Please note: job postings are not the same as search announcements from search consultants to a limited audience. The inconvenient truth is if that magically perfect job posting does appear in print or more likely online, the applicants will number in the thousands.
Job postings commoditize a position
Anyone relying on what is immediately offered up in a posting is grasping at low hanging fruit. This doesn’t work even in a great economy as there is no process of discrimination employed to ensure it as the best career move. It neither requires nor demonstrates active identification, uncovering and pursuit of the optimum, best position.
The problem with seeking out job postings on sites such as Netshare.com, Sixfigurejobs.com, the Ladders.com (not to mention the big boys like Monster, CareerBuilder, Hotjobs) is not just the commoditization of the posting with hundreds of applicants but the fact it is just the tip of the iceberg in this economy.
Think about it. In a slow growth economy, it stands to reason that the companies do not need to broadcast and promote a position publically to find and hire top candidates e.g. the A-players. And with Linkedin acting like the world's largest talent aggregator, hiring managers and recruiters have the biggest professional database at their fingertips.
Using a referral, especially employee referrals
It is logical to assume that the far more interesting (read better fit) positions are filled by referrals, through networks, or by search firms. Further, the higher you climb in responsibility and title the less likely that a position matching your level would be made public. The best job search is one that uncovers and pursues those opportunities whether posted or not.
Given all of the above there is benefit to be gotten from job postings, especially when seeking opportunities at a distance and across borders.
Here are some tips to effectively leverage job postings:
1. Study the postings of your target companies for trends in hiring, expansion of business units or product growth. This will be a key to where you can make the best penetration into the organization through referrals.
2. Compare target company job postings to those in other regions and/or countries to track that expansion and growth on a broader level. Consider this product market research and the job is the product. For example, Nestle Corporation’s hiring may be far greater in South America than Europe at the moment. Check to see what other Fast-moving Consumer Package Goods companies are hiring in the same region.
3. Use similar or same type of job postings to identify a commonality of key-words to insert into your resume and all your social profiles. When multiple postings use the term “engage stakeholders” as part of the description, then recruiters will be screening for that term.
4. Whenever you find an interesting job posting that may be a close fit in a company on your target list, the find a lead into the company who can introduce you to the hiring manager. Or seek an introduction two or more levels above the position. If you can engage the interest of that executive the downward pressure on the hiring manager will be significant.
5. If you find a job opening somewhat below your level, do not be tempted to apply with the hopes of being hired and promoted upwards. That would be unlikely unless it is an emerging company or early stage startup. Instead, introduce yourself into the company by making referrals to more appropriately qualified candidates for the position within your network.
6. Use job posting websites in other global regions to get a flavor for hiring and recruitment protocols, the economic conditions, and business trends by sector. For example Recruit Gulf (http://www.recruitgulf.com/ ) provides an overview of the Middle East by job postings by industry sector and location in the region. You can add keywords for job functions and review the breadth of opportunities.
7. Many regional sites worldwide will carry articles, news and relocation information as well which is an additional benefit.
Though the postings themselves may be of little actual value to a professional, the indirect and aggregate information they and their sites deliver can be of great benefit. Not to be ignored, job postings, can be leveraged strategically.