Finding a Job: Target Areas That Are Hiring

While any position is challenging to come by right now, your chances improve when you go after openings in the areas that are doing the most hiring.

Temporary staffing. The American Staffing Association analyzed government data from the last 36 years and found that temporary hires increase as the economy rebounds from a recession. We know that temp hires began to grow last July through December, and we can only hope that increase will continue.

Temp jobs are a smart place to look right now because a recent study by labor law firm Littler Mendelson predicts that half the jobs created during the economic recovery will be filled by temps, consultants and other contract employees.

The American Staffing Association's Web site has a database of some 15,000 locations of staffing firms, which can be searched by location or by specialty.

Don't limit yourself to registering with just one or two firms. Visit with several to see which has the right opportunities for you. You should never pay a fee to work with a reputable staffing firm; they're paid by the employer that makes the hire. Be as professional with a staffing firm as you would be with a direct employer since it'll affect your candidacy.

Think seasonal, too, when it comes to temp work: We know Christmas is when retailers add seasonal workers. Right now is tax prep season, so look to H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt for seasonal openings. Even home improvement giants like Home Depot and Lowe's add staffers, since springtime is like Christmas to that industry. Look at local tax preparers and home improvement stores, too.

Just yesterday, Sam's Club announced that it would outsource its in-store demo positions to a third party, which impacts 10,000 temporary workers, all of whom are able to apply to the new company for the job. They have an advantage over their competition because they have a track record in that role, and store associates and managers know them and can vouch for them. They must use that to their advantage.

The same is true for temping in general: it's a smart way to get your foot in the door now so when the economy improves and companies are ready to commit to permanent staffers, you're ready, front and center to vie for those jobs.

Health care. One thing that has remained constant throughout the recession is that hiring in healthcare is steady. Market research firm Borrell Associates says that healthcare will have more than 600,000 openings this year, with diverse needs for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, home health aids, electronic records specialists, technicians and more.

You can look locally at hospitals and medical centers or even pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS, which say they're always hiring for pharmacy positions nationwide.

For home health aides, look at national companies like Senior Helpers and Home Instead, as well as local service providers.

If you're not trained in the medical field, your first stop should be to the Career One Stop or Workforce One office in your area or online to CareerOneStop.org. There you can find information about local, state and federal programs that offer access to training or apprenticeships in a variety of healthcare occupations.

Do your research to see what type of programs you may qualify for before you sign up for an expensive program on your own.

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