t have a CPA [certified public accountant]. "It´s a test I should have taken 30 years ago when I first graduated from college but the way my career was going back then, I did not need it. Now a lot of places are looking for a CPA."
    "I tried temping [temporary work] for a month," he adds. "But they decided I was overqualified for the job. It´s been pretty rough out there." Uncertainty
    With the state of California´s unemployment rate reaching 9.3 per cent, Vince Torres decided to try his luck in New York.
    "This is the second job fair I attended and I think ultimately the best way to get a job is by networking," he said.
    Some Federal Reserve officials fear it will take five to six years for the economy and employment to return to healthy levels. Employment is typically the last piece of the economy to heal as businesses slowly test the water before hiring again.
    Jessica Moore, a single mother of two and a former retail employee, says: "What gets to me is the uncertainty, not knowing what tomorrow will bring."

     
     
    Adla Massoud紐約報道
    美國各地招聘會應聘者排起了長龍[GALLO/GETTY]
    參加招聘會的應聘者長隊把一個街區的三面圍了個水泄不通。
    2000多名求職者聚集在紐約市中心區賓館,他們握手、互遞名片,從而尋求一個短暫的面試機會。無論是已經或即將失業者,他們都在尋求脫離困境的途徑。
    30名雇主等候在大廳內,每個雇主都提供了自己的特色職位,涵蓋了銷售、醫療保健、參軍等眾多領域。
    在這次經濟危機中,美國失業率已飆升至15年來的最高水平,好多求職者憂心忡忡。因為每一個可尋求的職位都吸引了眾多合格的競聘者。
    職業解決者(Career Solvers)職業咨詢公司的總裁芭芭拉·薩伐尼(Barbara Safani)說,列席的好多公司可能無意招募人才,而是利用招聘會這個契機營銷他們的品牌。
    “好多公司仍在列席這些招聘會以壯大他們的營銷渠道,雖然他們無意招募人才,”薩伐尼如是說。
    高履歷的應聘者
    美國大都會人壽保險公司(MetLife)的副總裁皮得·斯達克(Peter Stack)表示,這次經濟危機并沒有改變公司的雇傭政策,他們在這個招聘會設置了好幾個席位。
    “我們仍在尋找精英人才,人才濟濟總是沒錯的,”斯達克如是說。
    來自求職招聘網站careerbuilder.com的詹尼弗·格拉茲表示,一些雇主正在充分利用上升的失業人數來提升他們的勞動力。
    “依我們看來,雇主正在借此機會升級他們人才儲備。”
    “他們正在用那些在一個更正常的求職行情無用武之地的高績效的應聘者取代低績效的員工,這樣他們就能獲得更卓越的人才儲備,”格拉茲如是說。
    格拉茲表示,最能從經濟危機中受益的公司是那些人力資源公司(獵頭)——受雇于眾多雇主、向離職的員工提供職業咨詢的公司。
    長期失業
    佩尤研究中心(Pew Research Centre)公布的民意調查結果顯示,去年,無論是失業、不充分就業、降薪、還是家庭成員被解雇,40%的美國人已受到與就業相關的一些問題的影響。
    56%的受調查人員認為明年的形勢不是惡化就是依然維持現狀。
    美國聯邦儲備系統也曾預測,經濟狀況將會繼續萎靡,將會導致失業率大幅提升。
    由于只有有限的就業機會,失業人員現在發現重新就業變得日益艱難。美國聯邦數據顯示,去年長期失業(離職至少27周)的人數已經翻倍達到了260萬。
    “到現在,我已經失業近一年了,申請過200多個職位,都杳無音訊,”55歲的阿諾德·摩爾斯(Arnold Morse)說。
    “我曾經做過會計,現在我很難找到一份工作,因為我沒有注冊會計師證書。”
    “注冊會計師是一個我本應在30年前剛畢業時就通過的測試,但是追溯那時我的職業,我根本就不需要這個證書。但現在好多職位都要求具有注冊會計師證書。”
    “我曾試著做過零時工,”他補充說。“但是就此工作,他們認為我資歷過高,大材小用。這些工作都是非常粗糙的活。”
    變幻無常
    由于加州的失業率已經高至9.3%,文斯·托雷斯(Vince Torres)決定在紐約碰碰運氣。
    “這是我參加的第二個招聘會,我最終認為找到工作的最好途徑是通過網絡,”他說。
    聯邦儲蓄的某些官員擔憂經濟和雇傭狀況回到正軌將需要5至6年的時間。當企業遲緩地探索商機重新招聘之前,就業成了經濟復蘇最先解決的代表性問題。
    杰西卡·摩爾(Jessica Moore)是一名擁有兩個孩子的單身媽媽,她曾是一名售貨員,她說:“我身邊發生的一切都變幻無常,我不知道明天將會怎樣。”
     
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