How to Re-Engineer Your Job Search

Finding a job is no easy thing, and even though technological advancements have seemingly made the process easier and more user-friendly, in many cases it’s more complicated than ever before. Job boards on the internet might seem like an easy way to get your resume out there, but it’s just as easy to be overlooked.

As job seekers and recruiters continue their searches a new tool is quickly rising to the top as a way to find the best people for the right positions: Big Data. Knowing how big data is being used now for recruiting and job searching can give people an advantage over the competition.

Think of how many people apply online for a position when a business posts on a job board. Some companies receive thousands of resumes for a single opening, so it’s understandable that qualified candidates can fall through the cracks. With such a deluge of resumes, companies are applying big data analytics practices to a field of prospective job seekers.

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Big data, however, goes much further than search queries and talent management systems.

Many businesses are actually developing profiles on people based upon their social media presence. This even applies to people who aren’t actively searching for a job.

Businesses build their own resumes of candidates by identifying details from people’s social media profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites. From these profiles, companies use big data tools to identify patterns of behavior, interests and skills that are qualifying factors for current and future job openings. If the targeted individual isn’t looking for a job at the moment, businesses will likely keep them on file for future reference.

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With social media playing such an integral role in big data recruitment, job seekers need to do what they can to manage their profiles with the intent of gaining a job in mind. That means using your social media presence to emphasize your work-related skills and demonstrating your abilities.

Curating your profiles also requires you to engage in discussions with other people in your field of choice, showcasing your thoughts and opinions and helping direct discussions. Using this process, you may even become known as a thought leader, someone to turn to when others want an expert’s opinion.

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The bottom line: You need to put yourself in a position to take advantage of big data and utilize it to get noticed. The more understanding you have of how big data is affecting job searches, the faster you can get it working for you.

A study just released by Lever, a hiring management system used by small and mid-sized companies around the world describes how 600 of their clients hired 15,000 people – the real surprise in that 1.5 million people applied for these 15K jobs – only 1% of the total.

If you’re a job seeker this may seem like finding a job is a long-shot, however, taking a closer look at the numbers tells a different story.

  • The odds were worse for people who applied on a job board – 130 to one – yet 48% of their jobs were filled this way. Although it’s inefficient, it is a major source of hires.
  • Dollarphotoclub_68328671.jpgGetting referred was the best way to get a job. It only took 12 people to hire someone this way. This is 10X better than applying. According to the Lever data only 14% of all jobs were filled by referrals.
  • Only 4% of all hires came through a recruiting agency but in these cases the company only needed to see 25 people to hire one person.
  • This direct sourcing approach represented 34% of all hires and its recruiters needed to screen 65 people to yield one hire.

For more senior-level staff and mid-management positions. less than 20% are filled via people who apply online, 40% are referrals (including recruiting firms and staffing agencies) and 40% are direct sourced.

Consider these insights:

  1. Mix it up. Go narrow and deep rather than broad and shallow. Use a mix of all the techniques. Idea: Find 20 jobs every week you think look interesting and narrow this list down to the best five. And then only apply to 2-3 of them you’re perfectly qualified to handle. But don’t just wait to hear if the company is interested. Instead use the backdoor to get an interview. This means finding someone in the company who can get you a referral to the hiring manager.
  2. navigation-2-square.jpgGet found. Reverse engineer your LinkedIn profile and online resume to make sure recruiters can find it. When they find it make sure your major accomplishments and track record are instantly visible.
  3. Bypass screeners. If you get an onsite interview the chances for getting a job are (10%) regardless of how you were initially found, with one exception. For referrals it’s twice that at 20%.
  4. 20151111140508-social-media-icons-iphone-network-business-communication-web.jpgBuild a true network.Networking is getting people who can vouch for your abilities to recommend you open jobs they know about. In parallel, actively participate in business and groups where people in your field hang out. Recruiters review these online listings to get referrals.
  5. Build a reverse network. Take calls from recruiters. Listen to what they have to say and then provide a great referral. They will pay you back with future interviews.
  6. Force a discovery interview. If you do ALL of the above, you will probably get an interview. But the likelihood you’ll get an offer is still only 10% unless you’ve been referred, increasing your odds by 20%.

To increase your odds of getting an offer you need to make sure you’re being interviewed accurately. Ask the interviewer about some of the big tasks the person hired will likely be assigned to handle. Then give detailed examples of work you’ve accomplished that’s most comparable and you’ll likely be invited back as a finalist.

Ultimately you need to commit to doing what other candidates aren’t willing to do. That’s how you stand out. Consider these tips:

  1. Find the company you want to work for.

Many job seekers respond to as many job postings as possible, hoping the numbers will be on their side. But shotgun resume submissions result in hiring managers sifting through dozens of candidates to find the right person.

To show the hiring manager you are the right candidate, you have to do the work. Instead of shot-gunning your resume, put in the time to determine a company you definitely want to work for in terms of the job and cultural fit.

  1. Preparing-To-Sell-Your-Company.jpgReally know the company.

You can’t possibly know if you want to work for my company unless you know a lot about the company; that’s the difference between just wanting a job and wanting an actual role in a business. Check out management and employees on social media. When you know the people, you know the company. Learn as much as you can, then leverage that knowledge.

  1. Determine how you will make an immediate impact in the role.

Training takes time, money and effort. An ideal new hire can be productive immediately. While you don’t need to be able to do everything required in the job, it helps if the company can see an immediate return on their hiring investment. (Remember, hiring you is an investment that needs to generate a return.) Identify one or two important things you can contribute from day one.

  1. torn-paper-Show-me.jpgDon’t just tell. Show.

Put what you can offer on display. If you’re a programmer, mock up a new application. If you want a sales position, create a plan for how you’ll target a new market or customer base, or describe how you will implement marketing strategies the business doesn’t currently use.

  1. Use a referral as a reinforcement.

Business is all about relationships.  Knowing that someone we trust is willing to vouch for you is a data point that often tips the decision scale toward giving you an interview, and even giving you the job.

  1. i-am-the-one-who-knocks.jpgBe the one who knocks.

Don’t wait to be called for an interview. Don’t even wait for an opening to be posted; after all, you’ve identified ways you can immediately help the company you want to work for. Approach people right and they will pay attention.

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The key to success that wins in the job market is knowing your audience. Define how you can help a company fix real problems in their market, after you understand their world and their perspectives, you can validate these findings with a mix of empirical or intuitive thinking – that’s what will get you hired.

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