You’re looking for a job.
You’ve researched the perfect few opportunities and made an online application through a search engine. You wait. And wait. And wait.
What’s going on?
It’s important to remember that for companies recruiting today, candidate choice has never been greater.
Technology based platforms such as LinkedIn, Hired and even Twitter enable companies to have almost the complete market place to choose from. It’s possible for them to now contact hundreds of candidates in just a few clicks, and candidate applications have never been higher.
The old school days of interviewing a handful of candidates from your competitors and picking the best is gone. Nowadays, companies will only hire people if they are certain they will perform.
Great (!). What can I do about this?
As a single candidate, standing out in such a crowded environment is difficult. Yet, successful people DO STAND OUT in order to reach that perfect opportunity and connect with the handful of really powerful influencers in society.
Learning to stand out in an overflowing candidate pool means you have to learn to become more “hireable”. Take note that becoming more hireable is fast becoming an essential skill-set in career development and success.
So what actions can you take in order to improve your hireability?
In working successfully with over 15,000 people and 500 companies we have discovered five key steps that are essential in making yourself more hireable. These steps are based on careful analysis of over 1000 different recruitment searches over the past ten years with the aim to answer one key question:
Why do certain candidates consistently get the best jobs?
Here are five easy and instantly actionable steps you can take to make yourself more hireable.
1. Know exactly who you are
Any master sales person will tell you that in order to succeed, it’s essential to know your product inside out. Buyers can tolerate a product that may not be perfect. But no one likes to be unsure of what they are buying.
The biggest barrier to hiring is indecision. In the midst of interviewer bias, multiple opinions and endless pondering, the one person who can’t be unsure is you.
In our experience, being sure of exactly who you are is the single biggest influencer in convincing an interviewer. Our brains are programmed to categorise. Songs, memories, places – and even other people.
The shorter, more specific, more focussed you can describe yourself, the more convincing you will be about what value you bring.
For example, rather than say you are good at prospecting, presenting and negotiating with people, your interviewer will be more convinced if they hear you simply say your key strength is winning new business.
Think about you. Increase your hireability. Exactly who are you?
2. Partner with a specialist
Just like managing a complex sale or coming up with a winning marketing strategy, getting hired is a process.
In order to stand out and perform to your best, it’s essential to partner with a specialist. Someone who has a deep understanding of what matters in the hiring process.
Whether it’s a career coach, a skilled recruiter or a mentor, the knowledge and experience of a trusted partner can be invaluable. When selecting a partner be careful to choose someone who can demonstrate a track record of success, has good references and most importantly – is passionate about what they do. Skilled specialists in any field are always in high demand so expect to spend some time and effort to find the right people! Your aim is to find someone who can offer you valuable insight and advice tailored to you.
Although it may take time to find the right partner, the results will always be worth it.
Armed with someone who is an expert in the hiring process, you’ll have a long term relationship with someone who can help you become more hireable and build exactly the career you want.
Hireable candidates achieve success on the foundations of strong relationships. Finding the right partner is essential.
3. Qualify opportunities hard
All of us are unique. It therefore makes sense that finding the right opportunity for us is not easy. It takes hard work and discipline to find the few rare opportunities that are exactly what we are looking for.
Hireable candidates qualify opportunities hard. They ask great questions, go deep and don’t commit too early until they are sure it’s a good fit.
Not only does this save time and ensure success in the long run, it also creates a great impression with hiring managers and interviewers. It shows them that the candidate is focussed. It shows them that the candidate is diligent. And most of all – it forces the interviewer to sell the opportunity to the candidate – often raising their chance of being selected.
Hiring managers want people who are genuinely interested and careful in selecting the right opportunity. They don’t want yes-men or yes-women. They want people who can think for themselves.
Don’t just listen to what the job has to offer. Take control and qualify hard to see if its right for you.
4. Practice your pitch
Interviews are an opportunity to convince others in a very short time window that you are the best person for the job. With such limited time and so many complex factors in play, it’s essential to use this time as optimally as possible.
In our experience, contrary to popular belief, the best interviewers don’t just wing it or have a “natural” tendency to interview well. Their performance is based on a key fundamental factor.
Just like master marketers spend thousands of hours to refine the perfect marketing message, candidates who are more hireable, practice their interview technique until it is perfect. They focus on delivering their unique value proposition. They stay consistent. They use powerful phrases and ask great questions. And most importantly – they know when to stop talking.
To become more hireable, don’t leave the big pitch on the day to luck. Emulate interview environments and practice your pitch. Create the best possible impression.
Be the ultimate polished professional when the big interview arrives.
5. Learn to close
Even if you deliver the perfect interview pitch and create the best possible impression, it still might not be enough.
We’ve all experienced the feeling that an interview couldn’t have gone any better – only to then be left hanging with no decision or follow up.
It’s important to remember that hiring managers have almost endless choice. In this increasingly connected and information-overloaded world we live in, people are more and more hesitant to push the button and make a decision. Especially for high-stakes decisions such as hiring.
Great candidates understand that even hiring managers need convincing. They always follow up quickly, agree next steps and make their timelines clear from the start. Hireable candidates instil urgency and display their belief in their ability to deliver.
And most of all, if companies are slow to move forward, they are willing to move on. After all no-one wants to work for an organisation or hiring manager that can’t make a decision. And plus, it’s always good to play hard to get.
- Being more hireable is a skill that is well worth investing in.
- The professional equivalent of your stock price.
- Top achievers want to stay at the top and always remain in high demand. That’s why they get the best opportunities, best rewards and best selection of what the market has to offer.
- Do you want to become more hireable?