The Job Hunt – Part 2/3

Check out my previous post for the part 1 of this series.

For many job openings, getting the foot into the door – getting recruited – tends to be the most tricky part. Obviously different companies have different ways of going about this. 3 latest trends that I see playing out in the job hunt marketplace:

  • Recruitment by Resonance.
  • Recruitment by Challenge.
  • Recruitment by Algorithm.

This post shall be on the second trend.

Recruitment By Challenge

The Internet has gifted a phenomenal reach for every organization around the world irrespective of its its actual physical presence. Expanded Reach –  not just in terms of the channels for selling their wares but also in terms of an Expanded Access to a massive global talent pool. Obviously this means that organizations can cast their nets wide and far while recruiting for potential hires.

For them, a  Potential Fit is defined as a person who is ‘man’ enough to meet a ‘challenge’ and thereby stand apart from the other bunch of applicants.This is what I call as ‘Recruitment by Challenge’ – throw a challenge at them, and pick the one who addresses it the best. While the trend per se is not particularly a new one, it has now started to garner a mainstream acceptance as a viable recruitment tool for organizations across sectors and borders.

Yes –  challenge driven recruitment practices have been very common with software companies for getting coders of real mettle. But these days even international Intelligence agencies have jumped onto the bandwagon.

For example, the British Intelligence Agency GCHQ, which works in partnership with MI5 and MI6 have recruited for potential ‘spies’ by throwing an open challenge and inviting aspirants to crack a code in 2011. The initiative was called as ‘Behind The Code’ and has generated a global interest.

When Wieden + Kennedy needs a Social Strategist to work on Old Spice, what do they do? They throw 10 challenges and ask applicants to revert within 5 days. Read about all the 10 challenges here.

As L Bhat (a renowned blogger) points out in his blogpost:

The actual job description is not very different from a ‘regular‘ Social Strategist. But the sheer novelty of this approach sends in a lot of messages: (a) it is a high profile job since the expectations will be very high for Old Spice and W+K given the track record; hence anything ‘regular’ will not suffice (b) blogs and media across the world are writing about this novel approach; that’s how buzz is created (c) it gives a cool image to the agency as a place to work.

In fact even for their planning placements that they had opened in Oct 2012, W+K have thrown a gauntlet at the applicants by way of a set of 4 questions that need to be answered within a month – by Nov 25th 2012.

And thus starts a long list of organizations that have begun downplaying resumes and references in favor of puzzles and challenges that have proved the ability to attract brilliant people.

Did you come across any such challenging/interesting recruitment drives of late?

The Job Hunt – Part 1/3

For many job openings, getting the foot into the door – getting recruited – tends to be the most tricky part. Obviously different companies have different ways of going about this. 3 latest trends that I see playing out in the job hunt marketplace:

  1. Recruitment by Resonance
  2. Recruitment by Challenge
  3. Recruitment by Algorithm
This post shall be on the first trend.

Search for Resonance – The Trend & its Contra Trend

”..If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. ..” has been one of the most revered quotes by Steve Jobs.In many ways this articulates a burgeoning stimulus that has in fact become a mainstream business model of some job sites.

Take ReWork – which asks you to find work that is meaningful to you.

Don’t settle until you find work that you love or until you get an opportunity to work on the issues you’re most passionate about – seems to be the mantra of this site. See their story here:

Or take Escape The Citywhich encourages you to quit your corporate job and do something different, something that you have perhaps always dreamt of doing.

Life is too short to do work that doesn’t matter to you… Change jobs, Build businesses. Go on adventures. Do something different – constitutes the Escape Manifesto. See their story here:

The fact that an increasing number of people have begun to search (often passively and sometimes unsuccessfully) for jobs that truly resonate with them, seems to be the insight behind these ventures.

While searching for that perfect day job where your passion meets purpose meets your paycheck is a defining feature of many a job search today, a contrarian view point seems to be gaining a critical tipping point in recent weeks. In many ways this school of thought almost says – Don’t follow your passion (!)

Cal Newport in his latest book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” makes a case on why Passion is not something you follow, it’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world – irrespective of what you embark upon. Read another great post that Cal wrote on this topic in HBR here. (And yes, I have earmarked this book on my reading list now).

Irrespective of which side you take, one thing is for certain – the search for resonance has come to underscore the significance that it has for job seekers and recruiters alike in getting the foot into the door first. Like never before.

Do read the above mentioned posts by Cal Newport and let me know which side you take. And if you read his book, tell me what you think of it.