Don’t be a Stranger! Acquaintances Land the Good Jobs: Part 1

04 Feb 2016

Wondering why it so often happens that all the networking and hooked-up people seem to cruise into the best jobs while those trying to make it on their own merit struggle, or end up in roles which don’t allow them to reach their potential?

3 Reasons It Pays to Become an Acquaintance

1. Acquaintances Have a Leg-Up on Strangers When it comes to Recruiters

When a recruiter calls-up a person they have already had dealings with to gauge their interest in a possible new position the conversation usually flows more easily, is always centred on their career and is often exploratory.

These people are often contacted first, before strangers are even considered for the job in question. The acquaintance has already built a bit of a relationship with the recruiter and vice-versa. The recruiter is often confident from the get-go when contacting an acquaintance they deem suitable because they have a decent understanding of the acquaintances strengths and career goals.

On the other hand, when a recruiter phones a new person whom they do not know, the conversation is more formal, consisting mostly of ticking the boxes to find out if the person is even qualified for the position discussed. The potential candidate meanwhile, is usually more concerned with what the role entails exactly, who the company is, where it is located and other specifics of the job.

2. Experience and Skills Play Second Fiddle to Past Performance When Hiring Managers Evaluate the Suitability of People They Already Know

How well-suited an acquaintance is for a promotion is often based on their previous on-the-job performance.

Strangers, on the other hand, are assessed on the extent of their skills and experience directly related to the position on-offer. The jobs they land are often representative of sidewards transfers into a similar position reminiscent of the one they have just left.

3. Hiring Managers Consider Referrals first, before Strangers Even Get a Look-In and they Judge Referrals more fairly

Referrals have a much better chance of being seen, even if the person hiring has not dealt with the referral candidate personally. Referrals are placed on top of the CV stack, while a stranger’s resume is relegated to the bottom where they are often forgotten, never to be perused at all, as a hiring decision has often already been made before the manager has even reached the bottom part of the pile. 

Referrals are given more reasonable consideration and hiring managers often simply just assume they are competent when it comes to their performance (otherwise why would they have been referred in the first place?).

Even if the referred person’s experience and skill-set are not quite what the position requires, they benefit from being given more leniency and flex-room than strangers when it comes to their suitability for the position on offer.

Whereas a candidate who has not been referred must continually hammer-home their competency for the position throughout the conversation with the hiring manager.

What Can A Stranger Do to Improve Their Chances?

If you’re a stranger to hiring managers, what can you do to turn things around? We will have the answers for you in Part 2 of Don’t be a Stranger! Acquaintances Land the Good Jobs.

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