How Employers Fill Jobs

By Matt Lowney

Of ten the way an employer fills a job is much different than how a job seeker finds a job.  This disconnect helps explain why so many job seekers struggle to find the right position in a timely fashion.  Since employers are not going to change the way they look for employees any time soon, jobseekers need to change the way they go about finding a job.  Below is a comparison of how employers and job seekers look to fill jobs differently.  Hopefully this insight will help you align your job search to reflect the way employers search for candidates.

How an employer looks for an employee.  In most cases, the first place job seekers look for a job is in the newspaper employment classifieds or on online job boards.  And, of course, this seems like an obvious first place to look.  You know that employer is looking to fill a job.  Advertising jobs online or in the newspaper can be expensive, so these are often the last places employers post their jobs.  In employer circles advertising your openings this way provides for a very low return on investment when looking for top tier employees.  The general assumption is that the best workers are not actively looking for a job because they are happy, so employers have to go on the offensive to find the best people in their field.  Employers rely heavily on employee referrals in filling positions.  Statistics show that the best employees are the result of current employee referrals.  In addition, employee referral programs are a much less expensive way to locate employees.  As a job seeker you need to network with as many people at a variety of employers as possible. 

How a job seeker looks for a job.   How many positions are filled before they are ever posted in the classified section, then?  The vast majority of positions filled never make it to the job boards or newspaper.  While you should certainly monitor online job boards and newspaper classifieds as part of your job search, you need to expand your job search skills to include other, more creative tools, as well.  Networking, as mentioned above, is probably the best way to unearth little known opportunities.  More aggressive job seekers will even call to speak with department heads at companies for which they would like to work.  Therefore as a job seeker you need to be as strategic in your job search plan as possible.  Employers use many different ways to locate talent in their industries, so a savvy job seeker is continually looking to hone his or her job search skills. 

Matt Lowney is a corporate recruiter, radio host, and career consultant specializing in the areas of healthcare and information technology.  He can be reached at [email protected]  for additional information about his services.