“Dude, Where’s My Job?” Monster.com Executive Discusses the Future of Work at Mitsui Lunch Time Forum

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Image - Marcel Legrand, senior vice president of Monster.com

Legrande (above) gave the Baruch College audience an insider's perspective on global career trends.

Marcel Legrand (MBA ’97), senior vice president of strategic development at Monster.com, delivered a cautiously optimistic forecast on the global employment market in his September 12 presentation at the Mitsui Lunch Time Forum, sponsored by the Weissman Center for International Business. Entitled “Dude, Where’s My Job?”, the forum gave members of the Baruch community an opportunity to ask questions about the online recruitment market and learn about the latest career trends.

“Absolutely, across the world, the job seeker is in the driver’s seat,” said Legrand. “From a 20-year demographic perspective, we have an acute skills shortage,” resulting in highly publicized labor shortages in fields like healthcare and education.

A broadcast journalism major in college who has been with Monster.com’s various incarnations since 1992, Legrand used an array of figures, photos, and videos from the company’s marketing campaigns and research efforts to give his audience an insider’s perspective on career trends around the globe. Along with his optimism about fields in demand, he also highlighted the growing disconnection between labor needs and higher education in the United States, where he says that less than 15% of the college-educated population works in their field of study.

He suggested that traditionally stable and well-paying occupations with little or no need for customer interactions, including certain types of legal work and accounting, might face the same type of off-shore outsourcing competition that has become synonymous with the computer programming industry. “The options of the past aren’t necessarily the ones we will have in the labor market in the future,” he cautioned. “Lifetime jobs [are] going away.”

He advised students undecided about their career fields to investigate their long-term prospects, saying that the spike in demand for accountants and finance-related graduates, for instance, has begun to level off. “About 62,000 kids went to occupational camps last summer,” said Legrand. “We don’t teach enough students about what they can be.” Occupation camps are special training camps sponsored by companies hoping to boost children’s interest in uncommon careers.

He also warned students about the possible career risks posed by popular social-networking sites like Myspace and Facebook, which have been monitored by hiring managers in order to learn about potential candidates. “35% of executive recruiters eliminate candidates based on [inappropriate] online profiles,” said Legrand.

The flip side of the coin is that internet-savvy candidates can use their online profiles to differentiate themselves from competitors in a job search. Personality aptitude tests and other forms of self-profiling are prevalent in Europe and Asia, and Legrand would like to integrate the concept into JASPER, Monster.com’s self-assessment tool. The results of the test can be appended to an applicant’s résumé, giving employers a fuller picture of the candidate’s character and skills set.

Above all, he said, job seekers have to be motivated by more than just money to get ahead of the pack. “Jobs are measured on three levels—skills, aptitude, and interest. You have to figure out what your interests are. Invest the time to bubble up what you’re really interested in. That’s how you find the most fulfilling work.”

 

Olayinka Fadahunsi
Office of Communications and Marketing
646-660-6091