Job Seekers Are From Mars, Recruiters From Venus

Job Seekers Are From Mars, Recruiters From Venus

image by paulisaac333

After a great weekend in New York and a really fun, informative, idea-filled day at the Social Recruiting Summit on Monday I’m still processing many of the conversations I had and sessions I saw.

In two sessions, one led by Carmen Hudson and one led by Susan Burns, attendees were asked to think about recruiting from the job seekers perspective. For me this is really easy, as I’ve never been a recruiter…but have often been a job seeker. After 20 years and 8 employers, I consider myself pretty well versed in the act of job-seeking, both passive and active.

So I offered my two cents to some of the attendees. And it was greeted with a look as if I was from Mars. My take was that while career sites are great…it’s not where I turn to to get a job. Here is how I did it and what I believe many others do, as well:

Job 1 – fresh out of college, in a recession no jobs to be found (sound familiar). So I started temping. The temp agency knew I was looking for a permanent position, they knew my skills, they shopped me around while I was in a temporary position. It took them 5 months, but they found me a full-time gig.

Job 2 – a friend had told me her company was hiring and she thought I’d be a good fit. I was sort of over the entry-level work I was doing and wanted to move up but wasn’t sure. Then I walked into work where they had some financial pressures happening and the phones didn’t work…because they hadn’t paid the phone bill. I went downstairs to the cafeteria and used the pay phone (yep, I’m that old) to call my friend to tell her I was interested in more info. I was interviewed and offered a job within the week.

Job 3 – A former colleague from job 1 was hired as the operations manager at a new TV Station and I heard about it. I had been working at an ad agency and was ready to go back to TV world. I gave him a call. He told me to fax him my resume. I did. I was interviewed and hired.

Job 4 – After an amazing 5 years of growth and development at the TV station – the owners sold it – and laid off almost the entire staff, me included. I took the summer off to consider my options, while keeping in touch with friends. One of those friends got a contract to produce college hockey games. He hired me to be a freelance producer along side him on the games.

Job 5 – I had always wanted to work on the Olympics and they were coming up again. I contacted Mike Eruzione who had been the color commentator on the college hockey games I had been producing. He was involved in the olympics for years and gave me introductions. His contacts could not help me, but they put me in touch with the people in charge of the TV production for the games in Salt Lake City. Before a ski trip to Utah, I contacted the head of production for the TV people, told him I would be in town and could I have an informational interview. They agreed and asked that I bring my resume. My informational interview was on day 1 of my ski vacation…an offer was extended on day 4 of my ski vacation.

Job 6 – I took some time off after the olympics to travel the world with my husband. But we stay connected via email/internet with our friends and family. I had also put all my information on a “keep in touch” list of people who worked on the Olympics. While overseas I got an email from an olympic colleague who was now working in media relations for the Sundance Film Festival. She needed workers during the festival and knew that coincided with my return. I signed on.

Job 7 – I was returning home to Boston and not sure what I wanted to do next…but knew it was not in TV. And suddenly I had a mortgage to pay for the first time. For years my husband and I had participated in a great 2-day charity bike event that rode from Boston to Provincetown. I emailed the head of the event dept. (who I had met several times) about the fact that I was returning home and would like to work for them because they put on such great events. She had an opening to fill. I was interviewed and got the job.

Job 8 – The non-profit I had been working for decided to cut down on its events and I had less and less to do. As I was also one to donate to this charity it didn’t make sense for me to stay on. So I went back to temping…to figure out my next move. The temp agency placed me in a marketing manager role for a local company. After 2 months on the job they and I wanted to make it more permanent…and we all did.

I am now on Job 9 which is this website. Obviously no resume was needed to get me here. Many of the situations above required a resume at some point. But not all. And sending a resume was never the entry point into that company. Nor was it the biggest consideration from the person doing the hiring on whether or not to hire me. So while I wasn’t surprised to see that recruiters still think the best way for a candidate to get a job at their company was by uploading a resume on their career portal. I was a bit disappointed. And I personally think that’s not how many job seekers (passive & active) end up getting their jobs.

I also thought this was a great way to illustrate how recruiting has always been social. That’s my experience. Social media is just a new tool in the recruiter’s and job seeker’s arsenals to reach out as the telephone, email, fax machine and networking have been in the past.

What do you think? Am I from Mars?