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  • Writer's pictureMark Olivito

The Market For Talent & The Missing Element

This week I spent some time in the “talent market” after posting a job on Linked-In for a fairly senior position, specifically called out as the “Go-to” person for the functional area of the company.

Here’s my notes.

  • In less than a week a flood of people posted, I lost track of the total, so let’s call it 50.

  • About 80% of the total came within the first 24 hours of posting. Fatigue set in fast.

  • Only 3 people chose to attach a cover letter.

  • I printed every resume’ and put them in Pile A & Pile B.

    • Pile A: Do they have key paper credentials (degree & relevant experience) that would allow them to do the job?

    • Pile B: No qualifications, toss.

    • Pile A wound up with about 40 resume’s, only 10 were tossed.

The Sub-title of Hustle or Bust is: “Where Old School Meets New School.” (OSMNS)

I am fascinated with the pace of change that is happening around us, and those that CHOOSE to stay out front, those that do not, and how it all comes together for competitive advantage. Here’s some thoughts I had relative to OSMNS.

  • The cover letter is a lost art, or at least < 5% chose to attach one.

    • Note: The 3 I received were OK, not breath-taking, but the fact is with the majority choosing NOT to do it they certainly stood out.

  • Resume’s, at least in my experience serve one purpose: Get you to a LIVE conversation quickly.

  • They will be scanned fast!

    • I spent < 10 seconds on each one. I bet I’m not alone. To a job seeker, this could come off as “unfair,” which I understand. Fair or not, it’s reality.

The Brutal Market Reality: 80% made the cut as being credentialed, with a 10 second scan. Said differently the MARKET is telling me that there are plenty of choices. Lots of capable talent, in fact more that post CAN vs can NOT perform.

When there are PLENTY of choices, alternatives and diversity of options, that is great (although a bit overwhelming) for buyers. It can be hell for sellers.

Is there a more critical “Market” than the market for Talent? One more competitive, and maybe subjective?

  • For the seller (job seeker), they are looking to either put food on the table, or advance their standing in life. All sellers are “selling” for different reasons, but the moment they hit “apply,” the selling process has begun.

  • For the buyer, they are looking to fill a series of need for their business. Like Sellers, all BUYERS are different.

Building on the “Market” analogy, think about your grocery store experience. Have you ever walked down any aisle, pick an aisle and get the overwhelmed feeling? You can’t decide because there are so many choices of Soda, Chips, etc? You either can’t tell the difference or you can’t size up the differences in flavor, price, size? You may even give up and abandon the aisle all together. Brands fight this war daily, and it’s why Packaging is so important. At least it gives the product a CHANCE to be picked up and stand out.

This is not a story of Packaging, although if some were slicker than others, I may have made different decisions for who to reach out too, so it does matter.

There’s plenty of competence out in the market place. Lots of great educated people, with great diversity of experience.

However, there’s a formula required to enable that competence to stand out.

Leave out the Hustle and you are gambling. You’re at the mercy of a 10 second review and being put in a stack with 40 others.

The good news for those that are competent, but may be lacking on the other side of the equation? There are plenty of them. Make the choice to add a little Hustle and go after it. Your odds of standing out are HUGE.

Rarely does a market exist where a 100% controllable choice, that only costs time will allow you to stand out. Talent is that market.

Competence will put you in a pile. Hustle will yield opportunity.

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