Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gate Keepers Pt II


Chasing a name…

Let’s say, for example, you have a list of companies wherein you’d like to investigate opportunities or appeal directly to a hiring manager. Some may ask, “Why should I waste my time if I don’t know if they even need anybody; they have no jobs listed on their website, it just seems like a big waste of time.” True, most people are not willing to make an effort without some form of instant gratification or indication of success before they’ll make any effort. I would respond to those folks by asking, “Okay, and how’s that strategy been workin’ for you; getting plenty of interviews? (insert sarcasm) You’re not - gee, what a surprise.” As I often point out, I am appealing to those who don’t want to be, to one degree or another, like everyone else. I don’t know from where it derives, but as an old proverb states, you cannot awaken those who pretend to be asleep. Indeed, human nature is such that many people would rather stay asleep or opt to sit around collecting dust, making excuses and staring at the phone waiting in anticipation for it to ring; you know, like someone who’s been stood up on date night. 

So if you have your online efforts covered and accounted for, let’s now take things up a notch to increase your odds for success. BTW, if you’re still skeptical, are you aware that many open jobs are not listed online and, in fact, there are open jobs that human resources is not even aware of. Because, you see, I don’t care how big and efficient a company looks to the outside world, management and HR don’t always communicate as a well-oiled machine, for whatever reason. In almost every company of any size, there are jobs that management would like to fill but, at the moment, they may not be on the priority list even if they are critical. Or it could be only a wish list in the head of a company manager who can react if the right person comes through the door. No matter the reasons, we’re going to capitalize on this weakness within companies, as well as the inaction of other unwilling/unwitting applicants. As any proactive headhunter will also agree, many of my placements of the last 20 years have been situations in which companies have needs but they haven’t done anything, or the process has fallen off the radar, or they’ve been looking, but the online methods haven’t resulted in suitable candidates. The possibilities for why it hasn’t or isn’t happening are endless; but if the right person comes through the door, a stagnant process can roar back to life. However it happens, perhaps you can be that person. Anyway, back to the subject – getting the name.

Ideally, you’ll want to seek out the person to whom you would report if you worked there, generally speaking, or the next higher level. BTW, just to be clear I am not talking about human resources, they are a critically important part of the hiring process but, alas, they are not hiring managers. HR facilitates on behalf of the hiring managers but do not make the decision to hire outside their own department. If you are a sales person, you would try to identify the region sales manager or, in a smaller company, the VP of Sales; keep in mind that specific titles vary from company to company. Just seek out the middle or senior manager in the area or department of the company where you would work. If you are in marketing seek out the marketing director, etc. Prepare ahead of time, do your homework; know what information you seek to obtain and what level of person and a relative understanding of the position of the person. But after you’ve done some prepping it’s time to pick up the phone and get directly into the game.

Next time we’ll role play to demonstrate an example of your inquiry and the conversation you’ll have with the Gate Keeper as you become more proactive in your job search efforts.

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