Apr 13, 2009
Posted By Dr. Sean Harry
A reader recently commented: “Dealing with recruiters, hiring managers, and HR is a game where the odds are stacked way against you. One never knows what it is that gets you eliminated from consideration. And often times, they just go with an internal candidate they identified way before they advertised the position you applied for.”
This is a VERY interesting observation. Many people feel its true that applying for a job is a “game” and that the odds are stacked against the applicant before the game ever begins, but think about it from the standpoint of the employer. Who would YOU rather hire? Someone you don’t know that you pulled out of a stack of 1,000 resumes? Or someone you know or have met through someone you know? I’m sure MOST of us would rather hire the latter. People hire people they know, because finding someone who is the “right fit” is often MORE important than finding someone who has the skills you need. You can always train people new skills. But if someone is not a good fit for your organization. . . well, you can’t really change that, can you?!
Then there is the cost of hiring. Consider that it costs about 1.5 to 2 times the annual salary of the employee per hire. That means, if I am paying someone $70k per year the cost to hire them is somewhere between $105k and $140k. If they end up not fitting into the organization I might have to pay that out again in 6 – 18 months. However, if I hire someone I know (or meet through a friend, colleague, current employee, etc) my chances of finding a good fit are much better – thus saving the cost of hiring someone else within 6 to 18 months. Again, which would YOU prefer?
Since THAT is the game, the secret for job seekers is to activate your network to be the person with the odds stacked in YOUR favor. Use your friends, colleagues, and former co-workers to find out where the opportunities are. Have them submit your resume or introduce you directly to the hiring manager. When you do get in front of the hiring manager, don’t focus on your needs. Instead focus on THEIRS! Show them what you can do for them – how you will help them achieve their business goals and cause their business to grow. Give them concrete examples of how you have helped previous employers make or save money. And don’t forget to make sure that you and the company are a good fit.
If you need help activating your network, find a good coach or mentor. Use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to help you – but remember, ALWAYS focus on what you can do for others. People don’t care what you know or are capable of until they know you care about them and their needs!
Dr. Sean Harry has more than 20 years of experience in training and motivating people to achieve their goals and reach their highest potential. He has helped accomplish this as a Career Coach, as a University professor, as a Pastor, and as a Motivational Speaker.
You can find him on twitter: @sharrypdx, and @careers20
*Read more “Monday Staff Meeting” posts by Dr. Harry, a new series to help job seekers in Portland Oregon.