Job-Hunting Tactics That Match Corporate Recruitment Strategies

Martin Yate By Martin Yate December 1, 2020
Job-Hunting Tactics That Match Corporate Recruitment Strategies

Best-selling author Martin Yate, a career coach and former HR professional, takes your questions each week about how to further your career in HR. Contact him at the e-mail address at the end of this column.

Last week's column described why job seekers need an objectively focused resume to be the base of their carefully crafted LinkedIn profiles. This week, we will discuss why companies use certain recruitment methodologies and how this should direct your own job search and career management tactics.

Corporate Recruitment

Corporate recruitment strategy has a laser focus on economy, speed and value. Hiring and training a new employee can cost thousands of dollars, making the recruitment process very cost- and productivity-conscious. Understanding how hiring managers, HR and recruitment professionals try to maintain cost-effectiveness and save time when selecting the right candidates will help your job search considerably.

Internal Promotions and Employee Referrals

Many recruiters and hiring managers look first to promote internally, which is quicker and less expensive. For job seekers, it's easier to get a promotion in their current job; people know you and can see you've developed the necessary skills for that next step.

The need for speed means companies will sometimes start recruitment advertising before they have finished looking for internal candidates. That's why those new job openings are suddenly filled when you apply. Even though they've placed external job postings, recruiters are reviewing the company's resume database for promising candidates.

Also, many companies offer employees cash incentives to refer job candidates. So it can pay—for you and the members of your network—to have a well-written, up-to-date social media profile.

The same holds true for local SHRM chapter meetings, where well-connected HR pros meet. Connections can also be found—and  referrals made—through online social networking groups, including alumni associations.

Recruitment Advertising and Headhunters

If internal promotions and personal referrals yield no results, then companies turn to serious advertising to fill their open jobs. When the advertising doesn't deliver the goods, a company then turns to the headhunters. Typically, because of their expense, headhunters are used only when all else fails.

Companies generally prefer to hire people who come to them directly or through referral networks. For job seekers, this means that the most effective job-search tactic is networking coupled with research and direct approach—skills that, once learned, will serve you well throughout your career.

Why and How Networking Speeds Job Offers

Nothing happens in a job search without conversation. The people who land jobs fastest and with greatest ease have solid social networks, because connections and referrals enable them to jump-start conversations with headhunters, HR recruiters and hiring managers.

It All Starts with Your Resume

Managing your social media presence has become one of the greatest tools for managing your professional destiny. It represents your professional self to the working world and shows how you think of yourself and how you want to be seen.

It all starts with writing your resume. Your resume best captures your professional persona succinctly and forms a firm foundation for your social media profile.

Don't try to make yourself the perfect hire for multiple jobs. If you try to squeeze all the things you can do into one resume, then your resume will lack the focus that gives it data density and the keywords that make sure it is found in database and Internet searches. When you try to be all things to all people, your resume will come up short.

Create one resume that is carefully tailored to your target job, and then revise it to give slightly different emphasis for other jobs. Much of the content (layout, contact information, previous jobs, dates of employment, etc.) from your primary resume will remain the same, so you can make a copy of the original and then edit that copy to create a data-dense and discoverable resume for a different job.

In your next job search, be sure to take advantage of your new understanding of corporate recruitment strategies and adapt your job-search tactics to leverage that knowledge. Next week's column will help you increase that leverage with nifty cheats for building a professionally relevant network to help you move forward throughout your career.

Have a question for Martin about advancing or managing your career? From big issues to small, please feel free to e-mail your queries to We'll only publish your first name and city, unless you prefer to remain anonymous—just let us know.


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