Hot Job Market Has Employers Changing Their Hiring Process - Here’s What You Need To Know


Mary, a career counseling client, called the other day to express her surprise about something odd that had happened to her in the hiring process. Soon after we created her resume and LinkedIn profile, an employer reached out to her. She explained why this contact was different. “I’ve been in the workforce for 36 years, and I’ve never had this happen before. A vice-president found me on LinkedIn and reached out to me about a job. A VP—I never spoke to their recruiter!” noted Mary. “Nick, the vice-president, messaged me to inquire how things were going at my current job and whether I was happy with my employer. I said, ‘Happy enough, why?’” Asking why proved to be the most important job search strategy she could have used.

Nick discussed with her an intriguing job opportunity he had open. That led to four interviews within a few days, and then she got an offer that was $17,000 more than she makes now. The process moved so fast. The other odd thing she noted was after Mary got hired, they said she was the only candidate they interviewed for the job. “My new boss mentioned that they had lost some potential people because their process was slower, and other employers were quickly hiring the talent before they did. So, they changed their hiring strategy. Once they find a good candidate, they move quickly to determine if that one person should be hired. No competitors, just you against yourself with the employer hoping they can recruit you to join their team,” revealed Mary.

This all demonstrates exactly how HOT this job market is. The speed at which Mary got hired—in five days—is starting to be very common. Savvy employers are moving much more quickly when they find an appealing candidate. Another change for many companies is when the employer does find someone for the job, they start interviewing immediately—not waiting in the hope that numerous qualified people will apply. Cindy, an HR manager for an extensive healthcare system, said, “We used to have dozens of people apply any time we ran a job ad. Now, we are lucky if we get one applicant. It’s so challenging for us to find talent and hire them. Our recruiters spend hours every day trying to find talent and get them interested in our open jobs.”

Our vice-president Nick’s act of bypassing the recruiter was something we’d not heard of until recently. Thinking Mary’s case was a fluke, I gave it no more thought. That was until my career counseling client Trevor told me the same thing had happened to him. The hiring manager found him on LinkedIn, which led to three interviews, and this GenZ landed his first job out of college. Checking in with numerous clients who recently landed a new job, several stated that the hiring manager or a higher-level executive made the first contact. Bypassing the recruiter has repeatedly been happening lately.

So, how can you take advantage of this new turn of events? Have an impressive and complete LinkedIn profile. Also, put a strategy in place where you proactively connect with people at companies you’re interested in, targeting executives or managers in the field you work in, e.g., operations, IT, marketing, etc.

Make these changes to your LinkedIn profile:

  • Effectively use keywords throughout the profile.
  • Customized headline (not the default of your current job title). The headline is the most searched part of LinkedIn, so yours needs to be effective, with appropriate job titles you’ve had and any specialty designations—PMP or MBA—or note the industry your experience is in.
  • Complete work descriptions under the experience section. Many people only list job titles, and this is a critical mistake. Write concise descriptions that tout accomplishments and results.
  • Make your About section personalized and written in first-person, sharing some details that outline your personality, how you are as a manager, or why you like your work.

Be available and responsive to any employer. Look at your LinkedIn messages regularly. Many people who are being noticed on LinkedIn send a brief message. Be sure to check your notifications daily and respond quickly. If they don’t hear from you promptly, they move on to find someone else.

If you are job hunting, be sure your email and phone number are listed in the contact info. Employers often call. Answer your phone even when you don’t recognize the number. Watch for texts. And remember, emails are a typical way an employer will reach out to you.

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