WEDDLE’s Research Factoid: Who’s Being Hired Online?
WEDDLE’s continuously conducts both primary and secondary research on the Best Practices in job search and career self-management. Recently, we began to explore exactly who gets recruited on the Internet. In the earliest days of the Web, way back in the mid 1990’s, it was mostly techies. Then, employers and recruiters discovered that they could also reach the highly wired population of soon-to-be-college graduates. Not long after that, they also began to use the Web to tap the ranks of mid and even senior level professionals. And today, the conventional wisdom is that employers and recruiters use the Internet to fill just about every kind of opening they have, save those that occur in the corner office. We wanted to know if the conventional wisdom is true.
The responses below were collected from employers and recruiters between March 10 and May 10, 2007 for the following question: Of the openings you’ve posted online, were they mostly:
What the Findings Mean
Clearly, conventional wisdom is correct. The Internet has, in fact, become an accepted way to find employment opportunities in the full range of permanent positions available in today’s organizations. We can, nevertheless, draw some important insights from the poll results.
The more senior you are, the more likely you are to be recruited on the Internet & up to a point. Employers and recruiters fill more mid level professional positions online than they do entry level positions, despite the widespread belief that recent college graduates are much more likely to use the Web for their job search. Beyond that point, however, the bottom drops out; just a handful of our respondents with senior level openings (7.7%) rely on the Internet to fill them.
Does that mean you should ignore the Internet if you’re looking for a position at that level? Absolutely not. To make sure that you see as many opportunities as possible, however, you should focus your efforts on those sites that specialize in filling such positions. There are a number of job boards and career portals that do so, and at least some of their openings are not officially advertised. They are listed on the site (often without charge to the employer) as a notice for senior level professionals and, therefore, probably not included in the 7.7% reported by recruiters and employers as jobs they posted. In essence, these sites are expanding the number of opportunities you are able to see online by connecting you with the “hidden job market” for senior professionals.
The buck stops here.
Notwithstanding their relatively modest use of the Internet for senior level positions, recruiters and employers do use the medium to source candidates for their managerial openings. Indeed, better than one-in-ten of our respondents (11.5%) said they primarily use the Internet for such openings. That’s an extraordinary commitment given that there are relatively far fewer of these openings to fill.
How can you take advantage of this situation? Make sure that you’re on the lookout for the opportunity you want all of the time. Managerial openings occur infrequently so they are posted sporadically and often for only a short period of time. It’s easy to miss them unless you use the job agent provided by many employment sites. This free service is sometimes called “jobs by e-mail” or “automatic job notification.” You specify the kind of managerial position for which you’re looking, and the job agent then does all of the work. It compares your specification to every job posted at the site and sends you a private message whenever it finds a match. It’s hassle-free job search, but equally as important, it enables you to watch the job market all of the time & and that’s the key to spotting your dream job.
Please Note: As a part of our ongoing research, WEDDLE’s has been surveying both job seekers and recruiters on the Web since 1996. We’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of data elements probing:
and most importantly,
To add your insights and opinions to our research, please visit the Polling Station at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.
Section Two: For Your Consideration
Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2007. You can also find many of Peter’s tips and techniques in his guide WEDDLE’s WizNotes: Finding a Job on the Web and in his soon-to-be-published book, Career Fitness: How to Keep Employers From Kicking Sand in Your Face.
Look Like a Work-in-Progress
Most of us try to tie ourselves up into a nice, complete package on our resume. We list all of our degrees and certifications, all of the employers for which we’ve worked, and all of the positions we’ve held. We describe all of our skills, all of our accomplishments, and all of our experience. We include everything we can squeeze onto two sheets of paper because we believe that the more finished we look for any given opening, the stronger our prospects of landing the job. And, when we do, we miss out on one of the very best ways to set ourselves apart with a recruiter. What’s that? Looking unfinished.
