Our Comments to Job Seekers

The marketplace is changing constantly. The techniques and approaches that may have once worked are no longer trusted and reliable. Think of it terms of your field of expertise. If you were asked to perform your responsibilities today but you had to use only the techniques and tools available to you five years ago, wouldn’t you be severely handicapped?

Please note, Boxwood is not in the business of “placing job-seekers”. We are not headhunters.  We don’t use a database since each of our recruiting campaigns requires a unique professional who is best qualified to solve our client’s business problem. We are hired by the employer in a consulting-recruiting business model. We invest our time developing a network of relationships with business professionals and we are open to expanding our network and offering our insight to professionals who are trying to figure out the job-marketplace.

 Boxwood’s Deep Process Oriented Approach

We work with our client (the employer) to clearly define their business problem, declare their business problem (in a detailed position description), target qualified candidates, put the candidates in a situation where they are assuming the role while interviewing for the role, developing several finalist candidates, extending an offer to the top candidate and then developing a six month on-boarding program for the newly hired candidate.

We spend everyday in the “job-marketplace”. Here are our thoughts to job seekers in general:

8 Common Mistakes Job Seekers Make Today

1) Believing there is an industry that exists to get you a job. Today’s marketplace requires job seekers to be ACTIVE participants, not PASSIVE ones. The only person who will get you a job is you!

2) Misunderstanding the role of recruiters. First, there are several versions of recruiting models. Not all are the same. The employer pays while the job seeker never pays the recruiter. Some use a business model that aligns with the employer’s goals, others work on a commission based model designed to get a candidate to accept an offer in order for the recruiter to be paid a commission or a percentage of what the new hire is being paid. As a candidate, you should take the time to understand what business model your recruiter uses.

3) Appearing desperate to get a job. No employer wants to hire someone who is desperate. Desperate people say they can do anything in order to get hired. Employers don’t want to be fed a line of “hooey”. Furthermore, desperate job seekers are the target of an industry that offers the fairy-tale promise of: “For a fee, we will get you a job”. This has proven to be a quick way for job seekers to part with their money and get disappointment in return.

4) Talking too much with a prospective employer. The longer a professional is out of work, the more frustrating it becomes. At some point, the professional thinks “How can the prospective employer really know me if I don’t tell them everything about me?” This thinking translates into a candidate who provides endless answers to interview questions. The candidate would be better served to provide a succinct reply followed by “Would you like for me to expand upon my answer?”

5) Not identifying the hiring manager. This is a people business. People work for people. Employees report to managers. If you are pursuing a role, make sure to take the time to find out who the hiring manager is and then develop the steps toward opening a dialog directly with the hiring manager.

6) Thinking your resume carries the weight it once did. In the digital age, information has become much more available. The resume now serves as a small part of a candidate’s visibility. In addition, the resume is a historical account of what someone has done. Employers are going to hire you based upon what you can do for them today and into the future. Please refer to our published column on “Writing a Winning Resume”.

7) Getting too excited about one job opportunity and disregarding the others. A job seeker’s responsibility is to have multiple balls in the air. We define a ball in the air as an identified employment opportunity where you are having live dialog with the hiring manager.

8) Disconnection with reality. The reality is that employment is a two-way street requiring supply and demand. As a job seeker, you can only present the supply side. The demand side (employer) doesn’t necessarily have a well-oiled hiring process.

3 Critical Questions Every Job Seeker Needs to Ask

1) “Do I Know the Business Problem?” It is the responsibility of the employer to define and declare the Business Problem that will be solved by hiring critical talent. In some cases, the job seeker needs to obtain further clarification from an employer who may be presenting a vague description. Note: There is no point in moving to question #2 until you can fully answer question #1.

2) “Can I (the job seeker) solve the problem?” If you are unable to solve the problem, it is time to move on to other opportunities and use your time more productively.

3) “Do I want to solve this business problem?” This is the most important of the three questions. When asking this, the job seeker should have already spent some time with the hiring manager. This final question is about chemistry and fit.

What does it take today?

Agile is the new smart. Technical information is readily available from the “inter-web”.  The value of the job seeker is no longer based upon the amount of technical information held by the job seeker. It now involves critical thinking and cultural fit. Employers are hiring the individual who is a combination of:
–       Meeting the minimum technical requirements
–       Meeting the maximum chemistry or cultural fit
The technology will continue to change in business. Employers are hiring the individual who they can connect with the best. As a job seeker, you should invest time in getting to know the hiring manager. However, if there is a candidate who is one degree more likable, you are no longer the first choice. Since there are many aspects outside of the job seeker’s direct control, having multiple balls in the air is the job seeker’s best approach to a challenging employment market.