As a business analyst myself, I’m always encouraging my team to understand process.
When you understand a process, you gain perspective of how the people you are trying to influence think.
Then, you can strategically align your efforts to meet their needs and meet your goals. Win-win.
In Canada, a typical hiring process may look like this:
Step #1 Identify the hiring need – A hiring manager says, “I have a problem I need solved, and I can’t do it with the resources I currently have.”
Step#2 Device a recruitment plan – Gets internal approval from the management to increase headcount. Decides if this should be a contract or full-time position
Step #3 Write a job description – Call in the recruiter, and agree on a job description. The must-haves and nice-to-haves of experience, qualifications and skills
Step #4 Advertise the position – Some companies will have to advertise internally first before releasing to the public
Step #5 Review Applications – The applications come pouring in, filtered through the online application tracking systems, and eventually to a recruiters inbox. There may be a “preferred candidate” already.
Step #6 Phone Interview / Initial Screening – Recruiters shortlists a handful of candidates and makes the first call or asks to complete an online assessment.
Step #7 Interviews – Shortlisted candidates are in the hot seat with the hiring management, to prove in person if they are a good fit for the company
Step #8 – Applicant Assessment – Making a go no-go decision on a candidate, a collaborative discussion between recruiter, hiring manager and others on the hiring panel.
Step #9 – Background checks – Checking your references, identity, criminal records, employment history
Step #10 – Job Offer – They extend you the offer. You accept. Congratulations!
You know the process. Now you should know what areas of a job search strategy you should focus on.
Before the above steps even begin, networking is key.
Why? Step #1 is the hiring manager has a problem s/he needs to solve. And the first thing that’s going through their mind is “Who do I know that can solve this problem?” You should be the one that comes to mind. And that can only happen with an effective networking strategy.
“Effective” is the key word there. If the last thing you said to this hiring manager was “Let me know if you hear anything” three months ago, I guarantee you they’ve forgotten you.
Networking continues to be important from Step #1 to Step #3. You are not aware of the position just yet, but during this time, the hiring manager’s antennas for candidates are on high alert for referrals and the preferred candidate.
Step #4 is when the position is advertised. Your resumé must be keyword optimized to beat the ATS and make it to the recruiter’s inbox.
Step #5 is when applications are reviewed. Don’t rely on the ATS to do the work for you. Take control. You job application process in key here. Contact the hiring management directly. Your LinkedIn profile is now being reviewed as well. It has to be polished. It could be the tie-breaker between you and another candidate.
Step #6-7 is your first screening interview and the interviews to follow. You’ve crossed the biggest barrier of getting their attention. From now on, your mindset, interview skills and research of the company and position is the most important factor.
Step #8-9 is after you’ve done everything you can in person. Now they are interviewing other candidates and assessing those they’ve already interviewed. Just because you’re out of sight doesn’t mean you stay out of mind. A strategic follow up strategy is needed here, to demonstrate how eager you are to work for this company (without crossing the line of sounding desperate)
Step #10 Congratulations! You go the job offer. Now you need to prepare for a salary negotiation – a collaborative discussion with the goal of reaching a win-win agreement, that results in a number that is within the hiring manager’s budget and maximizes the money in your pocket.
As you can see, an effective job search requires multiple skillsets. Skills you don’t necessarily practice everyday.
This is why career enthusiasts who hire a career coach to guide them through these skills are the ones who come home with a fulfilling career and a bigger bank account.