Job Seekers: Understand the Recruiting Process

By Toni Vranjes

April 11, 2011 2 Comments

If you’re looking for a new career opportunity, take a few moments to learn more about the corporate recruiting process. It will give you insight into what employers are seeking as they try to fill different types of jobs.

There are three basic categories of job candidates, notes Daniel Greenberg, chief marketing officer of Simply Hired. And they can learn about openings in a variety of ways.

“Active” job seekers typically are unemployed or dissatisfied with their current jobs. As the name suggests, they’re actively searching for new career opportunities. They can look in many places, including job boards and employers’ websites. Another option is a job aggregator such as Simply Hired, which pulls listings from all over the Web.

In contrast, “passive” candidates are employed and aren’t seeking a new job. Recruiters might find them by searching on LinkedIn and other networking websites. If a passive candidate’s skills appear to be a good match for the job opening, the recruiter might contact the person directly to discuss the open position. In general, recruiters target passive candidates more often for jobs requiring a refined skill set and many years of experience.

The third kind of candidate lies somewhere in between the other two groups. These candidates aren’t actively seeking new career opportunities — but they’re “open” to them, he says. Employers can also reach this group through the Internet. For instance, through partnerships with Simply Hired, websites can present relevant job listings as people are reading content on those sites. If someone is reading a story about social media, for example, then social-media marketing jobs might appear on that page.

Although recruiters may be tempted to focus much of their energy on the coveted passive candidate, Greenberg urges them to challenge their assumptions. The notion that active job seekers are “less desirable” is an unfair stereotype, he says.

Recruiters should evaluate each candidate as an individual, he adds. The focus should be on qualifications, dedication to improving professional skills, and overall level of enthusiasm. He notes that unemployed people often are highly motivated to work.

“Passion for a job is half the battle,” Greenberg says.

So employers shouldn’t close off any of the three corridors. “If you’re recruiting people into positions, you need to cast a wide net,” he says.

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2 Comments to “Job Seekers: Understand the Recruiting Process”
  1. Joel A says:

    What’s your opinion about temp agencies in making some quick cash or as an opportunity to a full-time position?

  2. Toni Vranjes says:

    Hi Joel,

    Seeking a temp job through an employment agency potentially could be helpful. If you register with one of these companies, the staff would help you look for work. If you get a temp job, you would gain skills and experience, which would give your resume a boost. Meanwhile, you would meet new people and expand your professional network. And, of course, you would be earning some money. Over time, a temp job could lead to a full-time position at a company. (By the way, you also might be able to land a permanent job through an employment agency.)

    After your temp job is over, you could seek other opportunities through the agency. This would give you the chance to explore lots of different jobs, companies and industries.

    However, there might not be any temporary positions available in the career field you’re pursuing. Even if there are temp jobs in your field, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually get any work at all.

    If you do land a temp job, there are some disadvantages, including a lack of steady income. There’s also the lack of security that comes with knowing your assignment is temporary. And on top of all that, you might not have any medical benefits. Some people determine that all the paperwork and tests associated with employment agencies aren’t worth the effort.

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