The Blog

Job Search Strategies for Clients and Passive Candidates

When you think of “the perfect 10,” does it bring to mind permanent IT recruiting? In my mind, it does. With the economy improving, WinterWyman has seen a huge increase in IT job openings; in fact, we have more IT jobs now than we’ve had in the last three years. Good news, right? Yes, but these days there are very few generic positions out there. Instead, most companies are seeking the “perfect 10”—people who have all the unique and precise skills required by the job.

The same can be said for employed IT people who are passively looking for a new role. These people may be happy in their current role or working with their current employer, but they are seeking a position that would make them happier. “Happier” might include things like greater compensation, better benefits, a shorter commute, less travel, a chance for more professional growth, etc.  Passive job seekers are only willing to consider moving for a new opportunity if their “perfect” conditions are met.

This puts recruiters between a rock and a hard place.  We see talented candidates—people who can make a real impact—being passed up by companies because their resume may not list everything covered in a job spec.  And we see candidates passing up opportunities that would advance their career.  What can be done?

Develop Realistic Expectations

Like everything in life, there is no “perfect” in the world of recruiting.  Being realistic is helpful in matching up client and candidate. There are many candidates who will do a great job for a particular company and many companies that would be a great match for a candidate. When companies and candidates are realistic in their search criteria, great synergy can occur.

Be Open to New Opportunities

Whether you are a client or a candidate, it helps to be open to new opportunities. If you are a hiring manager, try slightly lowering the bar. Taking some time to have a few close matches in for an interview may surprise you. Your next great employee may not be a perfect fit on paper, but may have amazing qualities in person that are impossible to get across in that resume. If you are looking for a new job, be reasonable and willing to make tradeoffs. While your next job may add 15 minutes to your commute, it may also significantly advance your career and your future earning potential.

The “Perfect 8 or 9”

Hiring or conducting a job search can be especially challenging when there is a lack of interest for anything that doesn’t exactly meet your idea of “perfect.” But “perfect” may not exist and adjusting and simplifying your needs and desires can lead to great personal and professional satisfaction. Through compromise and cooperation, we can meet the goal held by all job seekers and companies with positions to fill—get a qualified candidate in the door to keep the work flowing smoothly, the team members happy, and the company successful.

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