This weekend I spoke about hiring and recruitment at the Beyond the Professoriate conference (#beyondprof on Twitter). I love giving presentations, but what I love even more is the opportunity to surprise people by making them think differently about their career strategies. If you’re trying to advance, change, or break into your career, here are some thing you might want to consider:
Does your industry have hiring cycles? If your profession depends on contracts, governmental funding or grants, you’ll want to know when the money is handed out. Trying to break into a management training program? They likely have an annual timeline of when they bring in their new hires (late summer and early fall is the usual time of year for recruitment). For NGOs or non-profits, you’ll want to pay attention to their major grantors and the government fiscal year. These organizations are generally operating on tighter budgets than corporations, so hiring booms and expansion take place when the funding is secured.
What is the hiring process? When organizations are sifting through a large volume of applicants, the majority of the hiring process is used to screen candidates out, and only the final stages screen in. If they are using Applicant Tracking Software, be sure the formatting of your documents is compatible, and that you are using their keywords in your materials. Try to find out if they use testing, phone interviews, or third party services to screen candidates. Informational interviews and research on sites like www.glassdoor.com can help you gather these details. Knowing the hiring process will help you to tailor your approach and leverage your experiences.
What are the major issues or trends in your sector? If you’re not keeping up on new technology, business practices, legislation, or other factors that affect your industry then get reading! Join appropriate groups on LinkedIn, follow conversations on Twitter and Google+ and read the appropriate influencers for your profession. Aside from the Conference Board of Canada, which I have access to through my university affiliation, everything I read is free and available online. Find the new sources that will keep you informed so you are ready to take advantage of opportunities in your area. (e.g. Is new legislation coming into play that your preferred employers need to meet? New software that affects the way your industry operates? Trade deals that will affect the labour force?)
Thinking about the hiring process from the perspective of the recruiter and the hiring manager will help you anticipate what they are looking for in a candidate, and put yourself in a stronger position. Next up on the #beyondprof follow up: Employee Referral Programs. Exciting stuff!
Questions? Comments? Stuff you didn’t think of to ask during the conference? All are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.