Job hunting can be hard work – I’ve never met anyone who told me it was fun – and when you’re job hunting its easy to succumb to negative feelings and become disheartened. The major reason for this is that, when we’re job hunting, we humans sub-consciously take the position of the under-dog; we’re asking someone else for something – a job – and that makes many of us uncomfortable.
But, let me set the record straight, coming from someone who’s been recruiting people for more than 20 years – its not all sunshine and light on this side of the process either, in fact, its challenging in many ways. So, I want to reprogram your brain to think differently (or, if you’re an Apple fan, to “Think Different”) about the process, and I’ll give you some hooks to remind yourself to do this.
Many people start out job hunting with thought patterns like this:
- Oh god, I need to find a new job
- This is a drag
- I hope I get an interview. I hope they take me on
- I hope the pay is OK
- Etc., etc.
But I want to give you a different perspective and change it to this:
- A new job is a new opportunity to progress my career
- I’d rather be doing something else, but, the investment of time now is needed and it will pay dividends
- I am a solution to the employers’ problem, they should interview me, its up to me to show them why, and if I can do that they will take me on
- I am worth at least my market value, and its up to me to show them I’m worth more
There are very few people that can simply brainwash themselves into thinking differently. If you can then you’re one of the few, but most of us need some evidence to back up this thinking, and evidence that we can remind ourselves of when we waiver.
So here are the FIVE challenges that every recruiting manager faces, and to which YOU are the solution – you just have to get noticed, then show them.
1. I need to fill this/these roles, and I need them yesterday
Often, my staff needs come on fast. When its noticed that we need more people in an area of our business, or if we need a new role filled, we want it done now, not in 30, 60 or 90 days time. When you approach me proactively, you are pre-empting my need, if I don’t have something for you now, and provided I notice you and like what I see, I will file your details and I will remember you.
2. I have no spare time to do this
The pace of life used to be slower, it was easier to find the time to recruit, but now expectations of all parts of the business are high and there’s barely the time to keep up with the ‘business as usual’, let alone expansion plans like recruiting. Recruiting even one person is a big time draw, from writing job specs, getting ads placed, reviewing CVs and resumes, arranging interviews, interview, follow-ups, negotiating packages, etc. And remember for every job we normally have many applicants, so each of these operations is repeated many times over (more-so the earlier steps).
3. I get too many calls from agencies (sorry, recruitment consultants) – all of whom tell me they are specialists in my field
I don’t know any hiring manager today that doesn’t loathe to get calls from agencies. Why? Its odd. An agency helps you fill roles, but yet we dislike the calls. I put it down to the sheer number of calls we get. This again comes back to lack of spare time in every day, I already have enough to do, without taking countless calls from agency after agency, all who tell me they are specialists in my field. I’ve noticed that, almost to a fault, every agency caller masks their phone number (CLI) when they call. Its funny, I’m sure they do it because they know we don’t want to take their calls, but, now they all do it I’ve come to take a masked number as a signal that its an agency calling. So, very often now I don’t pick up masked numbers. Think about it, in the physical world, face to face, how likely are you to respond to an opening conversation if your would-be conversationalist was masking his identity.
4. Agencies are a necessary evil
Despite my dislike of agencies – or maybe just their methods of approach – I consider them useful to the extend of almost necessary when recruiting more than one person. Simply because they allow us to consider more candidates than the general shortage of time will allow. Still, I’d rather have a candidate that came direct to me than via an agency. To me that shows great initiative, plus I’ll save somewhere between 10% and 17% agency fee.
5. I get too many CVs and resumes in my inbox
I’ll get off the topic of agencies now, and talk about CVs and resumes in general, both via agencies and direct. Getting a load of resumes and CV’s is not a problem in itself because one has to see them to consider the candidates. But it does present a problem considering my lack of time available. The problem is causes is that I have to wade though so many text-heavy documents that all look the same, and I have to work very hard to weed out the good ones. Research shows that recruiting managers spend around 6 seconds reviewing a resume, its not because we are lazy, it’s because we have to be that fast to get through it all. So, do us a favor, if you’re the candidate I must see, make your CV or resume stand out please. Liven up my task please, give me something interesting, and for yourself ensure that you make an impression in those 6 seconds so I can put you on the ‘to interview’ pile.
As you can see, candidate hunting is a time consuming and laborious business, and if you remember this fact, you’ll be able to remind yourself that YOU and the SOLUTION to a PROBLEM that I have. With that in mind, get out there and present yourself, because sooner or later an employer WILL notice you, and you’ll be doing him a favor.