Consultative Selling Resource Pack

In the past couple years Higher has introduced our network to a job development model known as Consultative Selling. In addition to providing training on Consultative Selling at various Higher training events, we also published a four-part blog series and facilitated a 1-year online Community of Practice (CoP) group focused on adapting this model for refugee employment.

In order to continue helping our network learn and practice this approach to job development, we put together this resource pack, including our intitial Consultative Selling blog series and recordings of all 3 CoP calls.

Consultative Selling Blog Series

Click on the links below to read Higher’s 4-part blog series on the four primary aspects of the Consultative Selling model: Prospecting, Needs Analysis, Selling, and Follow-up:

Illustration by Gary Phelps / EMM Wichita

Part One:Hitting the Target: Prospecting Techniques That Work

Part Two:Understanding Employers’ Needs and Providing Solutions

Part Three:Providing and Selling Workforce Solutions

Part Four:Strengthening Employer Relationships Through Effective Follow-up


2016 Job Development Community of Practice (3 Presentations)

In 2016 Higher facilitated a Community of Practice (CoP) for refugee employment staff who had attended the one day training put on by Allen Anderson at our Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop in November 2015 in Omaha, NE (to hear a little bit from Allen, check out the Innovations and Opportunities panel discussion from our Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop page).

Over time the CoP expanded to include coworkers of the original members, and other refugee employment staff who received Consultative Selling training from Higher at separate events. You can access video recordings of these three online events below:

 

  

   

For more on Consultative Selling, click here.

If you are using this model, we would love to hear about your experience. Please email us at information@higheradvantage.org.

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Holiday Outreach Strategy + Holiday Graphic!

Showing appreciation for your employer partners is easier than ever before.

We designed this holiday graphic to provide you with an easy and quick way to send a thank you email to employers and community partners. 

You can do it in three easy steps:

1. Download a high resolution JPEG by right clicking on the below image and selecting “Save As”.

higher-holiday-card 2016

(or Download a PDF here)

2. Add your agency logo and message to an email.

3. Hit send.

Do you have a holiday outreach strategy that works? Please share in the comments below or contact us with the details!  

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Volunteer Engagement

8 Ways Volunteers Can Support Refugee Employment 

hs-245-laura-1Guest post by Laura Griffin, Program Coordinator for Volunteerism at LIRS 

We all know the feeling of not having enough hours in the day. One way to stretch your ability to serve refugee clients is to make volunteer support a core part of your employment program. 

A few weeks ago, I sat down with dozens of people from refugee employment programs around the country to ask: How do volunteers and interns support your work?

Here are 8 Ways to Leverage Volunteer Support for Refugee Employment:

1. One-on-One Job Readiness Support 

Volunteers can sit down with individual clients to practice for interviews, edit resumes, fill out job applications, and/or practice skills like how to use the computer to search for jobs.

2. Guest Speakers and Experts

Bring in volunteers as guest speakers from relevant fields (like IT) to talk with clients about the skills employers in their industry look for in job applicants.

3. Support for Highly Skilled Clients

Volunteers can provide individualized job readiness and placement assistance to highly skilled refugee clients.

4. Mentoringmentoring

Mentoring can focus on advanced job readiness training or industry-specific mentoring. If you are interested in designing a mentoring program to assist refugees with long-term career planning, see the free LIRS Guide for Employment Mentoring.

5. Assist with Job Development

Volunteers can help establish employer leads through community outreach, targeted calling and online searching. One participant shared that they have volunteers research job opportunities and send initial emails to potential employers to start the conversation.

6. Increase Access to Service

Volunteers can help enable clients to access employment services by providing rides or offering child care during job readiness classes.

7. Career Fairs 

Have volunteers take clients to career fairs and help them follow up with potential job leads

8. Case Support and Service Plans 

While it can seem a bit daunting, many participants shared success stories of having interns and star volunteers manage cases and design service plans.

How do you leverage volunteers and interns?  Leave a comment below or contact us if you use volunteers and interns to support your refugee employment programs.

Related: Additional Employment Volunteer Resources, New Collection of Employment Volunteer Resources

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Using Data to Drive Job Development

With such limited time and capacity, you’ve got to make the most out of the time you have for Job Development.

Back in February, we highlighted some online industry research tools available on www.careeronestop.org that can help Job Developers be strategic about what industries they pursue by looking at local labor market information such as fastest growing occupations, most total job openings and occupations with the largest employment.

