How Has the Job Search Process Changed? (or Has it!)

July 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm 2 comments


Two factors have done more to change the job search process in the last few years than all the business and management wisdom of the previous many decades. What I am referring to, of course, is the Internet and somewhat secondarily the recession.

In May 2011 Google welcomed 1 billion unique visitors around the globe. In 2006 this number was 496 million. As a barometer of internet usage this number is very instructive. We have definitely moved on from the days when Amazon was simply an online book store and Facebook didn’t exist!

Today’s job search process undoubtedly uses some facet of the internet. This may be as simple as a company’s own web site where you can view job openings and submit resumes or one of the plethora of employment web sites. Instruction on how to write a resume, cover letter, how to interview, tips, tricks etc. are everywhere online. No longer do you have to go to your local library or bookstore or speculate on the subject.

On the other side of the equation, recruiters and employers have access to far more information on potential employees than ever before. They can (and will) look for Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. They can also easily access references of those that were not suggested by the candidate leading to a far more thorough and authentic understanding of a potential new employee.

The economic downturn has also definitely changed the job search process over the past few years. The recession has meant that there are far more (often extremely qualified) candidates in the market looking for work and far less jobs available.

As a result hiring managers can afford to be highly selective and candidates must be on top of their game unlike ever before. Candidates can expect a very cautious and discriminating interview process that often does not even begin face-to-face. It has become customary for first interviews to take place over the telephone. Unlike the informal prescreen of the past, these telephone calls have become comparable to formal, detailed interviews. This can be efficient and cost effective but there is a fair bit of information lost without the benefits of visual cues. Nevertheless as a first step it is definitely prevalent.

Our economy has also resulted in caution being exhibited throughout the job search process for all parties involved. Candidates go through multiple interviews and with multiple decision makers. The time from start to finish of the process has become longer as everyone is exerting caution and few can afford a bad decision. The recession has also resulted in many more questions that focus on: what is the return on our potential investment in you?” Candidates are expected to provide quantitative and factual details of their accomplishments. Hiring managers want to know what they will tangibly expect to receive in return for the cost of a new employee.

From the candidate’s point of view and particularly for those employed and considering a change there is far more due diligence undertaken on a new potential employer. The last thing someone wants in weak economic times is to leave a job for a new one that doesn’t work out. The options are so limited and everyone is quite risk adverse.

Yes, there are enormous changes in the job search process and certainly in terms of the effect of technology we are still in the infancy stage. Tools and advancements will continue to progress in perpetuity. What will not change however, is the fact that at its core business success (and failure) and employment depends on human behavior, traits, motivations and characteristics. No amount of technology or competition will negate this basic fact!

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Entry filed under: Business, Recruiting.

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2 Comments

  • 1. Panama corporation  |  August 1, 2011 at 2:52 am

    A recruiter who does the search and placement process properly is nothing more that an honest broker for the client and the candidate. The process is triggered by the clients need for a new employee and the hiring of a recruiter to do the search. The recruiter is only going to present the best qualified candidates to make the process as efficient as possible..

  • 2. A. Markos  |  October 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Great article! Readers may also find this video helpful as it that provides insight into how Executive Search Firms differentiate themselves from one another and how they can help with the recruitment process. http://youtu.be/BELlaYR7bl8


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