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Jobs 101 - do big companies mean more jobs?


Last week we identified the largest employers in Charlottesville and posed the question “Do big companies mean more jobs?" Specifically, do they mean more jobs for you?

No better place to start than with the area's largest employer, the academic side of the University of Virginia (UVA). We'll use two different techniques to analyze whether there are job opportunities for you. You can use these same techniques to identify your own best job targets and make your job search more effective and efficient.

The vertical “drill down” approach

Start with the available data, then “drill down” to analyze the next level of detail and so on in order to extract useful information.

Begin by searching for  UVA’s current university staff job openings. UVA has an internal hiring policy and has restricted 47 staff openings to current UVA employees only. There are an additional 80 unrestricted staff openings.

Drill down and analyze the data on how long the openings have been posted. 46% of the outside openings were posted in Nov. ’09 or earlier (although 22% of the current job openings were posted in Feb. ’10).

UVA definitely has jobs. In fact, the openings for outside applicants far outnumber the employee-only positions.

But are those jobs for you? If getting hired fast is a priority, maybe not. Nearly half of the job listings have been open for 90 days or longer and one has been listed since Apr. ’09.

Time to look at the jobs themselves. For that, use the horizontal approach.

The horizontal “cumulative” approach
Analyzing how data fits together into a bigger picture provides "cumulative" value, revealing trends and directions that otherwise might go unnoticed.

A quick scan of the UVA unrestricted staff job openings shows:
• Most openings are for specialized or unique positions with extremely specific requirements for skills, licenses, or experience.
• Some jobs have multiple openings (housekeeping worker, lab & research specialist, plumber, etc.)
• 43% of the positions are in departments related to medicine or medical research

The trend leans toward narrowly focused hires, either highly specialized/unique jobs or in-demand positions that were not filled internally.  Long job posting times can be an indicator of hard to fill positions, among other reasons.

Consider also what isn't there. Consistent with UVA's internal hiring policy of first filling needs from within, the outside job openings include almost no general business, administrative or IT positions.

Are there jobs for you?
If you are in a specialized and/or in-demand field, UVA is a target worth dedicating time to, especially if you are in a field related to medicine or medical research. If your background is "unique", focus your UVA networking on the probability of when a position might open up, and adjust your time spent accordingly. Develop alternative job targets.

If your background tends to general business, administration or IT, UVA is a low probability target right now. Other employers may be more likely to have jobs for you.

For more information: Find more information on UVA hiring opportunities at

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