Want?

Sunday, May 31st, 2009 - career coaching, discipline, economics, Education, Employment, Job Application, professionalism


Want

A Drifting Life
Creative Commons License photo credit: Wade Rockett

A question: What do you want?

Yes, but what do you really, really want?

Marketing is about mentally changing “I like” to “I need,” and sales about “I need” to “I want.” Understanding that will enable you to recognise which companies will succeed in the next 10year period, and which will fail – and which Job Search will succeed when

How do I know this?

Car Sales

One of my business hero’s is Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler. The man who designed the Ford Mustang (really, just a parts bin job with a classical “best selling” coupe top), left Ford to save Chrysler in the late 1970s. What he found was a car company with no new models, so the only thing he invested in was a design department. They came up with some nice car ideas, which he then used to get the US Government to underwrite key loans, and get workers to take a pay cut. The result? Iacocca saved Chrysler, took an idea that Matra had invented and gave the soccer Mom the Chrysler mini van, and the rest is history.

Iacocca was hailed as an American hero, and did a series of talks. During one at Harvard University, he was asked by a student “why invest at all?” Iacocca’s answer was “I invested in design, because to do other wise I was merely preserving the company, not saving it. I sell cars, I am not an accountant.”

Having handed the company over to new executives, Mercedes-Benz bought Iacocca’s Chrysler – and promptly destroyed it. Who needed the design department in America? All the important engineering stuff was done in Germany, and the Yanks in Detroit just shoved a different tin-shell on great German engineering: hence the Chrysler Crossfire, which is an old Mercedes-Benz SLK. The design department lost its heart, Chrysler lost customers, the companies divested and Chrysler ends up being saved by the US Government of Barack Obama – and Lee Iacocca lost his additional pension pot and his free car for life!

So which car companies will survive in the future?

  • Ford’s European division looks good, as the cars are I want over I need – pity the same can’t be said of the North American division.
  • Toyota has a huge engineering problem. Much like when Mercedes took over Chruysler, the small faults in low runs have become huge 80,000 engine recalls. They are in front becaue of Prius, but that could be a fake dawn – all electric cars are the future, powered by hydrogen
  • Renault/Nissan have some edgy stuff, and Patrick leQuemont leaves a wonderful legacy. The French government wll keep on pooring in money until there is no wine to drink
  • General Motors – no hope! Is there a car that inspires anyone, let alone makes them want to buy?

But here’s a thought. Way are British based car makers Aston Martin, Bentley, Mini and Rolls Royce all taking on people again? Could it be as the press suggests, that they have designed cars which in the middle of a recession, people actually want?

Job Search

So, why is someone who’s day job is Recruitment and writing Professional CV‘s writing about the car industry? Because on a daily basis, I see far to many people who just need a job, over I want a job. These are the same people who would end up in front of my employer clients as a recruiter, and not excite them. They hence wouldn’t get employed. Unless you can make an employer say I want you you will never ever get the job.

I always say, as a recruiter I am a more of a match-maker: Recruitment is not an exact science, its more like a being a match maker. Yes, lots of scientific evidence to suggest that better hiring decisions are made by use of sophisticated HR tests, but at some point the thing you are testing has to become a functioning human being inside an organisation of human beings. This is when chemistry counts a lot, but wanting to work there in that industry/sector wins the employers heart over just being a great examination candidate. I have had ex-bosses hire or not on the fact the applicant wore a white shirt to the interview, and ex-employees hire on the fact that the applicants shoe’s were polished.

So, before you click that application button on the next eMail that the jobs board auto-responder sends you, think first about why that employer needs you? Answering that will enable you to write why they should want you, and hence get you employed.

Good Luck!

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