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Where the Jobs Are Now—And How to Get Them

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  • Where the Jobs Are Now—And How to Get Them

    As hiring finally begins to pick up, one expert tells where he sees the most opportunities, how to take advantage of them, and why offshoring of IT jobs may not last.
    By Anne Fisher

    Ever so slowly, some sectors of the U.S. economy are starting to bring more people aboard. In many cases, the ones doing the most hiring are relatively small, nimble, fast-growing outfits—and the skills they're looking for reflect that. "There's a real shift in what the most successful companies now want," says Lin Stiles, head of executive-search firm Linford Stiles & Associates ( "We're not hearing as much about traditional credentials like MBAs and CPAs. Instead, they're looking for agility, innovation, and a nontraditional approach to problem-solving. So job seekers need to emphasize those skills now more than ever." In our recent conversation, Stiles offered some other tips on getting hired:

    What are the "hot" industries these days?
    One is computer chips. A new generation of chips will inspire a fresh round of new consumer products and advances. Cisco, Intel, and Solectron are among the leaders in this field, and they need developers. Microsoft, Apple, Dell—all the innovative companies—are looking for chip designers, electronic engineers, and marketing people. Consumer products generally are "hot," too. The leaders have suffered less from the recession than almost anyone else. I don't mean just food and cosmetics, but furniture, upscale clothing, appliances. Companies like Nike and Victoria's Secret are growing and doing very well by getting more efficient, with low inventories, fast turns, and great customer service. It's paying off. And those companies need designers, and talent in marketing and manufacturing.

    Construction equipment is picking up fast, too. For a while there was not much activity in commercial construction, so there's a lot of old equipment out there ready to be replaced. The top companies in the business are Caterpillar, Genie, Terex, and Ingersoll-Rand. Like the "hot" consumer-goods makers, these companies have slimmed down and speeded up and, as the recovery goes on, they are going to need people.

    No doubt some tech companies are "hot," but isn't outsourcing an issue? Are these companies doing much hiring here in the U.S.?
    A couple of things come into play. First, product design and marketing really have to stay in the U.S. Those functions aren't getting outsourced. Then, if you look at smaller tech companies, some of which have been growing at 30% a year right through the recession, they tend to outsource less than the giants do. So again, techies should focus their job hunts on the leaner, nimbler players. But, you know, outsourcing may turn out to be a temporary phenomenon anyway, especially in (high-tech) customer service, where there is already a backlash brewing because of language differences and other problems. One thing outsourcing does is, it distances you from your customer, and that is never smart in the long run. There have also been problems with piracy by overseas contractors. And the current vast wage differential (between the U.S. and other countries such as India) is likely to be short-lived. When you add all this together, my view is that more companies are going to realize, "Hey, we don't have to ship operations overseas. We can get a lot more efficient at doing the work here in the U.S., and keep our customers happy, too."

    Let's hope you're right. One last question: How can job hunters find the "leaner, nimbler" companies you've mentioned—the ones in the best position to be hiring right now?
    There is no single definitive source, although the Association for Manufacturing Excellence ( is a good place to start, because their members really get this. Another source is the "fastest-growing companies" lists that magazines do. Notice that, although "leaner and nimbler" often means "smaller," it doesn't always. No. 1 on FORTUNE's list of fastest-growing automotive companies, for example, is Toyota. Now that is not a small company! But the point is, it acts like one. And that is the kind of employer that anyone who's job hunting now would be smart to look for.
    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

  • #2
    and you could manufacture cheeseburgers
    Are you on the list?


    • #3
      someone needs to.
      Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist


      • #4
        this article is spot on target
        Go Cards ...12 in 13.