Innovation is a key to success in the building industry. It may also be a key to success for job-searching and career fulfillment in this business. Today’s new order of business is reshaping organizations, management style, and ultimately, the lives of employees. Smart companies are learning that letting employees use more of their talents, and ensuring they have the right information and incentives, garners far better results than traditional methods.In the April 12, 2004, USA Today article, “Firms Will Pay When Workers Make Escape,” Alan Webber, founding editor of Fast Company, quoted a Spherion study that reported 51 percent of the 3,000 people interviewed wanted to leave their jobs. More than ever, people are searching for careers that are more fulfilling and that meet their personal needs. But how can this goal be accomplished?“One problem is that the employment system is slanted one way while the workplace is slanted in quite a different way,” says Jeffrey W. Brown, president of Comprehensive Search, the largest search firm in North America serving the building products and interior furnishings industries. “Today’s business is focused on work as opposed to jobs. Meanwhile, the employment system continues to choke itself on the traditional job - expelling millions of classified ads and online job postings every week, and right behind them the millions of rejected applicants whom they encourage to participate again next week in this almost mindless feeding frenzy,” says Brown.In good times with lots of jobs around, the tried-and-true methods work just well enough to keep them popular. But tougher times call for more innovative efforts.Rise of Niche Job BoardsIn recent years, many job seekers have turned to online job boards like Monster and Hotjobs. But such career sites do not allow for a targeted job search. As these big players leave both job seekers and employers feeling lost in the shuffle, a noted rise in niche job boards has occurred. Today’s niche boards are filling three to four times as many positions as the big boards. Currently, only one career site is dedicated to serving the building and interiors industries – CareerTrip.com. In response to a need for an easy and cost-effective way for companies to find industry talent, CareerTrip.com was founded by the principals of Comprehensive Search, which has connected employers and candidates in this industry for more than 21 years. For job seekers, CareerTrip.com enables them to search and apply for select positions that match their skills and experience. For employers, the website allows them to post open jobs and ultimately find the best match for the available position in a fast and affordable mannerIf done right, online job searching multiplies an individual’s efforts and expands the reach. Plus, it’s quick, easy, and cost-effective. In addition to viewing postings, career sites like CareerTrip.com provide free services that will increase the likelihood of obtaining a more satisfying position.What Employers Really NeedHiring managers (especially in the building industry) want one kind of worker: the person who can solve problems and have a positive impact on the bottom line. Increasingly, managers are measured on how successfully they reduce costs and increase profits. They want job candidates who can help them address these two problems. A manager needs to know how a candidate is going to tackle the specific work they need to have done. On average, job seekers do a terrible job presenting their value to hiring managers.The SolutionWhat do serious job hunters do? They start their job search the same way they start a work day: with an assessment of what work (the prospective employer’s) needs to be done and with a decision about how best to apply their considerable skills and talents to getting it done profitably.Successful employers and job seekers are applying innovative thinking to the way they get the work done. As companies reduce their headcount, many are hiring record numbers of consultants, contractors, and part-time workers. They are farming out more work to subcontractors who operate from home and outsourcing for skills. What matters most today is getting the work done profitably, whether that means hiring full-time workers or something much less traditional. Ultimately, innovation has emerged as an important step toward a successful job search and career. While traditional methods may achieve some results, more focused and innovative efforts get the job done in the end.For additional information on job search, click here. To search available jobs in the building industry, click here.