With the current state of affairs in this country’s job market, it really is hard to believe that anyone is getting a job, not so much because of the unemployment rate, but because the process has become so arduous and ridiculous.
With all of our progress in technology, we seem to have further alienated prospective employers from prospective job seekers. Job seekers are shunned from calling employers, even their HR departments, which are partly in place to assist with the hiring process. Forget trying to speak with an actual hiring manager. He or she is like some mystery figure that only comes out after candidates have been prescreened, screened, and rescreened (kind of like a ritual cleansing). Sometimes candidates are even kept in the dark about to which company they are actually applying, only to be revealed at the last possible second (and then companies wonder, “why doesn’t the candidate seem to know much about us?”). And don’t get me started about online job posting sites that are nothing but black holes in which resume after resume just keeps going in. I mean, what are companies doing with all those resumes?
So in 2009 we are left with more and more reliance on the middle man to bridge that gap. Cue the recruiters, headhunters, employment agencies, etc.
Is that a bad thing? Sometimes, yes, because here again we have just another layer between the hiring company and the candidates.
The concept of recruiting seems simple enough on the surface. Company needs a strong candidate to fill a vacancy. Strong candidate needs a job. Recruiter plays matchmaker and brings the two parties together. Everybody’s happy, especially the recruiter who only gets paid when he or she sets up successful matches.
There is no question that it can be a very helpful service when everything goes right.
But all too often, everything does not go right. First you have candidates who seem to think that recruiters know about the bulk of available jobs out there and, more importantly, assist in placing candidates in any job they want. Second, you have recruiters who are only looking for the best possible fit for the positions they have been assigned to recruit for, which often is not the candidate who is contacting them. Instead, it may be the candidate who is currently employed and not really looking. Third, you have the companies who don’t always play by the rules. Put that all together, and you can end up with a mess.
Many candidates don’t realize that recruiters and other employment agents don’t work for them. In other words, a recruiter is not out there looking for a job for you. The recruiter is out there looking for the best candidates for the positions he or she is trying to fill. And sometimes recruiters overlook good quality candidates simply because some aspect of the candidate’s background does not fit perfectly the idealized candidate of the job description.
So what is a job seeker to do? First and foremost, get informed! Know what job search tactics work the best and what don’t. Understand how recruiters and headhunters operate and do some research to find ones that specialize in your area. Second, stop spending so much time on the Internet and network more. Statistics continue to show that both employers and job seekers find networking to be the best possible way of connecting. Third, align with other job seekers, who can often be the best eyes and ears out there. Look for group job hunting opportunities, both online and in your geographic area.
So who am I anyway? Why do I think my advice is so valuable?
My name is Stephen Van Vreede. My company is called No Stone Unturned, and I have been in the career consulting business since 2002 with 8 years of hiring experience prior to that.
The short story is that I have an MBA in Marketing from Villanova University and a dual B.S. degree in Finance & Logistics from the University of Maryland. I am a certified professional résumé writer (CPRW) and a member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). As I mentioned, I paid my dues in the corporate world eventually running a large-scale call center for a major truck rental company, and I have spent the past 6 years with No Stone Unturned, assisting job seekers in achieving their goals.
I know that my products will work for you because they are based on common-sense principles leveraged with good, solid expertise and knowledge of the job search process. After working with countless job seekers, I have become more and more convinced that most of them do not properly prepare for a job search and rely way too much on online sites and trendy articles to tell them what to do. Thus, they waste a lot of time, money, and energy.
If you still aren’t sure whether our services are right for you, feel free to give me a call toll-free at 1-866-755-9800 or better yet, sign up to receive my free Job Search Advice eGuide today.
In February 2009, I am launching a new group job hunting networking site: Noddle Place. Check it out at http://www.noddleplace.com.