The jobsearch process is complicated because it varies depending upon you, the role you want to perform, and the company who has a vacancy

Broadly, the jobsearch process can be summarised as follows but will vary depending on the role, organisation and industry: 

  • Understanding yourself: Recognise your own skills, experience and motivations
  • Think about what you want to do: Decide what type of work you’d like to do and for what type of organisation
  • Jobsearch: Find organisations with suitable openings or opportunities for people with your skills and experience
  • Job application: Express your interest in the role and secure employer interest in your skills and experience
  • Interview or selection: Meet the employer and through a combination of interview and or assessment activities prove your suitability for the role
  • Offer and induction: Agree an employment contract and plan to start work

You are unlikely to be the only person interested an a particular job

The jobsearch process is complicated by the fact that there may be more than one suitable candidate looking for the role. Employers run recruitment and selection processes to achieve 2 objectives:

  • To find candidates who have the MINIMUM skills required to perform the role satisfactorily
  • To select the BEST candidate from those who have the MINIMUM skills.

Typically, where employers have more than one suitable applicant, they will run a recruitment and selection process to help them objectively decide which candidate to hire. The theory of most recruitment processes is that the employer starts with a number of interested applicants, and as they undertake recruitment and selection activities, they end up with only those to whom they want to offer a role. 

Depending upon the company, the role and the number of applicants, processes can vary and it is impossible to assign either rules or an order to the process

Some or all of the following principles tend to underpin how people get jobs and how employers find employees.

  • It’s a two-way process: You have skills, knowledge and experience to offer an employer and they have work/payment and experience to offer you. The same logic applies to the process of finding work. You are looking for an employer who wants your skills and they are looking for an employee who has your skills. This principle is important to understand, as we often forget that the employer needs something too. If they don’t find someone to fill that vacancy, something suffers in their business, usually customers who have to wait longer or colleagues who have to work harder!

  •  In order to secure a job that you have applied for, 2 things need to happen:
    1. You need to satisfy the employer that you can undertake the role and perform it to their satisfaction
    2. You need to illustrate that you can do so better than anyone else who has applied. Therefore, all jobsearch activity needs to illustrate that you understand what they need, but also that you have something unique to offer.

  •  You are likely to have to apply for more than one job to successfully secure one. The companies you apply to are likely to move at different paces. Therefore, you will probably be at different points of the jobsearch process with different employers at the same time.

  • Filling roles with the right candidate is arguably as difficult for employers as it is for jobseekers. In the same way that you have difficult decisions to make, based on one or two conversations, so do they. They don’t want to hire the wrong person. This principle also goes some way to explain why sometimes employers don’t always provide feedback if you’re unsuccessful. They put most of their efforts into finding the right candidates, and disappointing as it might sound, they may not have the resources to help those candidates they choose not to hire.