We’ve recently come across a similar (though less extensive) resource that also presents labor market information, but in a format that is much more user-friendly and more visually appealing.

Where-are-the-jobs.com provides a “graphic representation of occupation employment statistics.” The website was developed by SymSoft Solutions using open data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, and provides insights on employment trends and salary information for various occupations.

This helpful website allows you to view big-picture information such as top industries across the nation, or filter search results by occupation group, specific occupation, state or metro areas. For example, here is what you get when you filter results for “Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations” in the San Diego – Carlsbad, CA area:

Where are the Jobs Visual

We hope that this tool as well as the resources available at careeronestop.org will increase your ability to use your time wisely and strategically identify the best opportunities for your clients.

If you have any stories about how you’ve used data-driven strategies to drive your job development efforts we’d love to hear them. Share your story by emailing us at information@higheradvantage.org or by using the comments section below.

 

 

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Ramadan Begins June 5th

RamadanStart Now to Help Employers and Clients Prepare

This year, Ramadan begins on June 6 and ends on July 5. Observation will begin at sunset on Sunday, June 5th. That first Ramadan Monday morning will be an especially difficult  start to the work week.

Given the current climate of fear, it will be even more important to help employers – and clients – be proactive, prepared and well informed.  

How to Learn More

Click here for an excellent guide to the basics of Ramadan from an article in The Guardian last year:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/17/ramadan-guide-to-islamic-holy-month-muslims-fast

Don’t be afraid to ask Muslim colleagues or local religious leaders for information or suggestions for how you might help employers anticipate questions and potential workplace issues.

Consider how this religious observation could impact employers, clients, your colleagues and you.

Helping Employers & Clients Prepare

Consider sending employer partners an email explaining Ramadan and providing this years dates and what it might mean for some of their employees. Reach out personally to large employers or those with significant numbers of Muslim employees.

It’s a great excuse to get in touch and they will appreciate receiving another free service from you.

Here are some ideas for special ways you could offer assistance:

  • Local mosques and religious leaders might be willing to speak at an information session for employers or attend an employer staff meeting.
  • Many employers have staff potlucks or other informal gatherings to build team morale. Think about ways to help them incorporate traditional Ramadan foods. Who wouldn’t like free baklava, right?  Consider asking a local bakery or restaurant to donate some and provide it to key employer partners along with a simple sign or announcement about Ramadan.
  • Provide information about local opportunities to learn more during Ramadan. Many mosques host iftar (fast-breaking daily evening meals) dinners that are sometimes open to guests.

In addition to your communications with employers, make sure to remind clients about the need to continue following their employer’s attendance policies and to request any time off they may need in advance.  Ask them what special issues they anticipate around Ramadan in their workplace and respond accordingly.

And don’t forget to use the proper greeting, “Ramadan Mubarak”, which means “Have a blessed Ramadan”!

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Tips from a Veteran Job Developer

Need a little mid-week inspiration? Higher Peer Advisor Carol Tucker, Job Developer at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska in Omaha, shares tips from her 18 years in Job Development:

What tips do you have to share? Share your tips in the comments section or by sending us an email at information@higheradvantage.org.

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Understanding Employers’ Needs and Providing Solutions

The perfect employee

Consultative Selling for Refugees, Part 2: Needs Analysis

During the optional day at our Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop last November, international job development consultant Allen Anderson gave 70+ refugee employment professionals a crash course on a model of Job Development known as Consultative Selling.

We’ve already shared a birds-eye-view of what Allen presented, but now we want to zoom in and talk about the model in more detail.

This post is the second of a 4-part series that will share the basics of the model, as well as adaptations from refugee employment programs who have already been using it.

The “4-Step Road Map”

There are many facets to this model but the basic framework can be found in what Allen Anderson calls “The 4-Step Roadmap.” These four steps include: Prospecting, Needs Analysis, Selling and Follow-up—in other words, the process of finding, developing and maintaining employer relationships.

Four-step RoadmapIn part one, we introduced Consultative Selling and the first step in “The 4-Step Roadmap”: Prospecting. Prospecting involves finding job opportunities and asking for an initial appointment.

In this post we’ll move on to step two, the Needs Analysis, and talk about what you actually do in that first appointment.

What is a Needs Analysis?

