I don’t know about you, but the thought of looking for my next job, or trying to find the right person for an open position within my company does not make my blood surge with excitement. In fact, I could think of 101+ things I’d rather do! Unfortunately, as the saying goes, “It’s a jungle out there” and in the tumultuous times of turnover, downsizing, mergers, and acquisitions, the terrain of finding that next great job or candidate can be a game of survival.
How do you rise above the pack and become lord of the jungle? Grab a vine, start swinging and take some advice from a leading expert in the Houston field of talent and technology.
The Job Hunter
The market is overgrown with candidates vying to land on the same branch of open positions. It’s challenging to know how to navigate through the tangle of industries, recruiting firms and job sites looking for the right skill set, experience, and location (especially in the Houston area!). I asked Chris Hopper, Founder of The CRM Recruiter, about the trend toward applicants who are rising above their competitors to stand out in the crowd.
Question: What top three tips do you give job hunters?
- “Have Tenacity - Don’t be lazy and expect a new position to come to you. When you’re in between positions you are now in sales, as in, you’re selling yourself and your qualifications to external and internal recruiters, human resources, hiring managers, etc. If you find a position posted online, don’t just reply “interested” or send in your resume to the infamous black hole, instead call whoever posted that position, if you don’t know who it is, call the company and ask, leave a message, tell them why you think you’re qualified and what you can offer. You have to determine how you can best stand-out amongst your competition. Go after what you want – professional persistence is my motto.”
- “Never Stop Networking - Continue to network with others in the best of times and the worst of times. I know recruiters aren’t really needed until they’re needed, but building your network of recruiters at all times and checking in with them from time to time will be in your best interest over the long run. Buy them a beer, recruiters enjoy beer.”
- “Be Productive – Continue to stay productive in between positions, find projects to sharpen your skills, volunteer, take on a new endeavor, and don’t sit in front of your computer 8 hours a day firing off resumes to positions that aren’t a good fit for you. Outline your day accordingly – X hours of job searching online, X hours of emailing, calling, networking with others, X hours of taking on extracurricular events. You need to have a solid answer when an employer asks you what have you been doing since your last position – watching seasons of Seinfeld is not the answer they’re looking for.”
The Talent Hunter
For the talent hunter, the task of finding the right candidate can be just as daunting to the interviewer as it is to the interviewee. Looking through piles of qualified (and mostly unqualified) applicants, trying to read between the lines for who would be the right person for the job, would cause any hiring manager or HR person to scream louder than Tarzan. Take this simple suggestion from Chris before you take the leap into the amazon of recruiting.
Question: What is the key piece of advice you give to all talent hunters?
“Understand the job description before reaching out to candidates…if you don’t understand the position, do what it takes to understand it. In my opinion, the one area that I see candidates complain about the most in our industry is the lack of understanding between what they have to offer and the position they are being reached out to about.”
Contact Chris Hopper at The CRM Recruiter or 770-329-0920 he will be with you every step of the way to becoming THE job market hunter. Chris Hopper founded The CRM Recruiter after 17 years of I.T. experience as a CRM Analyst and Consultant based in Houston, TX.