The new rules for the talent hunt

By Workopolis

Successful Young ManYou may have noticed that Workopolis has changed. That is because the job market is changing and the ways that employers and candidates find one another are changing. In honour of all of this evolution, we’ve come up with the top five new rules for recruiters to find candidates and the top five rules for candidates on the job hunt.

The New Rules for Employers:

1. HR needs to embrace marketing.
Changing demographics and impending labour shortages mean that competition for top talent is only going to get fiercer. Increasingly candidates are in the power position and employers have to find ways to truly differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Marketing best practices have come to the world of human resources so that employers can extend their reach, engage candidates and match their needs with what they have to offer.

2. There is a difference between a commercial brand and an employer brand: employers need to ensure that potential candidates know the difference.
Candidate’s initial impressions of a company are established as potential consumers or users of your products or services. But an employer brand incorporates additional elements that show a potential candidate what it could be like to work at a company.

3. Hire a person. Not a resume.
Resumes are only one tool in modern recruiting. It is critical for employers to get to the real person behind the resume and understand how they will fit into culture and roles. New assessment and profile tools are evolving, but the best strategy is one that involves less time with unqualified candidates and more time interviewing potentially qualified candidates. Ensuring an employer brand is speaking to the right audience is more than half the battle.

4. There are more options available to recruit, but there are also more options to fail or waste your time with.
It’s a more complicated world to recruit in. Social networks, for instance, are evolving as reach mechanisms but not all will represent your employer brand in the manner you may want. Employers and HR have many more buttons to press in the cockpit and finding the right course to take is becoming increasingly difficult and costly in terms of time.

5. In a competitive world for qualified candidates, getting it wrong can be costly.
Hiring the wrong person will cost you 2.5 times that person’s salary.*Smart hiring is directly connected to the bottom-line. Most organizations’ most valuable assets are its human capital that walks out the door every night. And the wrong hire has tangible business impacts because of the disruption, false starts, and additional work created. If you have to get it right, do it right from the start.

The New Rules for Candidates:

1. If you have skills or experience, you’ll be doing the interviewing – not the employer.
Current demographics and labour shortages mean that if you’re a solid candidate you’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes to finding a job you are truly passionate about. The challenge may be choosing the right car to get you to where you want to be. Insist on getting the inside view of what the employer would be like to work for so that it matches with the attributes you are looking for.

2. Every person has a unique fingerprint of attributes they are looking for in a job.
See beyond the job posting to find a place where you can really thrive and shine – a combination of elements like company culture, career advancement opportunities and compensation. Find the right match for you.

3. Build it properly, and they will come.
Don’t hide behind your resume. Use it to help showcase your best qualities so that potential employers can help find you quickly and easily. But also find the companies that attract you, establish a relationship, and explore opportunities together.

4. Like pro athletes, you can be a free agent.
Under the right circumstances, you owe it to yourself to be a window shopper for evolving opportunities. Keep your eye on the marketplace. Track employers of interest, scan jobs in your field or in your field of dreams. You never know when opportunity will knock.

5.Fulfillment is the new corner office.
Employers are recognizing that employee happiness (and productivity) is a result of fulfillment on the job. That sense of engagement, enjoyment and achievement. Do you feel like you shine in your current job? You deserve it.

* Source: Society of HR Management 2007

17 Responses to “The new rules for the talent hunt”

  1. Anne Hayden says:

    I wish there was more recognition of what an older retirement age person can bring to the workplace. Not all of us are frail with the memory span of a gnat on speed and not all of us are interested in working for an oil and gas company (more relative to Calgary) Those of us who are past retirement age are not about to jump from company to company seeking the holy grail of a higher salary – no, we have developed a strong sense of loyalty to a decent employer.

    All I am asking for is a part-time bookkeeping/personal assistant position in a small company-I’m not interested in the hefty salary offerings of a large, more impersonal corporation.

    And the reason I ask for part-time only, is because I am finishing a university degree in commerce and I have two bookkeeping files for other small companies that I do in a home/office setting.

    Thank you
    Anne Hayden

  2. Linda Mobak says:

    Where is all this opportunity? Bring it on, this job market sucks.

  3. Florence Li says:

    I don’t know in which province the employers are doing the talent hunt; probably not Ontario.

  4. Margaret says:

    How does one establish a network, how to connect with employers who do not want to be connected to.

  5. Tonia C. says:

    As a job hunter, I am not finding the plethora of job opportunities as advertised in this article. I find the that the competition out there is fierce, and there are definitely more applicants than jobs.

  6. Kassandra says:

    I am with Linda. Where is all this opportunity you speak about in your article? I have moved to Montreal less than two years ago and it has been a hellish experience ever since. I have sent my resume to ALL the major communication companies not only in Quebec, but also in Ontario and BC. I have even sent my resume to New York, where many reputable, worldly-renowned agencies are located. I have been praised on the strength of my resume and am employed right now as admin assistant for a wealth management company, whose president said that he does not understand why, with such a resume, such education and all, I have ended up working a menial office position not in my field.
    What could I say? Have you looked at the markets lately? And on top of this, everyone is telling me without any shame that most communications jobs, just almost any other are secured through networking and personal references. So it is not at all WHAT you know, but WHO you know!
    I have applied for a number of internship opportunities, but it is as if I am sending my resume into the void. I have had replies from companies saying that my resume is VERY interesting and they would like to keep me in their data base, but that is about it.
    My life is at a standstill and I am finding myself having more and more days in bed trying to recuperate from this psychologically stressful situation. The thought that I must KNOW someone to get into the field of my expertise is enough to make me fall ill from the feeling of helplessness and frustration. That I have spent nine years of blood, tears and toil in getting a university education, only to be dependent on “connections” and not on my own academic training. It is enough to make one scream!

