My counsel to these savvy career navigators is to keep in constant contact with employers during the recruiting and job search process. “Top of mind is first to find” and unless you are an award-winning rocket scientist or a Fortune 100 CEO, you need to remind corporate recruiters and hiring decision-makers that you remain interested in the job, post-interview.
Another side of my business is helping companies recruit for specific roles. These organizations are rapidly expanding and keeping up with the marketplace is a challenge. Systems and processes don’t always grow at the pace of market (a great challenge to face!) and companies need your expertise to bridge the gap. There are many more opportunities than those that are ever posted (some inside information for you on the hidden job market). I digress.
It surprises me that senior-level candidates don’t bother to keep in touch with the corporate recruiter or the hiring decision-maker during the recruiting process. Business mergers, acquisitions and divestitures mean that busy executives may forget about you during a very tumultuous time. As great as you are, the hiring manager may have a dozen or so fires to put out, agreements to negotiate or customer emergencies to tend to.
Hiring managers may simply forget about you unless you take the time and effort to follow up with them regularly. An esteemed colleague of mine, Mary Jane Copps, of The Phone Lady—a North American company that focuses on excellent telephone communication skills—recommends following up a minimum of five times. She also explains the difference between following up professionally and being a pest.
According to her book The Phone Book: Essential Telephone Communication Skills, Mary Jane offers the following:
You are a pest when you:
- Continue to call people who can’t benefit from your product or service;
- Don’t accept “no” as a valid decision;
- Are only interested in money, not a relationship;
- Continue to push your agenda without listening to the prospect or the employer (p. 74).
In Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (p. 177), he explains how attitudes are shaped by the number of times we have been exposed to something. Familiarity generates trust and it is generally accepted that in sales, it takes 7 to 13 points of contact to make a sale. Translate that metric to the hiring process and you now have a formula for positively influencing your hiring authorities.
According to Napoleon Hill, a famous American personal-success writer: “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” For more information on his success formula see his book Think and Grow Rich.
Don’t underestimate the power of following up: it can make the difference between standing still and moving forward in your life and career.