How to rethink the job search process

If highly successful marketing and sales people are mapping their selling process to their prospects buying process, shouldn’t job seekers map their search process to a company’s hiring process?

Obviously a buyer’s journey will be different for different types of purchases.  That said, it is possible to broadly categorize buyers activities that will lead to purchase.  Look at the graphic below.  Most purchases follow this pathway.  For maximum effectiveness,  marketing and sales  professionals try to re-engineer their efforts to match the buyer’s journey.

buyers journey





Do the same principles apply to getting hired?  Can a job seeker, leverage their efforts for greater success by mapping the Hirer’s Journey?

When corporate management considers the need for a new position, there is a clear decision process framework.

There is:

  • recognition of a need,
  • a discussion on how to solve for the need,
  • a commitment to an approach,
  • a justification and then
  • the release of an actual job requisition (usually to a public website)

As a job candidate, most people wait for the process to reach the last stage or “the job to be listed”.  The challenge here is the competition for the job just multiplied exponentially.  By the time a job is listed on a public website like LinkedIn or Career Builder, the hiring company will most likely receive between 500 and 5000 applications.

Clearly the process will vary slightly for a small nimble organization versus a Fortune 1000 firm, but the job seekers dilemma remains the same.

So how does a job seeker improve their likelihood of success?  More conversations!  However, they must be conversations that matter!

These conversations can be and should be, with a wide variety of people.  They should focus on the business problems that folks are facing.  The conversations should be relevant to both parties, but specific on three levels for maximum impact.   Be sure to talk and listen about 1) their industry, 2) their companies issues and 3) the persons specific role.  The conversation must be relevant to the person you are networking with and not just about you and your need for a job.

You should discuss the potential impact of a better future state. The conversations should include a specific example as to how the job seeker may have solved a related challenge earlier in their career.  The example does not need to be exact, but it does need to be easily understood, easy to relate to and relevant.   If a job seeker can plant conversation seeds like this across a wide swath of business contacts, they will uncover hidden job opportunities.  By inserting themselves into the equivalent of the DISCOVERY & CONSIDERATION phase of the buyer journey, the possibilities of landing a great career opportunity increase exponentially.

Avoid the resume bake off and insert yourself earlier in the hiring process.



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