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In the midst of a recession it might not be a bad idea to take a deep dive in the world of job hunting. Better safe than sorry, right? What are the best places to land a new job? Or, where to go?
Job search history
Times are changing fast. This goes for almost all aspects of our lives and it’s therefore not a surprise that it’s applicable to finding your next great job. It’s hard to imagine but it is only five decades ago that you have to hit the road to land a new job. Job hunters in the 70s had to (physically) walk office by office, carrying their resume, whilst typing it out on a typewriter. Job adds in local newspapers would encourage people to enquire by phone or in person. On top of that, to do successful research on a company and prepare for the interview, you would have to go to the library. Nowadays our kids might ask, what is a library?
From the 80s, life got a bit easier because you could send resume by fax, but it wasn’t until the 90s that the internet came along and applying online or by e-mail (slowly) made its introduction.
From those early days of the internet until now, a lot has changed. In 1997, only 1 out 5 companies would recruit new staff by using online platforms. However, this number has grown exponentially, when internet adoption grew exponentially.
In the 2000s, a new problem occurred. Many tech workers suddenly had skills that were unmarketable, taken over by the internet and automation. Throw in the Great Recession and a big number of people was looking for a new job at the same time.
Job boards made applying easier than ever before. Unfortunately, because of the immensely high number of applicants and automated screening tools, many good candidates were overlooked. As a result employers became increasingly focused on qualifications and all the boxes needed to be crossed for any candidate to survive the initial screening process. In order to land a job, networking became a critical practice as referred candidates had one step ahead in the process and were given a much closer look. With the arrival of LinkedIn in 2003, networking became easier.
Nowadays, with the internet already fully adopted, the place to find your next job is still shifting. Private, online communities are growing in popularity and are used more and more to post or search for vacancies.
What started off as small online groups of professionals in a similar field bouncing ideas of each other, grew out to platforms with 10 thousands of workers. These platforms are a superpower group. When professionals gets stuck on a specific problem, it can get fixed in minutes by other professionals in the same industry that are now suddenly only one click away.
These platforms are not only used for helping each other out in work problems, but often also work as a job board. Multiple vacancies are posted every week.
Additionally, community members can give each other the latest intel on positions within their company, giving them a head start in the application process. Some members may have already made a name for themselves by helping others out and solving their problems efficiently and professionally.
A much-used program for setting up branded communities, is Slack, which grew to over 20 million users since the first launch in 2014.
How are online community platforms different from Facebook or LinkedIn groups?
For starters, the intention of a person scrolling through a social network is different than a person who purposely engages with a specific community. To gain real community engagement users need to feel a certain level of safety and privacy. Where open social networks are often not the best place to ask all your questions, private communities can give more sense of belonging and members will probably be more helpful towards each other. Communities are a great way to share and showcase expertise, without the information getting diffused in the chaos of open social networks.
There are more benefits to private communities. Creating a branded community gives you more control than showcasing your brand on social networks. It is like building your house on owned land vs. building your house on rented land. On a social network you will always be subjective to the network’s rules and changes.
You will also have a better ability to protect your members’ privacy and your own information. And last, when building a private community, you will have access to all data you gain from your users, helping to understand your group and enhancing the community experience for them. Insights are key.
From wandering the streets with a typed-out resume to joining online niche communities from the comfort of your own home. Job searching has come a long way.
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