Although the current job market looks to be much better than it did in the immediate post-recession years, finding a great job today is still no walk in the park. Many companies were forced to downsize during the Great Recession of 2007-2009, and while jobs are slowly beginning to come back, the number of qualified job-seekers today is still significantly greater than the demand for these employees. Many top companies receive as many as 250 applications for a single open position. Many of these applicants may be qualified for the job, but it is simply impractical for a hiring manager to interview every applicant in fact, studies have shown that fewer than 25% of applicants for a given position even get extended an opportunity to interview.
Unfortunately, in today's job market, simply being qualified for a position will not even guarantee you an initial interview, let alone a job offer. In order to give themselves the best shot at finding a position where all of their skills and past experiences will be put to use, applicants need to be creative and open-minded when job hunting. Although job hunters should certainly be looking at companies career pages frequently for posted positions, it is important to understand that about 80% of all available jobs are never directly advertised, according to Forbes.
A great way to break into a company is by working with a recruiting agency or staffing company, who have existing relationships and privileged insight into companies posted and non-posted open positions. Working with a staffing company to find a job offers several advantages. First, staffing companies typically have established relationships with cross-industry client companies, and they always have their ear to the pavement when it comes to new or urgent openings. They also have established contacts within their client companies. When you, as a job seeker, submit your application and resume on a company's job board, it sits in limbo for an undetermined amount of time until one day, if you're lucky, a recruiter reviews it. However, when a staffing company submits your candidacy for a role to their client, they usually do so directly to the hiring manager with whom they have an established relationship and who values their opinion. A good word from a staffing company will go a long way in making you stand out to a hiring manager.
Historically, there has been a negative stigma associated with temporary positions. They were viewed as unskilled roles that companies look to fill for a couple of weeks at a time and terminate when the immediate need is no longer there. However, the staffing industry landscape is changing, as many companies now view temporary positions as the perfect way to evaluate potential long-term employees. Accepting a temporary position with an employer for whom you would want to work long-term can be a great way to get your foot in the door. If you do your job well and show the employer that you can be a valuable asset, there is a greater chance that they will bring you on as a permanent employee after your temporary stint is over.
At any rate, it is always good to have options, especially when it comes to finding a job at which you will spend the majority of your day, week in and week out. Applying to positions posted on job boards and on companies career pages is a good strategy, but casting a wider net by working with staffing companies and recruiters may just be the thing that kicks your job search into high gear and helps you find that dream job you've been looking for.
About the Author: Boris Kopylov is a supply chain project analyst at Source One, responsible for developing and executing sourcing events to optimize the spend and operations of clients in the areas of supply chain and IT, working directly with the clients and their respective suppliers through all stages of the strategic sourcing project from data collection, through selecting and conducting go-to-market strategies, to negotiation and contracting, to implementation. His experience and passion for driving client solutions has allowed him to become a well-read content producer on the Strategic Sourceror.