EH&S employment opportunities in a down market

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Courtesy of Trinity Consultants

While the national unemployment remains stubbornly high, around 10% at this writing, there are interesting employment opportunities for EH&S professionals who are flexible, have critical skills, and who stand out. According to Janet Pankajakshan, VP of On Demand Environmental, a division of Trinity Consultants that provides EH&S staffing services, “it’s a challenging, yet interesting time in the marketplace. There are definitely great jobs available in great companies for EH&S professionals that have the needed skill sets. Equally exciting, though, is the growing number of contract positions that offer a unique opportunity for employer and candidate to ‘try before you buy’.”

Becoming a MVC - Most Valuable Candidate
In this “employer’s market,” hiring companies are taking their time to find just the right candidate before extending an offer.  Although employers frequently emphasized hiring the most well-rounded candidate in the past, companies are currently focused more sharply on specific skills, with new and developing regulatory requirements becoming a more important issue. For instance, beginning in 2010, many companies will be required to submit annual reports on their greenhouse (GHG) emissions. Consequently, many of the current openings include responsibility for quantifying emissions, managing emissions data, and preparing the related regulatory reports.

What does this mean for candidates? For maximum results, candidates should consider the following steps for increasing their appeal:

  • Study the specific requirements in job postings to understand the skills that are currently in highest demand in the marketplace
  • Invest in developing any lacking expertise in those areas through a combination of self-study, internal or external training, and volunteering for those responsibilities with the current employer
  • Tailor cover letters and resumes to address the skills required for each specific position
  • When communicating about experience, focus on specific achievements related to those skills rather than more general language related to areas of responsibility
  • Partner with a staffing organization that can present your unique qualifications to potential employers rather than allowing your resume to get lost in a stack of a hundred others

Flexibility Buys Opportunities

With all-in costs of a permanent employee reaching easily 130 percent of the salary alone, and with ongoing market pressures, companies are increasingly exploring alternative staffing options for the short-term. Contract, temporary, and/or part-time positions allow both the employer and the candidate to keep their options open. From the company’s perspective, using a contractor saves money on the front end (compressed recruiting efforts), during the contract (no benefits), and on the back end (no severance). However, contract work can also benefit the candidate in a number of ways, including:

  • The opportunity to earn income and learn new skills while continuing to seek permanent employment
  • The chance to see the inside of an organization before accepting permanent employment
  • The ability to explore new industry sectors
  • The chance to earn a competitive wage without management responsibilities
  • The option to work when you want to — ideal for students, retirees, and others who don’t need full-time employment
  • The perfect opportunity to prove your worth to a potential long-term employer

Candidates should also remain flexible with respect to job responsibilities, pay rate, and job location to maximize their options. Accepting a position with less than ideal conditions initially often leads to better opportunities later on.

The Power of a Staffing Partner
Whatever your current employment status and employment goals, a staffing partner can assist you with a job search. A staffing company, such as On Demand Environmental can provide the following benefits to job searchers:

  • They know where the open positions are
  • They have pre-established relationships at hiring companies that can accelerate the process
  • They can help customize your resume based on their understanding of the position and hiring manager’s criteria
  • They can coach you to overcome any perceived weaknesses and prep you for interviews

On Demand Environmental specializes in matching qualified EH&S professionals to openings in industry, facilitating contract, contract-to-hire, and direct hire employment opportunities. Learn more about On Demand Environmental and view available job
opportunities at ondemandenv.com.

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