Regrettably, I’m sorry, unfortunately or no. These are all words that take the wind from any job candidate’s sails.
“I am so tired of hearing those words,” a hospital CEO recently said. “I have been in transition for almost a year. I never thought it would take this long to find another job.”
I understand his pain. Recruiters and candidates have something in common: we both are looking for work. In my case, it is an every day, all day preoccupation that is essential so that I can continue to do what I love to do. For some candidates, this process is a battle. I understand that perspective, but if you love what you do, you have to be prepared to fight for it. That is why I think a change in mindset for job candidates is an important consideration.
Why do boards or executives hire a certain candidate? Because they believe that the individual will get the job done, that the candidate they selected communicated a compelling narrative in the recruitment process, something more impressive, with greater clarity, than their competitors. They were more “helpful” to the decision maker(s) in terms of defining their value.
Helpful candidates? For some that is a foreign concept. But in the world of content marketing, a discipline that is something akin to recruiting, those companies that are more helpful tend to connect with potential customers in a way that converts their interest to action. Jay Baer, President of Convince & Convert, a highly successful digital marketing consultancy and a New York Times best-selling author, is fond of saying that there is only one letter’s difference between the words H E L P and H Y P E. Baer says that those companies which focus on the helping part tend to attract more attention, and customers, than those who rely on selling. “Selling gets you a customer today, but if you help someone you earn a client for life.”
Clever. But before you discount the sentiment, I encourage you to hit the brakes and give this idea some more thought.
Candidates, especially those in industries undergoing significant transformation of their business models, are facing a crowded marketplace. In most cases, there are more qualified people than good paying jobs. Amazingly, far too many candidates fail to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Most are more about the hype.
So how does one become a helpful candidate? Here are four ways to improve your differentiation. I have written about these many times but today, let’s reframe them in the context of being a helpful candidate.
© 2020 John Gregory Self