Recruiters Advice for Job Seekers During Disruption
Recruiters Advice for Job Seekers During Disruption
Erin Urban, LSSBB, CPDC UPPSolutions, and PMI Houston contributor
The number one question I’m getting from job seekers right now is: “Do I still go ahead with my job search?” Without hesitation, my answer is: YES. Here’s why: the job search was already mostly digital. While most of us are working from home and practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve of the current pandemic - for many recruiters, it’s business as usual.
The myth that 80% of jobs are found through networking originated around 10 years ago. That number today is closer to 45% or less. While networking is still very powerful to elevate your career – it has a different influence and purpose than it once did. Most importantly, what can the isolated job seeker expect from the job market during the current disruption?
While some positions are on hold for now, most companies are still hiring. Because sifting and vetting resumes are largely done automatically with applicant tracking systems (ATS), screening calls are always done by phone or video and interviewing is vastly more virtual already – nothing much has changed in the hiring landscape.
Jobscan recently conducted interviews with some of the nation’s top recruiters and found that most were unfazed by the recent changes on the hiring front. Samantha Harmon (Paladin) explained, "Lots of clients still moving processes forward and jobs that still need filling! Even though unemployment is trending up slightly, Jobscan reports that many companies have an urgent or anticipated need to hire as things calm down in the coming months.
Even managers who, historically, have been reluctant to hire without in-person interviews are moving forward in light of the current conditions. According to Charlene Hansen (Robert Half), "For managers/teams who have a hard and fast requirement for an in-person final interview, I anticipate there will be delays in the coming weeks as remote working requirements spread through other cities I work with, but as of this week, they moved forward."
Expert Advice for the Job Seeker
So, what should a job seeker do right now? I encourage you to stay focused and continue your search. If you aren’t currently looking but your instincts are telling you that you should – pay attention to your instincts! We are living in uncertain times … but there is one thing that is certain: if you aren’t prepared, you cannot take advantage of opportunities. Every day that passes seems to bring about a new ‘normal’ - here are the critical things you can do to be prepared and agile with your job search.
- Have a career target to aim at. In other words – know your ideal roles and develop your entire dossier (resume and LinkedIn) to be relevant to that target. If you don’t, your job search WILL suffer. If you aren’t sure what the next best step is for you – find out more here.
- Have an online-friendly resume. If you are confused about what that looks like or how to create one, I have free resources on my blog that you can access here. It’s probably not what you think and the resume you created 5 years ago will do you more harm than good.
- Polish your LinkedIn profile. It is very probable you can land a job through LinkedIn and never have to apply. I have and many of my clients have as well. You can discover more information on LinkedIn best practices here.
- Prepare for a 100% digital job search. Interestingly, the job search was already mostly digital – but everyone was trying to avoid it or go around the system. The larger the organization, the less you can circumnavigate the ‘system’. Recruiters are inundated with requests from job seekers and you cannot expect them to be responsive. Here’s an article about the digital job search and some myths to avoid.
- Get ready to interview virtually. This is something I prepare my clients for now and there really isn’t much change in the landscape of virtual interviews. The biggest shift is: now it’s a requirement! If you aren’t sure how to interview with impact, you can find more information here.
Distancing ≠ Disconnection
While many are sheltering in place and/or working from home, social distancing doesn’t equal disconnection. Interestingly, I have seen a massive groundswell of free virtual connection platforms from training, webinars, chat rooms, and virtual networking. Technology isn’t holding our society back from connecting to one another!
Take advantage of as many virtual events as you can. While some might be a zoo (I received over 100 registrations in 24 hours for my webinar in a few weeks) – others are quite well managed. For example, I’m hosting a platform where up to 8 people can connect online, share stories, best practices, and co-mentor others. It always warms my heart to see how many people are reaching out to offer support.
Be Prepared for the Future of Work
Most importantly, be prepared! This too shall pass. With it will come a new normal. While it’s early days yet, there are a few observations I have for the future of work and your job search. You can expect the job search to remain in the virtual space. While some in-person interviews will happen in the future, there will be fewer of them. Many companies will also be looking to automate even more of the hiring process with AI recruiting looming on the horizon.
It’s essential to have an impactful, targeted, and relevant online-friendly resume as well as an outstanding LinkedIn profile. The challenge is, there are very few providers in the careers industry that are fully capable of providing job seekers with the tools they need to stand out online. The job search of the future will have very little human interaction during the early phases. More and more people will be searched for, vetted, and hired directly from online platforms like LinkedIn.
More immediately, we will see an increase in remote work. Even though most professionals will be thirsty to see people again, our systems will be in place and processes will have been streamlined once the current pandemic has passed. A new normal will arise and with it: more online work opportunities. Keep your eye on industries that can help our social structures isolate more easily while remaining connected virtually - they will be on the rise!
Erin Urban (LSSBB, CPDC), I’m a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, a keynote speaker, certified career growth and an executive leadership development coach with almost a decade of mentoring and coaching successful professional transformations. Find her at https://uppsolutions.net.