When you commence your job search, it is natural to rely on traditional job search methods. These methods include:
- employment websites,
- newspaper job advertisements,
- trade journal job advertisements
- employment agencies.
Although traditional job search methods are easy and comfortable, they are not necessarily the most effective method in today’s employment market.
In my role as a Human Resources Manager I have seen a significant change in recruitment methods over the past few years. More people are now recruited through non-traditional methods such as:
- social media searches,
- professional networking
- employee referral programs
Why are recruiters adopting non-traditional recruitment methods?
Even in today’ tight employment market, companies are still competing to attract talented individuals. Most industry leading companies are spending serious money developing employment brands and investing in non-traditional recruitment methods to attract talented candidates.
By focusing solely on job advertisements recruiters are relying on luck that suitable candidates are searching for a new opportunity. In my experience, this passive approach to recruiting is not consistently reliable and therefore not always the best use of company resources. By using non-traditional methods, recruiters take an active approach to recruitment by searching for their ideal candidates.
Therefore, if organisations are investing money in finding candidates with your skills and experience, why not make it easier for them to find you?
By adopting the following three steps, you can increase your chances of finding the job you desire:
Step One: Register with industry specific employment agencies
Many large organisations engage the services of industry specific employment agencies to source talented individuals. This is because these agencies tend to have strong industry networks and know the top players in their specific industry. Many organisations will use employment agencies to conduct non-traditional job searches which include:
- Social media searches on websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
- Advertising on social media and job search websites
- Directly approaching top talent from competitors
You can make it easier for employment agencies to find you by registering directly with the agencies that specialise in your industry.
Step Two: Actively use social media in your job search
Firstly you need to google your name.
It is important to see what information is currently on the internet about you. Remove anything undesirable and strengthen privacy settings on websites such as Facebook and Instagram. Your aim is to present a professional image wherever an employer can find information about you.
Next, develop a professional online image and let potential employers know you are seeking a job. This can be achieved by:
- Setting up a website that showcases your resume. It should include a professional photo plus information on the type of job and company you are seeking. Most importantly you need to sell your skills and experiences. There are many free website platforms you can use such as wordpress.com.
- Develop or tweak profiles on LinkedIn , Twitter , Google Plus and Facebook .
- Place professional cover photo on all your profiles.
- Write a list of your current network. This can include everyone you have met in a professional capacity, as well as personal contacts that could be professional useful. Use your social networks to search for, and link with these people.
- Develop your online networks. For example, follow the Twitter pages of companies you wish to work for, connect with people on LinkedIn who have a similar jobs to the one you desire and connect through Facebook with people you know in your industry.
- Make a post on your networks describing the job you are seeking with a link to your personal website.
- Join and follow appropriate professional organisations and interest groups and actively participate on their online forums. Research any connections you make and try and connect through social media.
Step Three: Set up connections for employee referral programs
Many companies have employee referral programs. These programs provide financial incentives to current employees if they recommend a candidate who is hired for a job vacancy. This means you do not necessarily have to connect with hiring managers to secure an interview. A connection with any employee in a large company can give you a head start to secure your desired job.
By using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, you can search for people who currently work for the organisations you are interested in. By connecting with them, and being upfront about your desire to work for their company, you are paving the way for a job referral.
Even if the company does not have an employee referral program, you will gather valuable information such as company culture, hiring manager’s names and up-coming vacancies through your connections.
This method may sound far-fetched, but this how a previous colleague of mine secured his position as a Manager in a large national organisation. By connecting through LinkedIn, he shared his job search intentions and sent me his resume. At the time my employer was looking to hire someone with his experience. I passed his details to the hiring manager and the rest is history! He secured the job before the company commenced any form of active recruitment.
By adopting these non-traditional job search methods with your usual job search activities, you substantially increase your chances of finding the right job for you. It may be a significant investment of time, but is essential if you have a strong desire to take your next career step.
Have you used one of these job search methods? I would love to hear how you went.
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