Remember the good old days when someone needed a job, they would apply for a position that was a good fit for their skills and get hired in a relatively short period of time? Me either. And I sincerely believe those days are gone forever.
The Broken Process
There are several things in play in today’s job search that I think support my belief.
It is MUCH more challenging to find a job if you don’t have a job.
“Fair” is not a word that has any weight in the job search process, at least from a candidate perspective, when that candidate is unemployed. Passive candidates still get the nod, have the upper hand, and are the most-preferred candidates among companies who are hiring.
Add to that the fact that there are only so many CFO positions, and, if you lose or job or quit your job before you have another position, you might find yourself in a long and challenging job search.
Relationships, and networking, matter … greatly.
The only way to begin to mitigate the stigma of being unemployed (not in my mind, but in the mind of those who do the hiring) is by having a strong, solid, and influential network in place before you need to tap those people.
That same network is critically important to the passive job seeker as well since most qualified leads hit “trusted advisors” long before they go to recruiters.
Competition is fierce and proof is in performance, not responsibilities.
A candidate’s default messaging is always “what” they did – responsibilities they’ve held. The messaging from the top-notch, hunted, and most-coveted candidates is around problem-solving and impacts. Companies hire because they have problems they want solved. They hire candidates who demonstrate they can do just that. That demonstration shows up clearly in the candidate’s messaging.
Even with a value-driven message, the candidate still is not in control of the hiring time frame … a process that can still take an agonizing long time, even when everything is going well.