By Sam Temperton
Now is a very interesting time to be a candidate. On the one hand, the market is flush with roles as lots of businesses seek to grow with the improved business environment, we are now in. On the other hand, the market is awash with candidates as people have rethought what they want from an employer, and seek to find that elsewhere!
You should anticipate being in a position where you have multiple offers, but should also anticipate having to fend off a large number of other candidates in order to get those offers. However, there are a few things you can do to a) differentiate yourself from the hordes of other applicants and b) secure yourself better offers when they do come!
1. Tell me (and by me, I mean yourself) what you want, what you really, really want
In a world where, on the surface at least, there are lots of companies doing similar things – lots of consultancies offering technology change advisory work, as an example – you need to have a really clear idea of your why! WHY are you looking for a new job in the first place? WHY would this company be a better fit for you than their competitor? WHY would this role with a consultancy offer a better fit than a similar role in industry, or vice versa?
Clients are typically looking for a strong WHY at interview. This helps make sure they progress candidates that are really invested in the process and in working there, rather than those who are looking to secure themselves a counter offer from their current business, or an improved offer elsewhere.
2. Beware the LinkedIn one-click apply
If you can submit your CV to a role with one click of a button, and no further information entry, then so can 1000s of other candidates – and they do! Unfortunately, one’s CV can often be lost in this sort of application.
You may be better to use LinkedIn as a centralised job alerts function, but then visit the employer’s careers page to apply directly. As this requires more effort and information, it’s likely your CV will land only amongst other interested and relevant candidates!
However, I would still suggest to use LinkedIn to locate and engage with the hiring manager, if you can. A note to say you’ve applied, and are really interested in the job, and you’d be keen to find out more – could be a great differentiator, or at minimum get you on the radar of the right people for when they’re reviewing CVs.
3. Engage with a specialist recruiter
It’s perhaps quite obvious, but engaging with a specialist recruiter comes with a host of benefits. Firstly, they’re likely to cover a number of relevant roles with a number of interesting clients in your target industry. This is likely a far more efficient way of targeting multiple businesses, rather than spamming applications across LinkedIn. In our business we have often had candidates interviewing with several clients at once, to give their profile maximum exposure. Secondly, they’re likely to have worked with, or even placed with, their clients several times over – they will know the interview process inside and out, and will have some decent tips and tricks to share with you to help navigate your way through. Thirdly, at minimum a specialist recruitment consultant should offer a decent sounding board, to work out how you should engage with the market, how to apply to different roles, how to target your CV in the right way, how to navigate case study exercises etc
4. Without wanting to anger Meghan Trainor, it’s NOT all about that base
In a market which is as hot as this, and where you might expect to receive several offers, it would be easy to be “blinded” by base salary alone. Naturally, this is more important for most than anything else, especially when you consider mortgages, children, partners with expensive tastes etc. However, if you end up with offers which differ by only a few ££££s, then I would argue that base salary should probably not be the deal breaker here. Consider the wider benefits. Bonus – is there a guaranteed element? How much do people usually receive? Cash package – do they offer a car allowance, food stipend, healthcare? Equity – what are the stock options available? When can these be divested? It’s also sensible to consider the progression – why turn down an offer for the sake of a few ££££s now, when in 6-12 months you could be far exceeding the base salary in the other role?
My parting advice would be that now is a great time to be considering your career – with so many opportunities around, it would be rude not to! Are you in the right environment to take your career to the next level? Are you seeing the promotion & leadership opportunities you would expect? Are you being given the project/industry/client exposure you want? Is the culture right?
If you’re struggling to answer some of these questions, and want to explore other avenues – please drop me and my team a note and we’ll be sure to give you our best support.
Sam Temperton / email@example.com