The Strategies to Getting a Job & Hiring
Forbes has a great article on the challenges employers face in finding new candidates. Over the last decade, Americans have learned that no job is safe, but rather than sitting in our current jobs like lame ducks, we have adapted to always look for the next thing. Forbes discusses how hiring managers have changed their tactic when recruiting new employees. The article also touches on what tactics employees have used to increase their visibility and always stay employed. Are you following these rules? Will you get hired right away if your position is eliminated? The article comes via Talent 2050, a smart talent agency that focuses on bringing diversity into the workplace. Hiring Is Getting Harder For Employers, Not Easier Dan Finnigan, 01.20.11, 02:05 PM EST
For the past couple of years, you have been holding down the fort, keeping expenses and hiring down while waiting for a turnaround in the economy. Nice job. Once again, we have near record profits in the U.S. Consumers are now opening their wallets and, with a workforce again near record highs in productivity, you and your business are clearly getting ready to hire now.
But if you think you're going to be in the driver's seat because your company has open positions at a time of prolonged, record unemployment--think again. The top-level unemployment numbers are deceptive. Dig deeper and you will see that there's a long-term battle for the highly skilled people you will most want to go hire.
Why? By 2015, 60% of the new jobs being created will require skills only held by 20% of the population, according to a recent report from the American Society for Training and Development. In 1991 fewer than 50% of U.S. jobs required skilled workers. But by 2015 76% of all U.S. jobs created will require highly skilled workers, for example people with special skills in science, technology, engineering or math. Worse yet, Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce reports that the demand for college educated workers will outpace the supply in the U.S. by more than 300,000 a year. That means the country will produce 3 million fewer college graduates than are needed over the next decade.
So, you will be waging a war for talent whether you like it or not, a war that requires new strategies and tactics to win. And the fact is that most of us are out of practice, and thus, are likely out of touch with how fast-growing companies hire now.
Two major trends have converged to alter the job-seeking mentality among American workers. First, during the recession, the American worker received the loudest, most clear message in our country's history: No job is permanent, few employees are irreplaceable, and everyone should be prepared to look for a new job at a moment's notice. Second, at the same time, social media has advanced so far beyond the tipping point that it has become the cultural norm for making connections and sharing information, both professionally and personally. (Time spent on Facebook now exceeds that on Google ( GOOG - news - people ), and Facebook now sends more people to news and information websites than does Google's dominant search engine.)
The result is a new landscape for both employers and job seekers to navigate, a landscape you will have to get to know quickly to attract the talent you need for your company to compete and grow.
If you've asked your recruiting team to target passive candidates in the past, it's time you get to know the new proactive candidates, people who cultivate new job opportunities long before they need them. Our company recently commissioned a national survey, Job Seeker Nation 2010, to find out about the job search intentions and practices of the modern, recession-weary American worker. Our research found that 53% of employed Americans--that is, 63.5 million people--are now open to new job prospects, even if they are not actively looking for a new job per se. But a deeper look into their behavior shows they never stop looking for their next opportunity. In fact, 73% of these proactive candidates have engaged in job search activities in the last 12 months, compared with only 28% of those not open to a new job.
So, then how are these proactive job seekers different from the rest of the population? Very, and much more likely to be the people your company needs. They are:
--Highly educated. 52% are college graduates, while 31% of active job seekers and 44% of those not open to a new job are college grads.
--More social. 77% use Facebook, 36% use Twitter, and 34% use LinkedIn--higher adoption rates than other groups reported.
--Well-connected. This group has significantly more contacts within these social networks. The difference is even more pronounced when the proactive job seeker has a college degree.
--Networking for jobs. Given their large social networks, this group finds referrals even more important as a job source than do others, and they are leading the charge toward using social networks to find jobs.
Let me get to the bottom line: These proactive job seekers--many of whom are some of your best employees, as well--are not waiting for their résumés to be plucked out of a stack of hundreds or found among thousands at job boards. They are cultivating networks of opportunity that they can tap into at any time they need to--like at the next hint of reorganization, layoffs or slow growth in their company.
Smart companies are getting ahead of this. Like the proactive job seeker, proactive employers are cultivating networks of prospective employees to generate the right prospects for their open positions. The fastest-growing companies, like Zynga, Twitter and Groupon, and those that compete with them for talent, provide examples of how employers can reorient their recruiting strategies to attract these motivated, connected and career-minded individuals.
--They've gone social. Proactive companies promote jobs in social networks, of course, but they also cultivate networks of followers, engage in online conversations and tell their stories about their companies. This investment pays off for both their marketing and recruiting departments, with new customers and new recruits. To get going: If you have a marketing-driven social media plan, that's a start. (If not, see Time's person of the year award for 2010.) Now layer in content that attracts potential candidates--company news, color commentary from employees, video of the work environment and of course job information. Cover all the big social channels, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
--They're crowdsourcing their recruiting programs. Employers have long encouraged employees to provide referrals for jobs (the highest- quality source of candidates); and now social technologies offer a way to power up this crowd. The most successful companies have hundreds and sometimes thousands of brand ambassadors in social media, employees who love their company, products and work and are willing to talk about it. They bring a unique perspective to everything from the best latte to the best place to work. To get going: Tell your employees you need their help; give them an easy way to deliver their referrals to your recruiting department; and don't block access to social networks at your workplace. That's just handing candidates to your competitors.
--They walk the walk. The top executives in market-leading companies demonstrate their commitment to hiring goals by helping out themselves. If you aren't hearing about changes in your company's recruiting strategy, ask. If your human resources executives are pushing changes, get on board. To get going: Stand up at the next company meeting and thank specific employees for their referrals; mention your commitment to hiring the best and brightest in your next press interview; tweet some jobs yourself.
--They know their numbers. If the preceding points sounded touchy-feely to you, don't be fooled. Proactive employers have transformed their talent acquisition with metrics-driven recruiting programs. They are not wasting time or money sorting through mounds of résumés from under-qualified candidates. They are increasing the yield of their recruiting dollars with targeted programs, intelligent analytics and smarter technologies. To get going: Review the pipeline report from your recruiting department and ask about the candidate sources with the highest return on investment.
An evolution in the marketplace of talent has quietly but irrevocably changed how people look for work and how companies find workers. The faster your company adapts to the new ways of acquiring talent, the more competitive your business will be.
Dan Finnigan is the chief executive officer of Jobvite.