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Friday, June 13, 2014

Don't Restrict Your Search to Advertised Opportunities

One of the biggest roadblocks most jobseekers impose on themselves is thinking small.  By that I mean that they restrict their job search activities to those positions that are advertised by the prospective employer or that they see posted on the organization's website.  When jobseekers do this, they are really limiting their chances of being considered simply because of the law of large numbers.  In other words, if you are one of hundreds or thousands seeking an opportunity to interview for a position that is publicly posted, your chances are slim.

There are a few reasons for your minimal chances of getting the interview you want.  First, because the position is public knowledge, there are always large numbers of candidates who are not even close to meeting the requirements for the job who will submit their resumes anyway.  They will not be considered, but it takes just as much time to scan a resume for someone who is not qualified as it does to review one for a great candidate.  From the candidate's perspective, they have nothing to lose by making the attempt, but doing so really clogs up the pipeline.

I learned that lesson the hard way when I first started my recruiting business.  On the few occasions that I advertised a position in order to get qualified candidates, there were at least five resumes/inquiries from people who were not close to meeting the listed required qualifications for every one resume that reflected a qualified candidate.

The second reason is that by doing what everyone else does, you are going to be seen as a member of "everyone else."  You have made yourself blend into the crowd rather than standing out from it...and that is the last thing you need to do when seeking a new job.  We are in a very strong buyer's market now, and have been in it since late 2008.

One of the most basic rules of marketing is that when your demand conditions change, you have to change your promotional strategy.  The tools and strategies that were effective when we were in a strong seller's market (prior to the market crash of late 2008) are not even close to effective in this strong buyer's market.

The best positions are rarely advertised, and believe it or not, many companies don't know that they need someone until the right candidate appears.  Most of my clients in my recruiting business have long held the policy and attitude that if a person can show they how they can bring value to the organization, the organization will create a position for them.  It has not been at all uncommon for my clients in the recruiting industry to tell me, "If you see someone who you think would be a good fit here, let us know about that person."

Jack Welch, during his tenure at General Electric, was well known for always weeding out his bottom 20% performers and replacing them with others who were likely to produce better results.  Organizations that have that attitude will always have openings for top performers.

So what's the lesson here?  If you want to work in a particular organization, don't hesitate to contact them and let them know what you can do for them and why they should talk to you.  By doing so, you just might get an invitation to come in for an interview, and the crowd will certainly be much smaller.

by Ken Murdock

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