Mohammad Al-Ubaydli’s blog

Don’t just apply for jobs – be recruited!

Posted in Careers by Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli on April 21, 1999

Robert Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, once said that “‘B’ people hire ‘C’ people. ‘A’ people recruit ‘A’ people.” I’d never thought of what the difference between hiring and recruiting was till I heard that quote, but since then it’s made increasing sense.

Now, being a young, trendy, savvy, yet soon-to-be unemployed student, I started my job search on the internet. A medical friend of mine once found a very prestigious job at Jimmy’s hospital in Leeds using this method. After two weeks of scouring medical job sites, he found the one he wanted, asked for an interview, and got it. Just like that. Meanwhile I’d been trawling websites like monster.com for a whole year, and had plastered my qualifications all over such properties, waiting for that right job. I refuse to face the possibility that the problem lies in my qualifications. Certainly, my other friends who have employed similar methods have found similar success (or rather failure) rates.
Why is this? In his bestselling book, What color is your parachute, Richard Bolles says that employers are simply turned off by these sites. When these companies advertise having over 1 million job seekers, they’re not kidding. It’s not a question of standing out as an candidate, rather the effort the employers have to spend finding these differences. The technology is just not up to it.
Fortunately, I found DiversityNow. While monster is in the hiring business, DiversityNow is in the recruitment business. Their mission is what initially interested me. Diversity aim to put top employers in touch with top graduates, who are from minorities. They want to combat the under-representation of these groups. The process begins by registering your CV on their website. But once you’ve been through this screening process, Diversity’s staff begin an interviewing process. They get to know your skills, experience and aspirations. In other words, they get to know you. When an employer begins a search with DiversityNow, he tells them what kind of applicant he wants. I have no idea how they manage it, considering the thousands of names they have, but they do keep track. So although I’d applied for jobs at investment banks, Claire, from Diversity, emailed me one day to see if I was interested in a computer job. It’s because she knew my CV inside out, and knew I still had an interest developing those skills. Claire is, effectively, my agent, and I am grateful.
I recently heard a new twist on this recruitment process – Referrals.com. Recruitment companies get their money when they get an employer in touch with the correct candidate. Their reward is proportional to the candidate’s wages. Referrals.com aims to offer such rewards to anyone who gives the information. Most likely, that means your friends. If they read about a job on the site, think you’re qualified for it, hand you in to the employers, and you end up getting the job… they can earn $4000. I get a job, the employer recruits a worker, my friends make money, and Referrals.com gets a cut. A business model where everyone is happy.
So which of these methods is best? My theory – all of them have their place. Gurus predicted the death of books with the advent of the radio, TV, video and internet. Of course we now know that book sales are higher than ever. The fact is that new technology adds to the old, rather than replacing it. So I’ll continue to put my CV on as many websites as I can find. I’ll try to be extra nice to my friends, hoping they’ll think of me when visiting Referrals.com. And most importantly, I will await those promising emails from my agent, Claire.
References:
Monster.com – http://www.monster.co.uk
DiversityNow – http://www.diversitynow.net
Referrals.com – http://www.referrals.com
What color is your parachute, by Richard Bolles

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