Chances are, many if not most of you reading this blog already have your professional profile posted on LinkedIn, the Number One site used today by both recruiters and companies to locate highly qualified people for their open positions. Another site you certainly won’t want to overlook, however, is ZoomInfo (www.zoominfo.com), the SECOND most used website by recruiters and companies for finding talent.
(ZoomInfo is covered in rather extensive detail in “Headhunter Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!)
The adage that applied to finding a new job as recently as just a few years ago was, “It isn’t WHAT you know but WHO you know.” In today’s turbulent, challenging job market, though, that adage has been replaced with this one: “It isn’t just WHO you know but WHO knows YOU . . . AND can you be FOUND?”!
And that, of course, is where websites such as LinkedIn and ZoomInfo come in. For success in 2011 and beyond, it is imperative that a job seeker thoroughly embrace this concept, i.e., being able to be FOUND. The complexity and speed of business today demands it.
During the month of February 2011 (the latest month for which numbers are available as of this writing), 3.9 million jobs were filled in the US. What you’re probably not aware of, however, is that, during that same month, 3.1 million positions went UNFILLED! (These numbers are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report). This is one of the most under-reported stories today about jobs and the economy in America!
One of the reasons so many jobs are going unfilled month after month is that there often is a mismatch between supply and demand. That is, there aren’t enough qualified candidates with the necessary skill sets/background experience to fill certain jobs in demand. There is, however another, equally important reason so many job are going unfilled—candidates simply can’t be FOUND!
Supply and demand
One of the current realities of today is that, at best, only ONE-HALF of ALL positions available are ever posted/advertised! And, just coincidentally, the higher the level of the position, the less likely it is to be posted. Recently, for example, I had a Fortune 500 hiring manager tell me, “Skip I need to hire two people but I am scared to death to post the positions. I wish I could just reach out to the right people, or that they would just walk through the door and I could hire them.”
Employers today are extremely hesitant to post positions for a couple of very valid reasons. First, they know they will literally be inundated with a mountain of résumés, many (if not most) from people who will not even be remotely qualified. Second, all of these résumés will have to be appropriately recorded and responded to in accordance with the Equal Opportunity laws. When a company posts 20 open positions and gets over 14,000 resumes, you can better understand their reluctance to post jobs.
Being in all the right places
One of the many keys to success in branding is not only to create the right message and image for yourself, but also, to ensure that you can be FOUND! And to be found, you have to be in the right places. While ZoomInfo “crawls” the web looking for people (over 50 million people are currently profiled on the site), don’t leave your profile getting on this second most visited website to chance. Create your own profile on ZoomInfo and control your web presence. (To get started, go to www.zoominfo.com and in the upper right corner you will see the tab “Create Your Profile.”)
As a “headhunter,” when I have a client with a hiring need I (and most other “headhunters,” hiring managers and Human Resources professionals) go BOTH to LinkedIn AND ZoomInfo to begin my search. There are people I find on ZoomInfo that I don’t find on LinkedIn and vice-versa, primarily due to the algorithms the sites have set up in their search engines. Only if I don’t find enough people in these searches do I then resort to posting a position. Many companies operate in this same manner too.
REMEMBER THIS: In general, the BEST jobs almost always go to those who “aren’t looking but can be FOUND”! If I find you on LinkedIn AND/OR on ZoomInfo AND you have a compelling profile, I will reach out to you with a telephone call. The purpose of my call is not to “pitch you a job,” but rather, to ask you one simple question: “If one of the opportunities I am currently working on is potentially stronger than what you are doing today, are you open to at least hearing about it?” And, from that, a meaningful conversation generally ensues 90% of the time. If none of the positions I am currently trying to fill are a good fit for you at the time, then from that conversation I know more about you which opens the door to a wide range of future possibilities. (I recently placed a professional into a powerful role five years after we had our first telephone conversation!)
But, significant to note, this conversation will never occur if two branding concepts aren’t followed: (1) having a compelling profile; and (2) ensuring that you can be FOUND!
So, by all means, make sure your professional profile is posted on LinkedIn, but make sure it’s also posted on ZoomInfo! That way you will significantly increase your chances of being FOUND when and if the right career opportunity comes your way.
Skip Freeman is the author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The HTW Group (Hire to Win), an Atlanta, GA, Metropolitan Area Executive Search Firm. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.