4 Your Local Employers

marketingresearchtoolsMoving from misunderstandings about disabilities, let’s examine learning about your local employers. As important to know about disability attitudes, to be credible in your hiring assistance, you must also understand the business and hiring realities that employers face. There are a variety of tools available to learn more about regional businesses once you determine who and where they are. You can interview selected key business leaders through referrals, read local business journals, use the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources to gather hiring data for your area, put together small focus groups, and conduct web-based data . The basic kind of information to seek is the following:

• The type, size and location of particular businesses and industries

• The types of jobs, skill and educational requirements

• Projections about which businesses or industries will be expanding

• Where new and different types of employment opportunities will be created.

Nearly all businesses now have their own web sites. So an obvious place to look for business information is to do a search on the web and locate individual companies. Larger corporation chains will not necessarily provide local information, but it is still a good place to start to learn about the company and its products, services, and hiring approaches. Another good area to focus on is the “About Us” or the “Welcome” tab. It might provide an overview of philosophy and history of the company. Record the web address, known as the url, in your database, along with your notes about potential jobs, key contacts, location, etc.

These types of research tools, when utilized locally, should be developed after learning more about the employers you will approach. Successful marketing to find jobs for people with disabilities requires cultivating an ongoing partnership with business. This means you must view things from a prospective employer’s point of view.

You can accomplish this by simply meeting with a cross-section of employers and asking them about their needs, or you can conduct more formal research of employers in your region. However you decide to gather information, make sure you make a good effort to learn about your local business climate, labor concerns, turnover issues, and the business challenges and opportunities in your area. Search local business directories, utilize the Internet, and build a database of your regional businesses.

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