Seattle job social draws big

I was at the Seattle Job Social event at Twist in Seattle yesterday. The event  is organized by VerticalMove, a headhunting and Recruiting Outsourcing Process service provider. My friend, Michael Michaels, is the Business Development Manager there and had invited me.

When I arrived, the line extended outside the door, down the sidewalk south on 1st avenue. I was quite surprised by the turnout. Many were well dressed, somewhat formal for Seattle, carrying their resumes. I met an unemployed project manager recently of Washington Mutual, a web analyst formerly of Amazon, and so on.

It’s one thing to read the statistics: 9.2% unemployment rate in Washington state; 12.1% in Oregon; 12.6% in Michigan. It’s another to see so many looking for work in one place — in my industry of high-tech and online marketing.

Several local companies were also represented at the event, looking for possible candidates. Kudos to Seattle Job Social for putting recruiters and candidates together.

One definite casualty of the current economic crisis is labor. Microsoft’s ability to demand 10% cut for all a-dash (agencies temporaries) contractors is a sign of the times. Many companies are moving out higher-paid employees and replacing them by cherry-picking from the flood of highly-qualified workers in the job market willing to take lower pay. In Detroit with the troubles of the American auto manufacturers, UAW is becoming less and less relevant.

The price pressures throughout the economy will continue to force companies to find further cost savings. The squeeze for cost efficiency will especially hit service companies. Many will fail trying to adapt. Others, with new innovative approaches, will emerge and be successful. There will certainly be challenges and opportunities during today’s cold business climate.  What will you focus on? The challenges or the opportunities? Be aware of the former, but focus on the later.

Meanwhile, the Seattle Job Social and other such events will continue to draw well, with lines spilling down the sidewalks.

Here is a great visual depiction of the job situation in the US over the past two-and-a half years. Sobering, but effective visualization.