June 9, 2011 – As hiring has slowed in recent months, companies have become even more selective about who they are recruiting, so job-seekers need to learn the latest “must-do” ways to succeed with pickier employers, according to OI Partners, a global talent management firm.
Among the tactics job-seekers should use to deal with changes in employers’ recruitment and hiring practices, according to an OI Partners survey of 184 organizations throughout North America, are:
- Be prepared for more numerous interviews and for hiring decisions to take longer.
- Sharpen your skills at being interviewed by teams or panels of an employer’s staff as well as being screened by telephone.
- Convincingly communicate your teamwork skills and your commitment to excellent customer service.
- Emphasize your experience that is related to the current opportunity, within the company’s industry, and how you achieved results similar to the company’s desired goals and objectives.
- Build and update your social media presence, especially on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Increase searching for openings that are posted on the websites of potential employers.
- Acquire referrals from the targeted employer’s workers.
“Hiring has improved this year over 2010, with 54% of employers in the survey indicating they have added workers. However, companies have become much pickier in the types of employees they want, and job candidates need to adapt to these changes,” said Steve Ford, chairman of OI Partners (www.oipartners.net).
These are the top “must-do” ways that applicants can succeed with more demanding employers, according to OI Partners:
- Be ready to undergo more interviews and a longer search process. 32% of surveyed employers said it is taking longer this year than last year to bring people on board as companies conduct more interviews to confirm they are selecting the best candidates. “There is a greater supply of qualified candidates than there was last year as more people are looking for opportunities in an improved job market. That means employers can afford to be extremely choosy about who they decide to hire. Do not become discouraged by the number of times you may have to interview for a job, and bring a high level of enthusiasm to each one,” said Ford.
- Be prepared to be interviewed by multiple people at the same time. Be sure to ask who you will be interviewing with when called for an interview. You will then know if you’re being interviewed by one or multiple people. 41% of employers are more often interviewing candidates in teams or using panels of their employees. “Conduct mock interviews and practice connecting with several people at the same time instead of just one interviewer. This is a chance to demonstrate how well you work in teams and seek input from others by including everyone in your responses. Adopt a conversational tone, remain relaxed, and smile throughout,” Ford suggested.
- Convey your suitability to work well in teams and with customers. 71% of employers in the survey want employees who are team-oriented, and 63% are seeking candidates who are customer-focused. According to Ford, “Companies are looking for people who work well together and realize how important customers are in this challenging economy.”
- Rehearse being interviewed by telephone. Statistically, nearly half of all candidates fail phone interviews because they don’t take them seriously or are not prepared. 54% of employers in the survey are more frequently screening employees by phone than last year. “Be prepared to make the most of the limited time you will have, and don’t repeat what is on your resume. Highlight your achievements and results related to the position and the skills that set you apart from others. Stand up while talking and have a list of bullet points prepared. Close by inquiring what the next steps will be and ask to meet in person,” recommended Ford.
- Round out your social media presence. 44% of surveyed employers are more often recruiting candidates via LinkedIn and 19% are more frequently using Facebook. “Make sure your online profile is essentially your resume and is continually updated. Showcase yourself as an expert in your field with an impactful headline and description and searchable key words that reveal the breadth and depth of your experience and skills. Also integrate Twitter into using social media,” said,” said Ford.
- Persuasively communicate your related experience and the results you have achieved for similar types of employers. 77% of employers said they are looking for people who have experience in their industries – the No. 1 quality survey respondents are seeking – and 62% want candidates who have a track record for achieving similar types of goals as those related to the open position.
- Seek out opportunities on the websites of prospective employers and obtain referrals from the employer’s workers. 36% of organizations are using their own websites more often to recruit candidates, and 32% are more frequently relying on their employees’ recommendations when hiring.