How Do Employers Search for Candidates?

Most job seekers are so focused on themselves that they don’t even consider what the employer is thinking.  Your job search will be significantly more successful if you take the time to put yourself in the employers’ shoes.  What are they looking for in an employee and what steps do they take to find that perfect candidate?

They look at their current employees.  When there’s a position available, most managers do an inventory of their employees to see if any of them would be a good fit.  For this reason, it’s a good idea to get a foot in the door at your target company, even if it’s not your dream job.  Once the employer gets to know you and what you’re capable of, they may consider you for other opportunities.

They consult their network.  Managers are always more comfortable when they hire a candidate from within their network.  If they know you, or know someone who knows you, you feel like a safer choice.  This is why networking is the most effective job search strategy.  If you put in the effort to develop a strong network, you can find out about opportunities before they are even advertised.

They advertise on their website.   If they don’t know of anyone who is qualified for the position, most companies will post the job on their website.  That way they attract people who have some relationship to the company, or who have a strong interest in working there.  It’s a good idea to create a list of your target companies and to check their websites at least once a week.

They review the resumes they have on file.  Before starting a brand new recruitment campaign, most employers will check out the resumes that they have received over the past few months.  If any candidates possess the required skills and experience, they may be invited in for an interview.  This is why it can be advantageous to send your resume, even if the company hasn’t advertised a position.

Only after exhausting these four strategies do most companies post jobs on online job boards.  This explains why most jobs are never advertised.  Use this information to your advantage; how can you adjust your job search strategy to make it more consistent with the employers’ perspective?

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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