Michael ScottIn the Consultative Selling model, a Needs Analysis is a 30-60 minute appointment with the hiring decision maker(s). The objective of a Needs Analysis is to introduce yourself to the employer and to ask questions that help you understand the employer’s needs, values and goals.

Asking a hiring manager well-thought-out questions can help you bypass the “wish-list” of qualifications that are often listed on formal job descriptions and give you a clear picture of what an employer is really looking for.

The Needs Analysis will also help you identify the costs, benefits, and overall value that working with refugees will bring to the employer.

All of this information will help you evaluate whether or not you can provide a solution that will meet the employers stated needs or desires.

If the answer is no, you walk away. If it is yes, then you move on to the third step – Selling.

Key Needs Analysis Questions

“Questions are the gold mine of Job Development,” says Allen Anderson. Over time you will develop your own list of go-to questions that work for you, but here are some examples to get you started:

  • What positions exist at this company (not just current openings)?
  • What tasks are associated with these positions?
  • What skills-sets do you most need?
  • What is the most important characteristic you are looking for in employees?
  • What factors typically disqualify candidates from being selected?
  • What type of employees tend to advance in this company?
  • What challenges or frustrations do you face in finding or keeping good employees?

Should You Make the Sale During the Needs Analysis?

We’re not going to get into the “selling” step until the next post, but you may be wondering whether you should try to sell the employer on your services during this appointment or at a later time. Well, it depends. As Kenny Rogers says:

Kenny Rogers

Most of us have heard the expression “You snooze, you lose.” This is particularly true when it comes to employment opportunities. When an opportunity is there, you go for it, because it might not be there tomorrow.

If you feel that you understand an employer’s needs and have a solution to offer, by all means, make the sale during the Needs Analysis meeting. That being said, be very careful not to over-promise and under-deliver.

There are a number of factors to consider in matching the right client to the right job. It’s better to take some time to make sure you can confidently recommend someone than to rush a situation that is unlikely to be successful.

Observations & Adaptations for Refugee Employment

Refugee employment programs using the Consultative Selling approach say that the Needs Analysis is one the most helpful elements of the model, but have the following recommendations:

The whole process needs to move faster.

Consultative Selling is a strong model for building long-term relationships with employers but doesn’t necessarily emphasize the speed at which this happens. Newly arrived refugees must obtain employment very quickly, so finding ways to speed up the process is critical.

James LopezAfter working with the Consultative Selling model for a couple years, James Lopez, Job Developer at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains in Greeley, CO, recommends being more conversational and less scripted as way to speed up the process during the Needs Analysis.

It’s good to be organized and ask good questions, but you also want the conversation to feel natural, and even enjoyable, to that employer. It’s important to build rapport as quickly as possible.

James also recommends finding creative ways to break into local employer networks beyond your meetings with hiring decision makers. Attending networking groups, setting up speaking engagements and leveraging your personal network can result in personal connections that become “champions” for refugees within local companies.

Refugee employment staff in other parts of the country who have recently begun implementing the Consultative Selling model are coming to similar conclusions:

Valerie EvansValerie Evans, RSSP Coordinator at Catholic Charities of Onondaga County in Syracuse, NY shares the experience her team as they’ve begun working with this model:

“We’ve incorporated the Needs Analysis into our meetings, but we’ve found employers need a quicker process. We’ve found that many employers are not willing to spend a whole hour in a Needs Analysis meeting.

Valerie also says that employers have responded well to a condensed Needs Analysis meeting with focused questions that quickly identify needs, such as “What are the top 3 things you look for in employees?” or “What are the top 3 things that will get you fired?”

While the primary focus of the Needs Analysis is the employer, providing some education and context on refugees is helpful.

The Consultative Selling approach is a shift for many refugee employment programs, but there are some things that we’ve done for a long time that we should continue to do.

One of these long-time strategies is providing employers with a basic orientation to refugees either verbally or through a well-designed brochure. The Needs Analysis meeting is a good opportunity to do this.

Brochure-Photo

It may be strategic to share this information towards the end of the Needs Analysis meeting since some of the information you will share will be the selling points of working with refugees (e.g. legal status, retention rates, work ethic, etc.).

Perhaps you can use this information to transition to selling, whether you make the sale in the Needs Analysis meeting or at a later time.

