16 Sep 3110 Views ,

Position made redundant? Coming back into the work force? Looking  for a career move?……….You probably consider yourself in “Job Search Mode”.

A natural response to this thought is:

“this is somewhat foreign, scary”…..

“not something I am used to doing”………….

“what should I do next?”……………..

As with most change situations you probably feel uncomfortable and stressed.  If you have just left your last employer you may well feel lonely or exposed not having the support/status of an established job.  Job search is an emotional rollercoaster. It is easy to feel unsure and to lack confidence in job search techniques, interview skills, job market knowledge etc.

In my work as a recruitment consultant I get to see all the above on a regular basis. Seeing people go through this challenge I have come to realise something very important:

“Job Search Problem = Business Problem”

By looking at is this way a person in “Job Search Mode” may feel more comfortable.  It is  a Business Problem – in that they are seeking to identify, negotiate and secure a contract-an employment contract.

“Job Search Problem = Business Problem”

This simple analogy is made to provoke the job seeker to realise they often already have “the know how” to successfully secure the next role.  Specifically the broad business process an individual needs to apply to their job search is a form of “Strategic Selling” and the key elements are Business Development and Negotiation.

It is Business Development in the sense that the job seeker is looking to find an employer who wants to buy what the candidate offers.  It is Negotiation in the sense that the job seeker is going to negotiate an employment contact.

Using such an approach there are some key steps that can be taken from familiar business processes and applying them to Job Search and perhaps feel a little less challenged.

Negotiation and Business Development both start in the same place “What do I want”  In the job search situation it is critical to specify what you want – a strong parallel here is if you don’t scope a project in business properly then you are likely to get a sub optimal outcome- the same goes for job search.  Write up a Job Specification for your next job.

Job Specification should have the tangible and intangible attributes you want in your next job.  Include what you want and what you don’t want,, the industry, job type or title, the nature of the employer, the opportunity, the challenge, rewards, location etc. etc.  It is a living document that you modify as you go through your job search.

The Job Specification provides structure to the search.  It allows you, the Job Seeker to compare opportunities  you have  identified ( through word of mouth or through advertisements) with your   job specifications – a suggested rule of thumb being if there is not an 80% overlap its probably not worth pursuing.  This allows you to identify organisations that meet your requirements and then find ways to proactively approach them (this can be a bit of a black hole for a lot of job seekers and is an area where they often need support and warrants a separate discussion).

Finally the Job Specification is the Job Seeker’s basis for negotiating, importantly putting them in the position to be able to say “No thank you, not for me.”  Being able to say no and knowing when to say no is critical in any negotiation. The job specification provides the  job seeker  with clarity and when interviewed they promote them selves as some who knows what they want and are certain in their approach – an attractive attribute to any employer.

Most of us are competent day to day at specifying, planning, influencing, negotiating so by applying our existing skills into the job search process the unfamiliar becomes less daunting.

Blog Posted by Garry King, Director – September 2013

Garry king Kingscroft Garry King is an Executive Recruitment Consultant, Owner and Practice leader at Kingscroft Consulting. Garry has been in the recruitment industry for 19 years, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help both candidates and employers across many specialist industry sectors.