  7. Nance Daigle says:

    I know how discouraging it is. I, just last week finally was offered a job after looking for 5 months. All I can say is don’t give up and network, network, network whether that be calling who you know or social media (my job was advertised on Twitter), just keep trying. I know what Anne (Hayden) means. It does see as if most employers don’t recognize this. I too wasn’t looking for a huge salary. I wanted somewhere to stay until retirement age, while contributing to my pension. The only other thing I wanted was respect, well, who doesn’t? Anyway, it did work out for me, so PLEASE don’t give up!

  8. Thank you so much for this information. I never seem to do well at Inerviews, as this is one of the worse stressful and nervous situations in life that I have to encounter. I never really knew or understand what it meant when I was asked: Tell Me About Yourself. I always thought it meant about me “personally”, but now I know it means something different. I’ve been looking for work since Sept. 2008 as I was hurt at my last job and had to go back to school/college as a mature student and changing from distribution/quality control to Office Admin. which I’ve never done before.

  9. Chris says:

    That is the most buzz-word filled load of nonsense I’ve heard in a while. ‘footprint’, ‘buttons in cockpit’, ‘right car’, ‘drivers seat’. Eesh. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It was difficult reading because of the ‘corporate speak’ that permeated it. However, there are a few (very few) nuggets of wisdom in there. But really, speak English!

  10. Philip says:

    I find it interesting when I speak to so senior-level professionals who speak about making their organizations younger and getting in some fresh ideas, then turning around and demanding 5 to 10 years experience for all of the open roles.

    My other favourite question is being asked why I wasn’t working in a related field of study for the past year after finishing my MBA, despite the fact that unemployment hit levels unseen in half a century.

    At this point, I look at anyone who isn’t interested in my profile as the one who is losing out.

  11. S. Wright says:

    I agree with Ann. More and more older workers are being swept under the mat for the sake of bringing in younger talent because they were ”raised with computers.” Older workers who care about their future make an effort to take courses to cover the technology angle. Why then should younger people be the favoured choice in job competitions? One of the younger staff in our office recently said in an interview that because of her age she didn’t have any bad habits to bring to the job she was applying to. I was mortified. This comment in itself says that she passes judgement on the older people she works with; is prejudiced against against them and therefore not a good team player.
    When are employers going to realize that experience is a valuable asset? Oh ya…and 45 is the new threshold for being old??? Give me a break!

  12. Angela says:

    I agree with the comment, “Where is all this opportunity?” Aside from the “help wanted” signs in front of fast food outlets, I haven’t noticed a change in job hunt rules! I am a skilled and experienced professional, and I’ve resorted to volunteering just to get my foot in the door!

  13. Mark says:

    Note how this article is from 2007. The rules – at least for the time being – have changed drastically.

    1. If you have skills and experience, you’ll be lucky to get an interview, because there are dozens of people with equivalent (or better) skills and experience who have lost their jobs lined up with you.

    2. The combination of soft elements is all well and good, but it’s the hard stuff – a decent, livable wage and some semblance of benefits – that remain first and foremost. Security? Forget about it. Being true to your ethics if your employer isn’t? There are others waiting with mortgages to pay and mouths to feed.

    3. Resumes are still being run through keyword mills, and credentials are all important. The master’s degree is the new B.A., and will be quickly devalued over the next 10 years or so.

    4. Free agency? Try racing towards the bottom, as more employers are taking advantage of the economic downturn. At universities, for instance, they have found that hiring contingent workers (sessional or adjunct profs) and “teaching stream” instead of tenure-track professors means that they can deliver courses at one-third to one-half the cost. In other locales, people compete for the privilege of working, often to gain “experience”; students are now being asked to pay for the privilege of an internship.

    5. Forget fulfilment, and forget the corner office. The reality is that employers know that you’re expendable and replaceable in this economic downturn. Those with privileged positions and security (executives, sr. managers, politicians with golden parachutes after they’re turfed from office, civil servants) may drool at these 5 feel-good items. The rest of us are back in the great depression.

  14. Somebody says:

    Labour shortage? Where? I don’t see it…more like extremely high job scarcity! :D

  15. The job market seems divided between tenured, civil service people with jobs-for-life, benefits, plenty of time off and pensions and the rest of us, who must get by with contract work, no benefits, no pension and “networking”.
    There is a hidden depression out there. Just ask any of the people posting to this site!

  16. Steve says:

    I have to agree with the last several posts on here. I especially identify with Kassandra’s post, as I am feeling much the same frustration level as her. Nowadays, with all of the personal contact gone from the job search, you just send your resume into the void of cyberspace and hope someone phones you for an interview!
    I got laid off from my job on April 1st, and I haven’t had one phone call for an interview yet in my field of Communications. I have about 14 years of experience as a professional writer (most of that from journalism), as well as six years of post-secondary education, and it all seems to be worth squat! It is almost impossible not to get down on yourself, and whenever I hear that the recession is over, I feel like punching the person who said it in the mouth! The recession in Canada is not even close to being over. Finding a good job in this country, or even in Alberta (my home province), is almost impossible right now. And it’s only going to get harder, for the younger generation (especially with their sense of entitlement).

  17. Jim says:

    About the only thing heartening about reading most of the reply’s on here is that my own situation and frustration are shared by many others.

    However that is where the “feel good tingle” ends.

    Sentences which contain employers, honour and loyalty make me want to fall to the ground laughing. Just remember folks that when a prospective employer asks you to tell him about yourself, he is basically saying “tell me how cheap you can work”

    Furthermore ! the more highly educated immigrants comming to this country, the worse it becomes for those of us already living here trying to find work.

    Trust neither “politician” nor “employer”
    They are both out to skin us all for their own selfish ends.


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