I’m having another Lorax moment.
But this time it’s kind of jobseeker centric.
I was at dinner with a friend from the recruiting industry and word on the street was that more and more employers in the DC Metro area are dropping job boards, particularly the icons like Monster and CareerBuilder in favor of social media.
Hmmmm. And that gave me pause.
Not because I don’t understand why. I get why. And it kind of amuses me now that I’m part of the third party world, or as one of my Tweeps referred to it, “the dark side.” Because we on the dark side love it anytime corporate entities say, “Oh, we’re no longer using this tool… that source… etc.” because it opens a door for us. And we always step in. Gleefully.
When I worked in corporate recruiting though, if a source produced hires we never dumped it. Maybe we scaled back but never dumped. And those that produced candidates who made it to the 2nd or 3rd round interview? We usually gave them another chance but if they didn’t produce the next cycle, they were out the door.
But let’s talk about jobseekers. I wonder if any of these big employers that I’m hearing about dropping the big guns are letting jobseekers know how to apply? Are you? I’m guessing no. Which is fairly normal.
So what should these employers be telling job seekers? Or if you’re reading this as a jobseeker in 2011 or think you might be a jobseeker in the next 18 months? Here are some quick hits – on what you should be communicating my friends on the employer side of things, or for you job seekers, what I think you should do to up the ante and make yourself hireable:
- Make Yourself Findable first. Google yourself right now. Did your LinkedIn profile come up? No? Build one, make it public. If you have a preferred method of contact, note it. Use inmails. Use a separate email.
- Make Yourself Even More Findable. Post your resume, or your bio, or whatever you want to call it. Use Posterous, use WordPress, use a .me site, use doctoc or slideshare… use something.
- Make sure when you build those profiles you use every keyword that applies to you. I like to say I’m a researcher but my title is Strategic Recruiting Manager… and if I was anticipating a job hunt and tweaking my profile I’d make sure every word related to recruiting and research both are enmeshed in my online profile.
- Use job boards. Because they’re not over yet. And there will be people looking for you on there. At least for a little while longer. But understand that companies are under the gun to save on costs so go directly to their websites and apply there as well.
- Find someone who works at your targeted company who can pass your resume along, outside of the applicant tracking system (ATS). You want to be looked at by the hiring manager (sorry recruiters… but you know this is true.) Eventually you are going to be dumped in the black hole that is the ATS, but give yourself a fighting chance and work your network.
- Respond to recruiters. Third party or corporate I don’t care. If you don’t deal with contingency staffing firms, fine, send ’em a quick note of thank you/no thank you, get removed from their mailing list. But do your due diligence, because you want to work with a retained search firm. I’ve spelled it out loud and proud on my LinkedIn profile that I do retained search. There’s a significant difference between retained and contingency search firms. You can go around me and apply directly through our client, but they are still going to route you my way because our firm has been hired – and already paid – to alleviate their staffing burden.
- If you’re not interested in an opportunity sent your way but want to start building some relationships with recruiters? Let the recruiter know that “this one isn’t a fit” but what you’d really like is X, Y, and Z. I keep that information and because I may run across that position shortly, I’m going to call you again and let you know I found it. Also, pass the opening on to your network. Referrals are gold in recruiting, and your recruiter will remember your helpfulness.
So that’s it. Got questions? Don’t know how to begin? You need to ask. Message me. I may not be able to hold your hand and take you through the entire process step by step, but I can take a quick look at what you have in play and what you need.
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.