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Jared Hamilton
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H Gregory Gershman

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3 Things I learned from our grad's job hunt.

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Fresh back from Florida watching our son graduate from college, and he is already on the job hunt. The thought of having to move back in with his parents in Nothingtodoville Upstate New York, might be motivating him slightly. I wanted to share some insights from his progress so far that can help some of my employer and applicant readers.

Be positive, but only cash the checks you have.

During our son's time at school he has accumulated a circle of connections in the business community, many alumni of his college. Each time he speaks to one, they have a sure-fire contact that will definitely want to hire him. Our son is smart, talented, and hard working, a catch for any employer. That being said, he is in a large city and there is a line of people with degrees, contacts, and work ethic. It is easy to count one of these referrals to a company like a guarantee, it is important to view it as only an opportunity for you to earn a position.

The vision of the future is as important as the job promised today.

While we were visiting, our son gave us the complete run down on his potential job opportunities. He is very detail oriented so we had the chance to get as much information as we could handle. This included the possible promotions, estimated time to move up the ladder, the income that comes with the higher level positions, and what he of course could spend the money on. Employers, the applicants reviewing your employment opportunities are not only considering the job you offer them now, but also what your company can do for them in the short and long term future. As part of your job marketing it is key to have information about about what an advanced career in your company looks like. Maybe a quote or two from some employees that have moved up the chain. You are selling the applicants that consider you a future, as well as a present.

Jumping through hoops is a circus trick, not an appropriate interview tactic.

One of the positions our son is applying for has been slow affair. He has a referral to the company, sent in an application, emails, and calls. Now that he is graduated there is a great urgency to start a career, and this seems a perfect fit. So why isn't the interview process moving forward? Our son got an answer from one of his other contacts. It seems this company uses a war of attrition to whittle down their applicant pool. They draw out the process and communicate just enough to keep the applicant involved, but force them to keep jumping through hoops. The company is trying to use this tactic to ensure they are getting to the person that wants to work for them the most.

There two giant flaws with this method for screening applicants. First, an unemployed applicant does not have the option of turning down opportunities to hold out for the position at your company. Second, using the able to hold out for this job longest theory only assures you the most motivated to accept your position, not the best able to perform the job. Most motivated can be attributed to a number of reasons such as; having a character flaw that has kept them from earning other positions once interviewed, being unmotivated enough to go through the work of interviewing at multiple companies and simply having the financial means to wait out your process, romanticizing your company to a point where they have an unrealistic view of the opportunity, and finally the one you are probably hoping for which is your job is their dream job.

As an applicant I would be very leery of a company that goes beyond doing their due diligence to completely know you, and simply moves into seeing how difficult they can make the process. It shows a lack of caring for applicants as individuals outside of their hiring process.

Hopefully there is a nugget or two here for you.

Have a prosperous day :-)

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