Jim Kyle, Young & Recessioned: A Lot Of Compromising Going On

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Today's installment of Young & Recessioned features Jim Kyle, owner of Houston's Express Employment Professionals, who says today's job market is all about compromise.

It's been planted in people's minds that we're in the middle of a bad time, so they believe that. But jobs are out there. We still see quite a few jobs that need to be filled.

But companies aren't hiring the way they did three or four years ago. When they do hire, they are being very careful, and a lot pickier, about who they hire. They want a quality person rather than a person who just knows how to do the job right out of college.

We recommend to college graduates that they take a job and not so much worry about what you're going to do the rest of your life. It's okay when you're starting out to make some changes in your career.

You just need to get experience, something that you can parlay into a bigger and better job a few years down the road.

We placed a college graduate today in a part-time accounting job. It was good for both [the graduate and employer], because she didn't have a job at all, and the company didn't have to pay her as much because she didn't have the specific experience they were looking for. We're seeing a lot of compromise.

People have in their minds that they want to get out of school and make a lot of money. That's just not happening. A lot of the college graduates are having to compromise a little bit and not make a starting salary they may have gotten three years ago.

I don't think [colleges] do much on helping students prepare on how to ask for an interview, or when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive, things to say, like you don't talk about money during your first interview. And a lot of people I talk to do.

We try to help them out. I'll do a mock interviews. It makes them kind of uncomfortable with me, but it's better to be uncomfortable with me than with the person doing the interview.

The other day, I asked a guy why he wanted to do what he was doing. He said, 'I want to do that because I know there are a lot of good looking women in that field.'

Okay, maybe that is one of the factors, but it's not one you mention as number one. You want to put that down the list, or not even mention that at all. Sometimes you have to try to teach common sense, and that's probably the hardest thing.

People don't accentuate what they can do well a lot of times. There's nothing wrong with putting down that you worked the third shift at McDonald's for three years. That's actually pretty good. But everybody knows what kind of work you did.

We've seen a significant increase in people who may not have looked for jobs in the past, because they need a second income or need a second job. That might be housewives. A lot more people are going back to work.

But people coming out of college probably have the advantage because they don't have a track record. So many of the people who are available to go to work are cut from companies. And they generally chop off the poor performers.

That leaves a lot of people out of work who may not be the best to be employed. And everybody knows that. For people getting out of college, having no track record is better than having a bad one.

Got a tale to tell about being Young & Recessioned? E-mail Paul Knight at paul.knight@houstonpress.com.

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