On average, it takes a company three months to decide to hire someone, post the job, carry out the interviews, make an offer and then have the chosen candidate join their ranks. Yes, that’s three months – if the whole process runs seamlessly from start finish.
If you are happily employed thinking you might be ready to move on in say six months to a year’s time, then you need to set the wheels in motion right now! You don’t want to spend months and months stagnating in a job that’s passed its sell-by date. On the flip side, you probably don’t fancy the prospect of a gruelling job search ahead of you. With a few savvy strategies in your arsenal, you can shorten the search and make it relatively pain-free.
For starters, think about the factors that will influence how long your job search takes:
Salary requirements: the higher the perceived salary requirement, the fewer jobs there will be and therefore the longer it will take to find one if you’re chasing big numbers
Your network: the wider/stronger your network, the shorter your search will be
Geography: are you looking for a specialised role in a part of the country that isn’t rife with opportunities that cater to your field? It’s going to take a while then!
Season: there is a definite trend to put out a search for fresh blood after annual budgets have been approved and financial targets have been set for the year. If you find that you’re on the hunt during the classic ‘down time’ for hiring (mid December to mid January), use this time to get your CV in shape, follow up on contacts and widen that all-important network
Next, put a few time-saving tips into action to avoid the big time-wasters that may well sabotage your efforts. Take a moment to ask yourself these questions and be honest! By accurately assessing how you are conducting your job search and working smarter in the future, you should be able to concentrate your efforts and save a significant amount of time.
Are you sitting for hours in front of a screen?
If you are spending the large part of your day trawling through online ads, you’re guaranteeing yourself two things – maximum competition levels and loads of frustration. Studies show that around 75% of jobs are obtained by way of personal referral, i.e. networking. So switch off the computer and start looking up your contacts. Make a list of the most influential people in your network and pick up the phone to the top 20%. There’s sure to be a headhunter in amongst them! Reaching out to others and forging beneficial relationships is your most direct route to employment.
Are you being reactive rather than proactive?
Don’t wait for the jobs to come to you. Make them come to you instead! Create a list of 10 companies you would love to work for then as you network, let your contacts know about your top ten and ask them if they know anyone who works or has worked for them. Once you get a name, however tenuous, you can set up a meeting and start building inroads towards where you want to be.
Are you on top of your game?
Like it or not, an effective job search requires an organised approach. Make lists and set yourself daily and weekly goals that will move you forward. You need to treat the job search like a full-time job. You’ll probably need to create spreadsheets to keep track of the interviews or meetings you’ve had, who you’ve sent your CV to, the correspondence you’ve received…
Put the hours in upfront and you will reduce the time it takes until you’re heading out the door to that exciting new job.
How long have your job searches taken? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
The Works Search and Selection specialise in placing mid - senior level roles in PR and corporate communications with some of the most exciting companies in London. Do get in touch if you think you're a highflyer looking for a step up or indeed if you need support with finding a hidden gem for your team.