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Tuesday, November 29, 2005
GM is Hiring!
I was reading an article in the press today about the lack of manufacturing workers in the US. The National Association of Manufacturers conducted a survey of 800 US manufacturers and found that thirteen percent of them are experiencing a “severe shortage” of qualified workers, and sixty-five percent are experiencing a “moderate” shortage. That’s interesting, especially considering that GM announced massive layoffs last week to affect 30,000.

Putting these two issues together in my mind, I started wondering if there were any jobs posted on the General Motors website. As of today, there are 312 jobs posted on the GM web site across all categories. There are lots of engineering and design jobs posted but there was also a job for a sculptor, one for a nurse, and one for a patent attorney. I found it interesting that there were college internships posted, too, since internships tend to be the first jobs cut out of a budget.

What is the lesson here? The lesson is that just because a company is laying off does not mean they aren’t hiring, too. Jobs that are cut for budgetary reasons are not evenly distributed and while some skill sets may see heavy cuts, others may be in shortage and are open for hire. A good many of the jobs posted on the GM site are design-oriented jobs such as Hybrid Battery Systems Engineer, Fuel Cell Test Engineer, and Project Engineer – Advanced Engine Design. That makes sense. GM’s problem is loss of market share and reputation for poor overall quality. If the company is going to right itself, it needs talent that can contribute positively to these areas.

It’s not just specialized engineers in demand at GM, though. There are also jobs for Human Resource specialists, Production Supervisors, Auditors, Cost Specialists, Administrative Assistants, and Buyers. And of course, there are lots of IT-related positions open (as always). In fact, manufacturing jobs in the US require more computer skills across all functions than ever before. It’s not just hard-labor on assembly lines anymore.

If you have a particular interest in a company that is laying off workers, don’t write the company off your prospective employer list. Go ahead and apply. You will have less competition because other job seekers will be discouraged by the news of job cuts. If your company is laying off and you feel you might be affected, check with HR to see if there are other jobs available for which you qualify. It might mean a move to a different city or location, but if you like the company, it might be worth it.

November 2005 /


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