Success in getting your next career opportunity depends on a clear understanding of the recruitment process. Its about how you play the game that gives you the success you will need to stand apart from the rest.
In the hospitality job market game, what is important is not how the game is supposed to be played, but how it is really played. Significant research (RCM, 2016) clearly outlines three key job marketing channels that best describe the hiring process: 1. The applicant pool, 2. the created position, and 3. the known candidate. Resting on my combined recruiting and hotel management experience spanning 30 years, I find that most hiring fits into one of these channels.
1. The Applicant Pool: A manager leaves, thus creating an open position. To fill that position, the hotel company collects a large pool of applicants and screens them. The candidates selected from the applicant pool are then interviewed by the hiring manager. The hiring manager makes a final selection and together with the direct report hires that person. Non-industry recruiters, agencies, job boards, direct applications, job ads, are the main sources for this channel.
2. The Created Position: A job seeker identifies a need within an organisation. The hiring manger and job seeker discuss the need. The job seeker develops and present a “hiring” proposal to meet the need. The hiring manager creates a position around the job seeker’s skills and interests, and the job seeker is hired to fill it. This job channel is for creative job seekers, resourceful hospitality recruiters, and superb talent acquisition managers.
3. The Known Candidate: A hiring manager knows several qualified candidates and has them in mind as possible additions to the staff in the event a position opens up or a new one is authorised. When a position becomes available, the hiring manager may go through the motion of collecting, screening and interviewing a pool of candidates, but then hires one of the known candidates. Or, the hiring manager simply hires a known candidate without collecting an applicant pool at all.
The applicant pool is often perceived to be the way hiring happens, but actually accounts for about 25% of hires in 2015. The created position is less than 5%, but gives the organisation outstanding candidates that align functional strengths to organisational needs. The 3rd option is how most hiring actually happens in Hospitality, or nearly 70%.
If you want to cover 100% of the job market, your search strategy will market all three of these channels. The key point is that you are always talking to the hiring manager, or go through someone who is! Each channel is unique.
In the applicant channel, candidates wait for the hiring company to contact them and hope that hiring manger will want to speak with them. In the remaining 2 channels, the job seeker takes the marketing initiative to seek out the hiring manager before there is an opening and negate a large pool of job seekers that still continue to use channel 1.
The best job search strategy is to position yourself to succeed in all three channels. This can be done by pro-actively contacting the hiring managers at your target companies, influential connections, specialist recruiters, and talent acquisition staff to build responsive relationships that capture all channels.
In 2015, the key message to job seekers centers around a pro-active and self-reliance in career marketing. Don't rely only on third-party providers such as recruiters, career sites, and job boards; you must be pro-actively "work" your connections as well so to get through to the decision makers that really count.
As always, any questions or comments, just leave them below or just reach out to me via LinkedIn. Have a great week marketing yourself to the right people today!