Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Q&A with Ask the Headhunter

I've been a fan of Nick Corcodilos since I discovered him in the late 90's. He is probably one of the best known headhunters on the planet, and he tells it like it is. In 1995 he decided to take his knowledge and use it to give job seekers an edge in the job market. Since then he has written books, appeared in countless media publications and now even blogs.

So I recently asked Nick for an email interview and he gladly obliged. Enjoy.
1. Your article "Career Builder is for Dopes" drew a lot of response and interest. I'm curious what kind of feedback you received from that article and if anyone from Career Builder ever contacted you?

No one from CareerBuilder has ever contacted me. But over the years I've gotten queries from Monster pretty regularly, though they stopped a couple of years ago. A Monster editor would email me, asking me to write for them. I'd reply, suggesting they read some of my articles, which bash the job boards. They'd never write back. 6 months later, another Monster editor would make the same pitch. Again, I'd suggest they read my stuff. This kept happening about every 6 months for several years. These big boards have no idea what they're publishing -- nor do they care. It's all editorial filler. As I point out in another article, the content is advertorials. They get career counselors to write for them in exchange for promotional consideration. The content is not intended to benefit the job hunter. The editors are instructed to go find content, any content. So they Google some career terms, find some articles, and ask the writers to submit something. These job boards are not in the business of helping match people and jobs. They are in the data base business. They sell access, and they couldn't care less whether the service works. Unfortunately, a corrupt human resources industry panders to, and pays, these services, rather than actual do their own recruiting.

A sampling of comments from readers about that article:

"I just read your article on CareerBuilder. Kudos! I removed/deleted my account/resume from them about a year ago. As a volunteer at the local workforce center, the information on CareerBuilder will come in handy"

"...during the short period of time I used CareerBuilder, all I got was useless, NON relevant 'matches', which had nothing to do with my skills, not even remotely! Worse than spam I would classify it…at least you know the expectation with spam and delete it right away!!!

2. As we enter 2008, do you think the way people job hunt will change at all? Will social networks like Facebook become places to find jobs?

Unfortunately, people do what they are told. And what they do to search for a job is dictated by the same personnel jockeys and HR people who dump millions into the job boards rather than do their jobs themselves. Just as personnel jockeys don't really recruit, job hunters don't really job hunt. Everyone dumps crap into the Big Jobs Data Base, waiting like some dope at the roulette wheel for their number to come up. Is it any wonder companies cry, "Talent Shortage!" and job hunters cry, "Job Shortage!"? People who are really good at their work and who have a smidgen of social sense know their next job will come from a personal contact. Studies consistently show that 60% or more of jobs are found and filled through personal contacts. Job boards handle only about 2%. Ironically, the smaller, more local job boards deliver more matches -- maybe because they are closer to their communities and have a real relationship with them.
Smart people devote time every day to cultivating their reputations and relationships in their professional communities. Good managers find new hires through people they trust. That will never change, but few people will ever get it. My message to really talented people who are active in their professional communities: Don't worry about competition. You have none. To those sitting around waiting for job boards to deliver jobs, and for companies to come to them, 2008 is going to be a very tough year. As the economy suffers pain, companies will be able to afford to hire only those people who can show they will contribute to the bottom line. If you can't do that, you're toast. Sorry.

3. Name three things job seekers should be doing more of in 2008?

Contributing to their professional community and to the dialogues going on there.

Building their reputations in that community and making more friends.

Figuring out how their work contributes to a company's profit -- and being able to explain it in 5 minutes.

4. Whats next for Ask the Headhunter? Will you be writing the column for the foreseeable future?

This spring Ask The Headhunter begins newspaper syndication through Universal Press Syndicate, the leading syndicate in the world. I'm very proud and excited to be working with this great group of folks, and to have Ask The Headhunter represented alongside great features like Anna Quindlen and Doonesbury.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like you, I share an admiration for Nick. I hope his syndication deal allows more and more people to understand more about the job searching process. Unfortunately, the big players, ie Monster and Career Builder get the most play, and do the worst. My two cents, anyway.

best~GL HOFFMAN, CEO of JobDig