Needs Analysis Tips

Here are a few more tips from James Lopez at LFSRM to keep in mind when conducting Needs Analysis meetings:

  • Focus on the “Three P’s”: Process, Policies, and Personal Relationship – Your success depends on the employer trusting you.
  • Use intelligent questions to keep the conversation on track and keep it focused on employer needs.
  • Avoid asking “why” questions – these can give the impression that you are criticizing and can make employers defensive.
  • End the conversation with action steps – come to an agreement with the employer about what you will do next and what the timeline will look like.
  • Remember that it often takes between 5-7 points of contact before an employer hires someone. Be prepared to have several conversations, and make sure that you are confident before presenting a solution to the employer. Don’t feel bad about asking more questions or getting clarification on things after the initial Needs Analysis appointment.
  • Remember to take a consultative approach: You’re not just selling employers on your clients, but you are also selling them on the supportive services that you can offer both before and after they hire your clients.

 We hope that this post has been helpful for you. Keep us posted as you experiment with Needs Analysis meetings and perfect your technique: information@higheradvantage.org.

*Many thanks to Allen Anderson of DTG-EMP, James Lopez at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains in Greeley, CO, and Valerie Evans at Catholic Charities of Onondaga County in Syracuse, NY. Their valuable insights made this post possible.

 

 

 

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Employers Not Responding To Your Emails? Here’s a Tool That Will Help!

Guest Post by James Lopez

Email Black HoleEmail, for a Job Developer, is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it works like a charm. Other times it feels like a waste of time because no matter how many prospecting emails you send out, none ever return.

Fortunately, because of the digital age that we live in there are resources and tools out there to better improve your emails, resulting in higher response rates and better relationships with employers.

 

CRM Software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are tools designed to help salespeople develop better customer relationships. There are many different types of CRM software but anything that can collect or track customer relationships is defined under this term.

CRM Systems can be used to:

  • Track when and how often a customer or prospect is interacting with messaging
  • Help create better marketing messages by identifying successful key phrases
  • Increase email response rates
  • Ensure that you are keeping in constant contact with customers or prospects
  • Help you use your time more efficiently

Using CRM Software for Job Development

CRMs offer a multitude of tracking and organizing strategies to make job development and outreach easier and more efficient.

CRMs allow you to see, in real time, the actions of potential employers and how they respond to your “cold” emails. Imagine after sending an email being able to see when a new employer clicks on your email to read it. Imagine being able to use that data to know what phrases are most effective in getting a response from a potential employer.

According to HubSpot, a top rated CRM company, “a recent study found that the average response rate of cold emails is 1.7%.”

With such limited time, it is important to identify tools that will help maximize your effectiveness and increase the chance that employers will read and respond to your emails.

Using CRM software to improve your email

Sidekick by HubSpot is a free CRM extension you can add to your email (Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc) that will track real time openings of emails and total views. Instead of blindly sending out an email, Sidekick will notify you if and when someone opens your email, the total number of views, and give you a contact card with a potential employer’s social media accounts and websites associated with their email.

sidekick_02-100612054-large.idge

Here are some ways that Sidekick will help you maximize your efficiency:

  • Write effective emails that people will actually open
  • Write more personalized emails that sound less like sales and more like a conversation starter
  • Keep in better contact with potential prospects
  • Help identify other potential employers via social media connections and professional groups
  • Create follow up requests immediately after you see a prospect open your email by sending another email

What I learned from using Sidekick

As a Job Developer, I am constantly sending out emails to potential employers. Before, I would send out long detailed emails that would explain who we were and what our program did. These emails would receive very low response rates and I had no idea what was turning people off to opening or reading my emails.

By using the Sidekick tool I started to track the open rates of my emails based on different subject lines, content, and action steps. What I found out was that employers prefer shorter emails (less than 200 words) that acknowledge the open position and set up specific days and times to meet as well as expectations of the meeting.

Additionally, I noticed that subject lines that require action like “Open Position at your Warehouse, Let’s Fill It ASAP together!” are much more effective in opening the conversation and getting potential employers to open your emails. Now, I have a 30% higher open rate and a 40% higher response rate that has led to a significant increase in my employer portfolio.

Check out the Sidekick tool here to see if it might be helpful in your Job Development efforts!

James LopezJames Lopez is a Job Developer at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains in Greeley, CO. James’ expertise includes helping refugees obtain employment in rural/suburban areas, integrating technology into Job Development work, and using the Consultative Selling approach to build long-term employer relationships. You can reach James at james.lopez@lfsrm.org.

