To Get A Job Fast, Learn How Companies Recruit

Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Bestseller
Professional Resume Services

A successful job search requires more than trolling popular job boards and occasionally hitting the “send resume” button when the spirit moves you. As any good strategist will tell you, tactics are determined from a sound understanding of your opponents psychology and tactics. The same goes for job search, a smart plan of attack demands that you understand how companies go about recruitment and then invest your time accordingly. This is especially true for the 2012/2013 grads who are facing enormous competition for available opportunities.

Companies design their staffing needs up to twelve months in advance, so the interviews you go on this year were mostly planned and budgeted toward the end of last year. Hiring budgets usually open at the start of the new calendar year with hires staggered throughout

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the year.
How recruitment works
Sean Koppelman, president of, understands recruitment cycles as well as anyone, and warns of the necessity of a competitive resume : “During the high-tide graduation months in May and December, in-boxes are flooded with new grad resumes. If yours is less clear or concise than your competition, you are ruining your chances.”

The costs of hiring and training a new employee runs into thousands and often tens of thousands of dollars, so the entire recruitment process is cost/productivity conscious. Consequently, the hiring manager and the assigned recruitment professionals—all want the same thing: good hires, fast hires, and hires made as cheaply as possible. Understanding how and why things are done, and in what sequence they are done, will help you focus your efforts on the most effective job-finding techniques.

Put yourself on the other side of the desk for a few moments. Naturally, you would start the recruitment process by asking yourself, your colleagues and your staff who within the company can do this job; you want to hire from within, because it’s cheap, you are dealing with known quantities, and internal promotions are motivational. Many jobs are filled this way, and this can give you a head start on the competition whenever you hear about internal promotions and transfers, because a promotion also speaks of another opening created by that promotion/transfer, and often that position can be at a lower professional level.

Of course it’s who you know stupid
When a hiring manager can’t make an internal hire, she will logically ask, “Who do we know, and who do our people know?” This goes beyond the casual inquiry. The recruitment team will review all the resumes in the company’s database and any promising candidates who have been interviewed in the past for similar positions. The manager will also create an internal job posting (often tied to cash incentives for employee referrals) and will actively consider people known to the recruitment team through their involvement in the professional community. This will include professional and alumni associations and related activities.

If you’re a recent grad, this is where internships and campus activities really pay off. Internships give you real work experience, references, and exposure to working professionals for your network. Likewise, being active in campus societies makes you visible to campus recruiters, who claim they make their best entry-level professional hires from these societies way before the arrival of career days on campus.

These approaches account for fully a third of all hires that are made externally. This means you have to ask yourself three questions:

  1. How do I get better connected to my local profession? 
  2. How do I get to know, and be known by, my peers? 
  3. How do I become more visible in my professional community? 

The next step—slightly more expensive and time-consuming—is to search outside the company for candidates who are unknown to the company. The first choice is usually the Internet, and as recruitment costs now become a serious consideration, it won’t surprise you to learn that the majority of hires—38 percent, according to one estimate—come directly through the company’s own website. Less than you might expect—14.5 percent—come from the big three job boards (,, and, while significantly more (17.5 percent) come from specialty sites that focus on a particular profession.

The explanation for this should impact your job search plan: We don’t pay fees when people come to us on their own, so we naturally look first and more favorably on applicants coming to us through the company website. This is also especially important in depressed economic times, when companies will often decide that they don’t need to advertise with the big job banks because plenty of well-qualified and smart people will find their way to them.

A recruiter’s preference for specialty job sites also makes sense: he can expect more consistently suitable resumes, and fewer time-wasters.

The balance of hires—about 30 percent—comes mainly from on-campus recruitment, job fairs (both virtual and local) temp-to-perm hires, and headhunters.

So, the breakdown of effective recruitment strategies is very roughly split into thirds: one-third of hires come from personal/professional networks and prior contacts, one-third from the Internet, and one-third from the remaining sources.

It’s just good tactics organize your job search plan of attack along lines that reflect corporate recruitment practices. You can learn more about creating a job search strategy that mirrors corporate recruitment practices by checking out Knock Em Dead – Secrets & Strategies For First-Time Job Seekers.

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Martin Yate
Copyright 2013
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