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May 21, 2012

How the Population Thinks

In job search it sometimes makes sense to follow the crowd but many times it makes more sense to observe the masses and do the opposite. Most people or “the masses” want to find employment that corresponds with what they need and what they want. Essentially people want to be happy in their work and their life. Would you agree? But the way people go about branding themselves and their job search should be a process of distinguishing what is most sellable and what is the value proposition of the talent they embody to an employer. Tactically it’s important to focus on looking for a job across many of the obvious platforms – websites of companies you know, people with professional contacts who might help you, and various other sources. But in today’s market most people should start building personal and professional brand-building strategies into each and every communication platform. This requires clear attention to what may be uniquely interesting to a potential employer about you, your personality and your skill sets.

 

Having recently attended two Society for Human Resources Management events in the last week and several recent online recruiting seminars, I realized that most jobseekers and even many executives in career transition really don’t know how recruiters think today. It seems to me that as recruiting moves more into what we now call social recruiting let’s think through some of the ways talent can be viewed, found and hired. Perhaps the best way to do this could be to review some surveys and information recently posted on Weddles from the entire year of 2011 with their annual Source of Employment survey results. These statistics don’t surprise me because the general population in this country can be relied upon to pick a kind of status quo thought process about job search.

Here a couple of conclusions I draw from my recent recruiter discussions and a compelling survey I just read:

1. No One Tactic Works in Job Search – I believe Peter Weddle makes this conclusion at the end of this recent report and survey information and it is so absolutely true. Have you ever been through those prostate exam feeling Taleo applications? If you have you know what I mean. Sorry Taleo, your application engine can be cumbersome for jobseekers. People really rely on online applications and although almost every company requires these it is essential that any jobseeker find ways to network online and in person, create a brand and market directly to key hiring managers and employee referral sources. Look at it this way. There are a myriad of tactics and ideas out there about how to look for a job.

2. Network With a Giving Spirit – Many people I coach go through a phase of selfish introspection during their search. It happens even to the very high achievers I see in my career practice. When people break out of their self-centeredness they often find valuable contacts through friends, networking in person and online. One of my clients said that “As soon as I found ways to contribute, help others in their search and provide guidance I could in my volunteer work people came out of the woodwork to help me.” He went on to say that “as soon as I got happy things started coming my way.”

Here is the information from the Weddles survey:

Here are some of the highlights as they combined both jobseeker and recruiter responses totaling 2500 last year.  Among recruiters, 54 percent were male; 45 percent were female. Their median age was also 45 years old. It is interesting to note, however, that when asked how old they were, almost six out of ten (59.8 percent) of the recruiters opted not to respond. Among job seekers, 29.1 percent were mid-level professionals, 14.6 percent were managers, 13.5 percent were senior level professionals, 9.8 percent were entry-level professionals, 6.4 percent were skilled trade persons and 5.5 percent were administrative workers. Almost half (49.9 percent) were employed and either thinking about or actively looking for a job. Their median age was 45 years old.
The two survey instruments each included a dozen questions.
Image Credit: www.execunet.com, instantshift.com

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