The Academy Of Business Strategy – The Closely Guarded Recruitment Secret

The recruitment industry has always been reactive by nature. This is not intended to be a criticism in any way, it is just considered to be convention within the industry. An employer advertises a vacancy, a candidate advertises their CV. Prospective candidates are forwarded onto the employer and prospective vacancies are similarly forwarded onto the candidate. This will invariably result in thousands of candidates applying for each individual vacancy and success is ultimately determined by the efficiency of each individual employer’s recruitment procedure. Candidates are always powerless throughout this process. The introduction of online job boards through the internet has only served to exasperate this problem. They tend to identify success in terms of quantity rather than quality. They will proudly advertise that they have thousands or even millions of candidates registered with them. They will also have hundreds or thousands of vacancies listed too. The implication being of course that if they serve this many customers then they must be good. Having said this, online job boards do provide an important service now within the recruitment industry. They provide portals where both candidates and employers can be introduced to each-other and the service which they provide is far more cost-effective than traditional offline advertising and in most cases they provide a more efficient service too. Unfortunately it does not really do very much to help candidates gain better employment and it is still rather like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is because the service which they provide merely ensures that more and more applicants apply to each individual vacancy. It is also widely accepted within the recruitment industry that any vacancy which we may see advertised is always a peripheral vacancy. What is meant by this is that they tend to be general vacancies which arise from prescriptive change such as expansion, or a merger or acquisition. The very fact that the organization does not have anyone in mind for this vacancy who could be promoted from within tells you that the vacancy is probably a peripheral one. Core vacancies are never advertised. The organization will already have internal candidates in mind for these positions and they are too important to risk employing a candidate who is considered to be an unknown quantity. Consequently core vacancies are always the ones we should be targeting. They are the vacancies which constitute power, influence and life-changing personal benefits. A senior manager or partner at a major financial institution, retail organization or manufacturing company will earn an annual salary amounting to several hundred thousand dollars for their services. A senior Director or Executive Officer at the same company will earn an annual salary amounting to several million dollars for their services. How many jobs do you actually see advertised with annual salaries that exceed 250,000.00 USD? There are traditional recruitment companies who practise what is commonly known as head-hunting, but these still tend to be for peripheral positions. The reality is that anyone who achieves a core vacancy within a major global organization will have developed and implemented a successful career management strategy over a sustainable period of time. It is quite literally the difference between success and failure. Recruitment companies and online job boards alike are already thinking of innovative ways in which they can provide better services. Improving online technology is to some extent gradually enabling them to do this. There are growing improvements in terms of the search engines that are used to pre-qualify candidates for employers and conversely to pre-qualify employers for candidates. However the more recruitment companies or online job boards which choose to move in this direction the more they will have to charge candidates and employers for the services they provide, whereas registration, particularly for candidates has been largely free of charge and candidates have grown accustomed to this of course. It is already clear that those recruitment companies who are starting to charge candidates for the service that they provide, tend to provide much better services. The old adage that “you always get for what you pay” tends to apply here. Ultimately these changes while providing some improvement in the professionalism of recruitment companies and online job boards over time will not change anything at all concerning the type of vacancies advertised. Advertised vacancies will always be peripheral. Candidates who have the most successful careers are always those who are proficient at managing their own career management strategy. It is true that we cannot all aspire to be the CEO of Microsoft, General Motors, HSBC Bank, or Mittal. But we can still ensure that we at least have the opportunity to achieve as much as we can with our careers and we will not achieve this if we are reactive by nature and if we do not take personal responsibility at some point for our own career development. After all an individual’s career development surely constitutes a core activity, not a peripheral one!

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