Today’s world of work is a rapidly changing place. Knowledge is being created and information is being dispersed at the fastest pace in human history. As a consequence, the half life of a person’s professional expertise is now down to 3-5 years in many occupations. In other words, if you graduated from college or earned a technical certification this year, you will be obsolete–a buggy whip or carbon paper–by 2017. And, obsolescence, of course, is the one sure ticket to unemployment.
But, that’s not the only change impacting our career fitness. (For an explanation of my Career Fitness concept, please click here to see the archive of my previous newsletters.) The marketplaces in which our employers compete and the products and services that they sell into those markets are also mutating at an extraordinary pace. Like the crunch of tectonic plates, these shifts are disrupting long established career paths and forming entirely new passages to success.
In such a volatile environment, looking finished can be misperceived. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong to document your entire work history. Completeness on your resume is good, but it should not be confused with looking complete as an employment prospect. Describing yourself as done, whether you do so consciously or not, is the fastest way to be done in the workplace.
From the recruiter’s perspective, you look like an ostrich with your head firmly planted in the ground. “Change,” you seem to be saying. “What do I care about change? I am who I am and who I have always been. And, I ain’t budging from that position. It was good enough in the past so it should be just fine for the future.” Given the fierce competition for good jobs these days, that kind of message almost always generates the same, single response from employers. “You’re not the kind of person we want to hire.”
How can you avoid such a misstep? Be a work-in-progress and look like one on your resume. Use the Education section of your resume to highlight the training programs you are taking, the academic courses in which you’re enrolled, the classes you’re completing–any developmental experience that is adding to your expertise and ability to contribute on-the-job. For example, you might include one (or more) of the following entries:
Of course, to look like a work in progress on paper, you must be unfinished in your career. You must recognize that, in today’s world of work, all of us hold a second job–we are our own personal improvement agent. That’s a synonym for self-helper. The more improvements we make in our own expertise and knowledge, the greater the boost to our own career prospects. Said another way, we help ourselves by constantly refinishing our capabilities in the workplace.
Those improvements can (and should) be pursued in all of the following areas:
Ironically, it is possible to overdo your self development–to spend so much time improving yourself that you forget about or actually undermine the reason for the education in the first place. Yes, of course, the most important goal of self-development is personal; it is to add to your own workaday capabilities and thereby enhance the satisfaction and the paycheck you bring home from work each day. A second and not unimportant reason for this development, however, is the contribution it enables you to make on-the-job. You must work at your second job, to be sure, but you must always remember your primary job, as well. What you do there–the performance you deliver to your employer–is also a vital measure of your career fitness and, ultimately, a key determinant of your success.
Thanks for reading,
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Section 3: News You Can Use
Kenexa Research Institute surveyed workers to gauge the relative advantages of working at different size organizations. It found that workers in larger companies (those with 10,000 or more employees) gave their employers a 10% more favorable rating than did those working for smaller organizations in the following areas:
Workers in smaller companies, in contrast, had a 24% more favorable view of their employers than did those working for larger companies in the following areas:
As these findings make clear, there may be “100 best companies to work for,” but the decision about where you will be most comfortable in the workplace is intensely personal and unique to you. The key to success, therefore, is to figure out what’s most important to you. What kind of organizational environment defines your “1 best company to work for.”
Novations Group concluded a survey of how new hires fared with their employers. Sadly, over a third of the respondents lose a quarter of their new employees during the first year. An additional 11% actually lose up to 50% of their new hires in the same period of time. Why do they leave?
In other words, over three-quarters of those who didn’t work out with a new employer could do the work, but couldn’t fit in. They weren’t comfortable in the organization and/or their job. That’s why doing your homework on prospective employers is so important. If you accept an offer from the wrong organization, you not only won’t fit in, you’ll lose the time you could have spent looking for your dream job.
O, the Oprah Magazine published an article by Suzy Welch, the former editor of The Harvard Business Review and the spouse of business icon Jack Welch. She writes that, while managerial mistakes know no gender, certain miscues occur more frequently among women bosses. Her list of such mistakes follows (with our emendations):
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