Friday, October 19, 2007

Job Boards - Great for market research but lousy for applying directly to jobs - Page 2

Job boards are most often used by candidates to search for openings and apply directly to jobs. Applying for jobs in this way puts the candidate behind the curve. By the time a job is posted online the employer often already has a short list of candidates that they’ve met through networking or that their staff have referred. When you apply for jobs through job boards, you are competing with outside recruiters (or have to go through a recruiter pre-screen before getting to the employer.

Anyone out there think that this is a great way to apply for a job?

Yet, it’s the way that most candidates apply for jobs - because it’s what they know.

There’s a better way ... Get ahead of the curve by networking with people from companies that are hiring.

Instead of looking for specific jobs, instead use job boards for market research to see which companies are hiring. Here’s an example: Today, I was talking to a client who was concerned that ageism was preventing him from finding a new job in marketing. He has a large network of contacts, he’s a friendly guy, and he’s not afraid to talk to people. Because his network is mainly people he’s known from his professional career, he knows people who are mainly in the same industry. He may be networking, but he’s probably networking with the wrong people because his networking efforts weren’t targeted to high growth companies or industries.

I asked my client to open up SimplyHired and search for all jobs across the US (search for the term “a” or “the” since all job descriptions probably have one of these words in the ad). SimplyHired also has filters for a variety of types of companies - Dog friendly, GLBT friendly, Mom friendly, and 50+ companies. I directed my client to click on the 50+ companies with the word “a” or “the” in the description. When the search results came in, we looked in the left column, and clicked on companies - that allowed us to see which 50+ companies nationally are advertising for the most employees.

The specific companies weren’t so important, because they might not be in the city where my client lives. But when you look at the industries, you’d find that hospitals, health care, financial services and insurance companies were some of the top hiring firms. Even if none of the companies are local, even if none of the companies are advertising a job in your field, there’s a few things for certain - these companies are hiring and they are looking for people over 50. If there are a number of companies from the same industry on this list, it’s a good bet that companies in your area are also hiring (may just not thousands of people) and they are probably open to older workers. In addition, companies who are vendors to these companies may also be hiring, and they may also be open to age 50+ workers.

Doesn’t that sound like a target list to you?

The concept works no matter how old you are. Use job boards to understand the industries that are hiring nationally and locally ... even if they aren’t posting jobs in your field. Companies and industries that are going through growth are often very fertile places to network,

In this way you can focus your networking time so you “fish where the fish are”.

Readers - What do you think? Any comments or suggestions?

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3 Ways To Leverage Job Boards And Discover The Hidden Job Market

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Marcy Baer said...

Hi Phil - I tried this method, but SimplyHired didn't return any results because the search parameters (across the US) were too broad. Am I missing a step? Thanks.

Marcy D. Baer
Baltimore, MD

Phil Rosenberg said...

Marcy, I'm guessing that you're missing search criteria. I use "a the" (without the quotes) in SH's Advanced search screen in the 'With at least one of the words' field.