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Industry Expert: John A. Challenger

John A. Challenger

John A. Challenger is chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the global outplacement consultancy that pioneered outplacement as an employer-paid benefit in the 1960s. Challenger is a recognized thought leader on workplace, labor, and economic issues.

Don’t Be Fooled by Myths About Job Market

“Lately, there have been a growing number of stories about the double-dip recession in light of bleak economic reports on factory orders and consumer confidence. For the job seeker all of this negative news begins to mount until it feels that the search for employment is entirely hopeless.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The Job Hunt: Equal or Better Your Last Salary

“Due to the current economic conditions, companies are looking for the most profit-oriented leaders they can find. They also aim to attract executives and managers who have a record from past assignments that defines them as successful motivators. For many in this job market, simply finding and holding on to a job takes priority over the compensation level.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The Job Hunt: Forget the money; Get the offer

“Inquiring about salary and benefits early in the interview process is a cardinal mistake for a job seeker. It is one of the primary reasons prospective jobs are lost prematurely. It sends a negative signal to the employer that you are more interested in yourself than in the company and focuses attention away from your capabilities and accomplishments, where the spotlight belongs.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Job Seekers Biggest Obstacle? Many job seekers reluctant to relocate

“As the slowing economy forces employers to put the brakes on new hiring, job seekers have seen their searches lengthen by nearly one month. However, job seekers’ understandable reluctance to relocate may be inflating the time it takes to find a new position.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Forecast: Heavy job cuts into early 2009

“Uncharacteristically heavy job cutting over the summer months could lead to the largest post-Labor Day downsizing since 2002. Furthermore, the surge in layoffs is expected to extend into the first three to four months of 2009 as retailers, airlines, consumer products manufacturers and other sectors of the economy absorb the impact of significantly lower holiday spending by consumers.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Holiday Hiring Forecast: Weak

“Retailers are facing an uphill battle this year. Consumers are tapped and credit is increasingly harder to come by. Meanwhile, retailers’ shipping costs are ballooning thanks to gas prices, and the weak dollar is raising the price of imported goods. With profits already getting squeezed, most retailers are going to be reluctant to take on the additional cost of extra staffing.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Jobs Will Be Job One For New President

“Jobs are on the forefront of many Americans’ minds going into this election season, especially job seekers. Each candidate promises to enact policies that will help ignite a recovery and new job growth, but where that growth occurs will depend heavily on who wins in November.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Vacation? Soaring Costs Keep Workers Home

“As gas prices exceed $4.00 a gallon and the unstable economy threatens job security, Americans may want to consider taking shorter vacations closer to home to save money and possibly save their jobs.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Bullies Take Toll On Bottom Line

“With policies firmly in place to address sexual harassment and discrimination, the next big initiative among the nation’s employers could be to root out workplace bullies – a widespread problem that is affecting companies’ bottom lines through lost productivity, low morale, legal costs, and, according to a survey, employee turnover.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Soaring Gas Prices Force Employers To Respond

“As record gasoline prices make it more costly for the nation’s workers to get to and from their jobs, a larger-than-expected number of companies have taken steps to help ease the financial burden on employees, including the expansion of telecommuting opportunities, public transportation subsidies and car pool programs.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Making the jump from summer intern to full-time

“With evidence that the slowing economy is prompting employers to put the brakes on hiring, the summer internship assumes a new level of importance as the most effective road to post-collegiate employment.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Resume Fraud Not Restricted To Lower Level

“The revelation last year that Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, falsified her educational credentials nearly 30 years ago is a timely lesson for this year’s crop of college graduates about to embark on their careers this spring: lies on resume may escape notice, but if discovered they can be devastating.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Workplace political debate has pitfalls

“With the contest and name-calling between the Democratic presidential contenders becoming more and more heated as the April 22 Pennsylvania primary approaches, the debate over which candidate should represent the party is undoubtedly spilling over into the nation’s workplaces.” writes John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

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