Thursday, July 5, 2012

Working the numbers

Some numbers were shared at Career Prospectors the other day by a successful candidate. The one that stood out was 253. Later the numbers 5 and 15 were also mentioned. I would like to add 12 and 4 to the list.
Before I explain the significance of these numbers, let me give some background. Career Prospectors is a group of folks that come together to help each other network, learn about resources and learn about the tools and mindsets for a successful job search.
It is a volunteer run organization and has no costs associated with it. Through the connections of the people that run it, primarily Charlie Wood, and the people that are searching for a new career there are weekly speakers and programs.
The overall objective is to overcome the de-personalization of the hiring process, by networking your way to hiring managers and sometimes finding the “hidden jobs” in the market. To this end, much time is spent on the basics of networking, including the personal introduction or “elevator speech,” the types of events that are available, what the objective is at an event, how to take it to the next level and how to sustain the relationship.
Typically at a networking event, the goal is to identify 1-4 people that a person may be able to add to their network or in other words, build a relationship. The next steps to this process is to follow up and if worthy of taking it to the next level, have a one to one meeting. These are often referred to as having “coffee” if informal or “informational interviews” if slightly more targeted and formal.
Networking With Purpose
Keeping in mind that you are seeking to go around normal company processes designed to keep you out, in neither case is a job asked for and in fact the objective is to see if each individual may be able to help the other out.
(BTW: Career Prospectors will be having a great presentation on the informational interview on Tuesday July 10th)
Now back to the numbers. 253 was the number of one on one meetings held by this successful candidate. The number is purely anecdotal and is skewed by the fact that this individual was looking for a senior leadership position. Nevertheless, this is the number of times that this person sat down with other individuals and created a relationship, one or more of which helped in the completion of the job search.
The second number is 5. This is the number of one on one meetings that are encouraged to be held each week by each member of the Career Prospector group.
The next number is 15. This was the number that an owner of a recruiting company, in a presentation at Career Prospectors, said should be held each week.
Finally, that brings us to 12 and 4. If a person needs this many (253) meetings to find a new position, it will take 12 months at the rate of 5 meetings a week. The alternative is to get out more often, hold the fifteen meetings and get the search done in 4 months.
No it’s not easy, but do you have the time or the money to do less?