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Hitting the Target: Prospecting Techniques That Work

Consultative Selling for Refugees, Part One

Omaha Photo Collage

Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop, Omaha, NE / Illustration by Gary Phelps at EWARM in Wichita, KS

During the optional day at our Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop last November, international job development consultant Allen Anderson gave 70+ refugee employment professionals a crash course on a model of Job Development known as Consultative Selling.

We’ve already shared a birds-eye-view of what Allen presented, but now we want to zoom in and talk about the model in more detail.

This post is the first of a 4-part series that will share the basics of the model, as well as adaptations from refugee employment programs who have already been using it.

The “4-Step Roadmap”

 There are many facets to this model but the basic framework can be found in what Allen Anderson calls “The 4-Step Roadmap.” These four steps include: Prospecting, Needs Analysis, Selling and Follow-up—in other words, the process of finding, developing and maintaining employer relationships.

Four-step Roadmap

Let’s get started with a basic introduction to Consultative Selling and then zero in on the first step in the “The 4-Step Roadmap”: Prospecting.

What is Consultative Selling?

BusinessDictionary.com defines Consultative Selling as “Personal selling in which a salesperson plays the role of a consultant. He or she first assists the buyer in identifying his or her needs, and then suggests products that satisfy those needs.”

This approach has been around since the 1970s, and has gradually gained popularity among employment service professionals as a strategy to build long-term partnerships with employers.

For those serving populations with significant employment barriers, Consultative Selling also provides a framework that allows them to make the case that they can provide motivated, dependable and reliable workers that meet the needs of the employer (despite the fact that some of these workers may not fit the mold of who the employer would typically hire).

What is Prospecting?

Prospecting Post ItProspecting is the first step in the Consultative Sales process. Prospecting, broadly speaking, is the act of looking for something valuable (e.g. prospecting for gold). In our case, the valuable thing we are searching for is job opportunities for our clients. So when we say prospecting, we mean how you go about finding those opportunities.

Prospecting is making first contact with an employer to get basic information about job opportunities (both advertised and “hidden”). At this point, you’re not necessarily selling an employer on your services or clients– you’re simply trying to find job openings.

Random Lead Generation vs. Targeted Lead Generation

Prospecting can be random or targeted. Random lead generation is when you find a list of employers in your region and just start making phone calls. This approach can be very effective in identifying “hidden” (unadvertised) jobs, and may open up opportunities with employers that you were unaware of or assumed would not have jobs that fit your client’s needs.

Targeted lead generation is where you make cold calls to employers in a particular industry or smaller geographical area based on the needs or skills of your clients. For example you may choose to target employers near where your clients live or employers within an industry that your clients have experience in.

Traditional Prospecting vs. Non-traditional Prospecting

ProspectingTraditional prospecting combines information gathering about job opportunities and a request for an appointment (step 2 in the 4-Step Roadmap: the “Needs Assessment”). While this approach can be effective and time efficient, it can also shut down the conversation too early if employers don’t feel like listening to a sales pitch or if there are no job openings at the moment.

Pushing for an appointment in the first phone call also forces you to make a quick decision about whether or not an opportunity should be pursued, which may result in chasing down opportunities that don’t really make sense for your clients.

Non-traditional Prospecting involves splitting the prospecting steps by using one phone call as a kind of survey to identify opportunities, and then following up with a second phone call and request for an appointment to the employers that you want to target.

This approach has several advantages (duties can be divided; space to identify which employers you want to target; the opportunity to go into meetings with foundational knowledge about their needs). The downside is that making two calls will take more time and potentially more manpower.

There are times to use both approaches. It’s up to you to decide what makes sense for your team.

First Contact: What do you say?

Here are some basic prospecting questions:

  • Are you hiring?
  • What positions?
  • How much does it pay?
  • Who is the hiring manager?
  • Has the job been advertised?

You may ask more or less than these questions, but your main objective is to gather preliminary data that will help you decide whether or not an opportunity is worth pursuing. You also want to get the name and contact information of the hiring manager whenever possible.

Observations & Adaptations from Colorado & Nebraska

Refugee employment colleagues from both Colorado and Nebraska who have been working with this model for a few years now agree that they have had more success with targeted lead generation rather than random lead generation.

