I received a question from a loyal reader named Ying the other day. Ying works in the PR world and has been thinking about moving jobs for while now, let’s hear what she has to say.
“I’m actively looking for a senior in-house PR/comms role in a large organization. Given the current competitive job market, is it more effective to go through recruitment agencies or to directly approach target companies?”
Ying already knows what role she is looking for and possibly what companies as well. This means there is little need for using job boards, this is a case of how to pitch yourself to the employer.
The market is very tough indeed and the best route to a new job is to get introduced to the company by someone credible. By that I mean someone the company trusts and that is willing to put their reputation on the line for you. This someone can either work for the company already, they could be a client or supplier or even a competitor.
In a perfect world, we would have great contacts at every company we want to work for. Whenever we felt like moving jobs, we’d ring that particular contact up and they would introduce us to the right people.
Some people have great networks and are actually close to this, but most of us don’t and have to look at other options.
By getting to know people that work for your target company, you will get a way in. The best way to strike up these acquantancies would be to attend industry events, networking evenings and using social media online to get close to the right people. Networking will take time and a great deal of effort. Don’t expect results to come in overnight and remember that being an effective networker is all about helping others and this way they will return the favor one day.
Using a recruiter basically means you are leveraging their network and contacts to get a new position. Some recruiters have great relationships with hiring managers and can smooth talk them into interviewing you, sometimes even when there is no position going. The recruiter route is quick and can be very effective, the downside is that it will cost the company money to hire you. By using a recuiter you are attaching a price tag to yourself, which for some companies can be an additional hurdle for you to get a job offer.
Networking, recruiters… which is better then?
I would say use both. The networking should really be an integral part to anyone’s career management. The thing with networking is that you never know when a good opportunity comes up, typically when you least expect it. With recruiters it’s more straightforward, they will only look at smoking hot positions that need to filled pronto.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.