Nothing But TearsOne of the reasons I started blogging at and why I created My Talent Network was to try and assist active and passive job seekers in finding that perfect job. In writing about the latest recruiting trends and sharing passive job seeker tips, I suppose that on some days it makes the work of finding a new job look like a walk in the park. The truth of the matter is that there are occasions where no matter how prepared someone may be, that perfect job with that perfect company just isn't going to happen. Let me explain...

I got a call last night from a good friend in the western part of the United States that has been looking for work for almost four months. She's been somewhat pro-active in branding herself within her industry but is really set on working for just one or two specific companies... companies that many other people would usually forfeit their left arm to work for.

She was frustrated that she'd applied to a particular company and that after two weeks had been invited to take the entry assessments - the employment testing that would seem to kick off their consideration process - but after the exams she hadn't heard anything back. She'd passed the assessments, she said, and was told before leaving that they'd call her as they continued looking for the most qualified applicants. This was two months ago.
Now here she was on the phone with me telling me that she knew they were hiring at this mega-corporation and how she felt it was ridiculous that they hadn't called her yet for her interview since she was 'obviously' qualified for the job.

My response was simple. "Cry much?" I asked.
Silence on the other end of the line.
"I hear that Johnson & Johnson has a new shampoo out called 'Nothing but tears' and it's geared towards toughening up newborns. Maybe you should..." And this is where I was politely interrupted by my friend.

Her return to me was that she had applied to this job. She was qualified. She had a stellar resume. She was branded in her industry enough to be recognized by name. She felt there was NO reason why she should not have received a call by now.
While I think it was a bit unprofessional that they didn't at least reach out to tell her she was either out of the running or still being considered after two months, my second response was a bit softer and presented as a question, "I wonder how many other people applied to that perfect job at that mega-company?"
Again with the silence.

It was a slow realization for her that the goal of an employer/recruiter is not to "fill a job." The goal of an employer/recruiter is to fill a job with the most qualified candidate. In the case where a major employer begins recruitment for a much desired job - sometimes literally thousands of people can apply (trust me, I've seen it.) So as we talked through the details of some hiring processes and what fair expectations are she slowly went from frustrated to motivated. Motivated to get back on track with her job search and to no longer wait for that call.

My friend made an interesting comment as we walked through some additional things she could do in order to help herself get in front of the right people... She mentioned that it was her opinion that some sites and books geared around providing tips and assistance to job seekers give the impression that if someone follows point A to point B to point C, that they'll get a bite on that resume in a "jiffy." (her word, not mine.)
The simple truth is that there's no easy way to get that job just because you [feel like you] are the ideal candidate. There are however, some easy things you can do to greatly increase your odds of getting noticed... or as my friend says - getting bitten. And so continues the blog and it's sister portal, My Talent Network.

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Comment by Sally Raade on August 26, 2008 at 8:09pm
Great post... I have been in the staffing industry for a long time, well maybe not as long as others here. I’ve only been in the industry since 1995.

I get a lot of resumes from candidates who think that they are perfect for the position they are applying for, and half of them lack some or all of the requirements for the position. These candidates don't really take the time to read the job description carefully. They scan it and see a few keys words that fit, and at that point, in their minds they are perfect for the position.

One quarter of the candidates are good at what they do, but don't have the proper industry experience or education. They are applying for the wrong position.

Another quarter of them are good at what they do and meet the education requirements and most of the experience requirements. These candidates can be presented to the client companies. Now, the tricky part of this process.
Out of these candidates, half of them will not get the position, and might not even get to the interview stage. This is because they might not be the top candidates.

From my viewpoint most companies want to see if the candidate will fit into their company's business culture. By this I mean, will the person's personality/ attitude fit into a casual, semi professional or corporate business environment? Will the candidate believe or buy into the company's mission statement?
Will the candidate believe in the management style or the company's policies?

Companies are looking at the attitude/personality traits of the candidate to see how they will interact with other employees. Perhaps the person has all the great skills but their attitude is not desirable. (Any non-productive attitudes will fit here) For example, if the person has a negative attitude toward everything... can you imagine how this attitude catches on like wild fire?

I agree with your friend that the goal of an employer/recruiter is not just to "fill a job." The goal of an employer/recruiter is to fill a job with the most qualified candidate. After all, that is what we are paid to do. Find the candidate that best meets all of the requirements for the position. Companies can find the *80% er’s on their own. (The 80 –20 Rule. 20% of the people do most of the work. *80% do little) This is an old adage from the Engineering profession, and it is even more applicable today.
Comment by RecruiterGuy on August 28, 2008 at 10:06pm
Thanks for the feedback and comments, Sally. It always surprises me that I get such a strong response via email versus posted comments when I blog. Not sure if it's an anonymity issue or not - but I enjoyed reading your remarks.
Comment by Sally Raade on August 29, 2008 at 4:06pm
Thanks for your comment on my feedback. I enjoyed your post. I wanted to
add my two cents in the pot. Have a great holiday weekend...


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