Let’s face it: whether you are on the hiring side or on the hunting side for a job, the process is inevitably more difficult when the company does not have an opening. However, it is also a common misconception that this condition renders the employment process impossible.
Initially, the misconception makes perfect sense; if there is no job for someone, how and why would a company hire the applicant? But the truth of the matter is this– it matters less if there is a job opening, and more if there is an exceptionally qualified applicant. Some professional football teams use this approach in the Collegiate draft. They hire the best talented players regardless of need. Simply, they accumulate the best available talent at different positions and then decide what to do with them. These teams either transfer the new talented player to a new position, replace an existing player upgrading the position with the new talent and trading the previous player, or groom the new talented player for a future vacant opportunity.
In fact, smart companies are getting ahead of the competition by hiring skilled professionals even if there is not yet a job opening for them.
This strategy ensures that talented individuals with specific skill sets in competitive areas will be a part of the company’s team early on, facilitating the transition when an opening does arise.
This strategy is a preventative approach to avoid potential lost revenue and prolonged searches that often result from talent shortages. It also allows employees to spread the workload, counteracting the possibility of burnout among current personnel. Essentially, smart companies stockpile highly skilled professionals, earning a competitive edge in their industry by securing coveted talent for which a position can likely be created afterwards.
This is good news for sophisticated candidates seeking employment, who are often led to believe that if the job market is oversaturated, their chances of being hired are slim to none.
However, this also means that it is necessary, now more than ever, to stand out as an applicant. This leads us to the not-so-good news: with the applicant pool becoming increasingly competitive, standing out as an applicant has become a much harder endeavor to accomplish.
In order to successfully brand yourself as an active candidate who is worth being hired even without an opening, you should make sure your business presence is smart and dynamic. For instance, this can mean keeping an up-to-date online profile on resources such as LinkedIn, and posting relevant comments and articles on other digital platforms in order to craft a uniquely and professionally defined social media identity.
You should also network and reach out to high level executives and C-Suite. Senior executives are always looking for talent, regardless of whether or not they have a formal opening. Most of the time they do not but they are always looking to topgrade.
Moreover, now is the time to build and benefit from your network. Not only can this help you learn about new opportunities, but it will also facilitate obtaining recommendations and having referrals; not to mention, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door, especially at a company that isn’t looking to hire.
Researching the company is also an important step to take. This way, it will be easier to convince the hiring manager why you belong there, and how you can add to the company’s culture. You need to show the company why it is a smart business move to hire you even if there isn’t an available job at the moment.
If you’re looking to land your next job at a company without job openings, you should not necessarily be discouraged– it’s up to you to show the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job, and the right fit for the company.
On the other hand, if you are a company seeking to attract the right person in a tight talent market make sure you have a system that ensures that your talent acquisition processes focus on identifying and hiring the candidate values and specific skill set required to succeed in your company, and the talent management processes that promote and retain high performers.
Check out our blog for some additional tips and guidance to help you along the way!
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP), the Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.
At Barbachano International, we understand the importance of recruiting and the return on investment that top talent can deliver for you. With 27 years in the industry, we know firsthand how imperative it is for an organization to have the right people to achieve its business objectives. We help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying top performers for your team that result in long-term success.