New Year, New You, New Team
The new year has long been a time for change, self-reflection and improvement. Whether it’s personal or professional, the clock ticking past midnight on the 31st December acts as a catalyst for change for many. Some begin a new diet or end a relationship, others quit smoking or drinking, while yet others decide that what they need most is a new job.
This can work for both sides of the fence: it means that jobseekers and employers are actively looking for one another at the same time, rather than passing like ships in the night.
So, whether you’re looking for a fantastic new staff member or you want to be that great hire, how can you make the most out of this golden recruitment period?
Decide what you want – or need
How many new employees does your company need? What roles do you need to fill?
Or, if you’re on the jobseeker side of things, what kind of role are you looking for? What kind of change do you need?
The very first step of any jobhunting/recruitment strategy is working out what you need. No plan can come together without a clear goal to strive for. Sit down, take some time, and make sure you really know what you’re hoping the outcome of your efforts will be.
Make a plan
Outline how you’re going to go about finding that great new job/employee. Start with bulletpoints: list everything you need to do, from polishing up your dusty old CV to settling in at your new desk; from posting the ad for the role to welcoming your new employee. Breaking it all down into easily-manageable tasks makes the whole experience seem a lot less onerous and can help you keep track of where in the process you are.
Perfect your job descriptions/CV
Just as important for both employers and candidates is ensuring that the information you’re sending out into the world is as clear, accurate and informative as possible. There’s no point sending out a half-considered job description that fails to actually convey the skills, experience and personality type you’re looking for. Similarly, a CV that fails to grab attention will often never make it out of the ‘maybe’ pile, and one that shows a lack of care or attention is going to land you straight in the ‘no’s. Your CV or job application is the first point of contact an employer will have with you and failing to make a good impression here will often mean you don’t get the chance to shine in person. In much the same way, an employer’s job description is often the first a prospective employee will see or hear of the company, and you don’t want them being put off of applying by a badly written ad that lacks vital information.
Revisit your media strategies
How are you getting the word out that you’re hiring/looking for a new job?
For employers, this can include a vast number of methods. Online job boards, business journals, newspaper and even radio or TV can increase your reach, recruitment agencies can spread the word through their networks, and if you’re not using social media yet, you really should be. According to an article from JobCast in March last year, 73% of 18-34 year-olds found their last job through a social network. Is that a portion of the market you can afford to miss out on?
Update the media you’re sharing – make sure it’s relevant and contemporary. A massive proportion of jobseekers at the moment are young and today’s youth are very unlikely respond to dated or inapt advertising.
For both parties, one important thing to consider is whether you want to work with a specialist recruitment agency, whether it be to fill your role or find you a job. We recently wrote about why employers might choose to work with a recruitment company, but the benefits exist for jobseekers too: specialist consultants not only have in-depth knowledge of the fields they recruit for, but also have access to jobs which might not be publically advertised. They can work with you to build a detailed brief of the kind of job you’re looking for, and help to coach you through the entire application process, if needed.
For jobseekers, social media can be an incredible boon. Social media and the internet allow jobseekers to research not only the companies they’re interested in working for, but also the people who work there, and even the person who might interview them. This allows those on the hunt for a job to be more prepared than ever before as they enter the application process, and there really isn’t any excuse not to be leveraging that opportunity to improve your chances of landing the job.
Gone are the days of poring over newspaper classifieds for a job – with the internet and the plethora of job boards and social networking sites, you can now filter thousands of jobs to see only those that fit your criteria, and even better – you can advertise yourself! Many jobseekers use the internet to find jobs to apply for, but many forget to put themselves out there – posting your CV and contact details on a CV-hosting website or social media site like LinkedIn can massively increase your chances of having a conversation with someone who wants to hire you.
There is, of course, a flipside to the benefits of social media for candidates – prospective employers can also find you. Clean up your Facebook profile, delete the old photo of you passed out in the street and maybe start posting the odd intellectual article – first impressions matter, and these days, they happen online.
Get the timing right
Make yourself aware of what other companies/jobseekers in your field are doing. Are other firms pushing for a big recruitment drive in January, and if so, is that going to help or hinder your own drive? Will you be eclipsed by what they’re doing, or can you piggy-back your campaign on theirs? Are other jobseekers flooding the market in the first month of the year, such that your application might be drowned out by the deluge?
As Sir Francis Bacon wrote, knowledge is power, and knowing what your peers are up to can only inform and empower your own strategies.