They cite the following reasons for preferring a targeted approach:

  • A strong local economy – Both Colorado and Nebraska have low unemployment rates and ample job opportunities. Refugee employment programs in these states already have strong relationships with employers, and have not needed to rely on random lead generation to find opportunities.
  • When they did experiment with random lead generation, the “hidden” jobs they found often were not a good fit for refugee job seekers
  • Targeted lead generation produced better results because it focused the prospecting process on employers/jobs that fit typical client skills and are closer to clients’ homes or accessible by public transportation.

This is not to say that random lead generation would never prove useful, but so far, the targeted approach seems to be bringing in more jobs that work for refugees.

Targeted lead generation also seems to be the way to go if you have a small employment staff or if you are in a smaller community. James Lopez, Job Developer at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains in rural/suburban Greeley, CO strongly recommends the targeted approach:

James Lopez_cropped“I schedule out time each week to target neighborhoods or industries that would be a good fit for my clients. Instead of feeling like I need to call 100 different businesses each day, I spend a few hours per week and gets the results that I need.” -James Lopez

How many calls are needed to produce results?

Staff from Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska report that 20 phone calls typically result in 2-3 strong leads.

This matches up with Allen Anderson’s statistic that generally 10% to 20% of total calls will generate leads (although he advises that it will typically take 50 phone calls to start generating this type of percentage).

Tips for Prospecting

Carol Tucker, Job Developer at Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska in Omaha shared the following tips for prospecting:

  • Create a documentation system for your team to track your prospecting efforts
  • Familiarize your team with your prospecting process
  • Set weekly goals and plan your prospecting strategy
  • Don’t forget to leverage your personal and professional connections (friends, family, development department, board members, etc.)
  • Engage with employers on social media (facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

Carol Tucker“Be spontaneous. Always carry business cards and keep your eyes open- opportunities can be anywhere.” -Carol Tucker

 

Tools for prospecting

One tool that has been helpful for Carol and her teammates is ReferenceUSA, an online database of local employers that you can access through your local library website. Most libraries are ReferenceUSA subscribers. This tool allows you to search for employers by zip code, and obtain other employer information.

If your library does not subscribe to ReferenceUSA or if you want to target high growth industries in your area, explore the online tools we highlighted in our recent Workforce Resource post to learn about high growth industries and employers in your area.

Finally, if you are looking for jobs close to home or easily accessible by public transportation for your clients, try these 4 Mapping Strategies for Employer Outreach.

Let us know what prospecting techniques you use, or what results you see from trying the techniques outlines in this post: information@higheradvantage.org.

*Many thanks to Allen Anderson of DTG-EMP and the dedicated refugee employment staff at the ECDC African Community Center in Denver, CO; Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska in Omaha; and Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains in Denver and Greeley, CO. Their valuable insights made this post possible.

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Why Job Development Should Speed Up When Hiring Slows Down

Snow tracks

Source: http://i.imgur.com/D8i0n.jpg

If you’ve worked in employment services for awhile, you know that December and January are the slowest hiring months of the year. If there is one time of year when you feel like you’re terrible at your job, it’s probably during this so called “most wonderful time of the year!”

But before you give up and resort to reckless consumption of eggnog or chocolate, let me offer another perspective: December and January may be the best time in the year to begin cultivating strategic relationships with brand new employers that will benefit your clients in the long term.

Yes, some people will be on vacation, but with less hiring going on, employers probably actually have time to talk to you! Believe me, it is worth it to brave the cold and get out there for some meetings. The effort that you put in now will have a direct influence on which employers are calling you several months from now- If you want to have a good March, June, or September make it a good December.

As you think about which employers to target, consider prioritizing employers that have a strong record of providing in-house training programs that help employees “climb the ladder” within the organization. Last month at Higher’s Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop, Dr. Faith Nibbs of the Forced Migration Upward Mobility Project (FMUMP) shared that refugees who found long term career success often did so through these types of training programs.

A great place to start identifying companies that provide training is Training Magazine’s annual “Top 125” list of organizations that excel at employee development. While some companies may be out of reach for your clients, there are many on the list that offer realistic career entry points including Jiffy Lube, Dollar General, Walgreens, ConAgra Foods, McDonalds, Choice Hotels International, MGM Resorts International, PetSmart, and Enterprise Rent A Car.

For a wonderful example of this kind of career laddering check out this video story from FMUMP about an Ethiopian refugee who has opened more than 20 Domino’s Pizza franchises!

 

 

 

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