June 28, 2023

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Recruiting: Why You NEED to Have Backup Plans

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Episode Highlights

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Having a Plan B is crucial both when planning an adventure and when searching for a new job. It is essential to navigate uncertainties, mitigate risks, adapt to challenges, and maximize opportunities. It provides a safety net and ensures that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way, increasing your chances of a successful and fulfilling experience. Join us in a fireside chat with Cory and Marc as they discuss the comparison and the importance of having a backup plan in both scenarios.

Episode Transcript

Okay. Yeah, I think it’s a great idea to just kind of record this and see what happens. Yeah, agreed. I mean, it’s really interesting what we’ve been speaking about, and I think it could be super helpful to some people. Yeah, totally. So let’s see what happens. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, so my name’s Marc, Marc Dobkin. I’m a recruiter at Hirewell, and this is my colleague Cory. We’re actually here in my backyard in Boise. He’s visiting from out of town. And both of us kind of do a lot of adventuring, I guess in a sense. And we were kind of just talking about some of the similarities between our adventures and also recruiting.

At first you wouldn’t really see some of those similarities. Yeah, definitely. But, there certainly are. And we were just chatting about some of our recent adventures, and of course since we’re colleagues, it kind of turns into a work conversation and before you know it, we’re making comparisons between what he does and what I do and also recruiting.

So I’ll just let Cory introduce himself and yeah, tell us about what you’ve been doing lately. Yeah, thanks, Marc. Yeah, Cory Kazmierski here, recruiter here at Hirewell on the managed services/managed tech team, I guess you could say. But yeah, my wife and I, we travel full-time, kind of around the country, do like month long Airbnb stays in different cities, so was lucky enough to be able to meet up with Marc here in Boise. And, yeah, nice to be able to have this conversation.

Yeah. Awesome. So I’m a recruiter on the manufacturing and supply chain team at Hirewell and what I typically do, I mean, all my adventures vary, but anything from hiking, backpacking, over landing, or off-roading, things like that. So, we were initially talking about Cory’s adventures and I have a lot of questions for Cory because it intrigues me. Yeah. It’s something I wish I could do, but I’ve got two young kids and just kind of picking up and leaving isn’t really in our future, but it’s nice that you could do that.

Yeah. But yeah, I mean like, so you’ve been sort of traveling for, how long has it been now? About nine, 10 months. Dang. Yeah. Wow. It’s been a while. Yeah. Yeah. How do you like plan on which cities you’re going to go to? What’s the criteria there as far as what cities you’re going to pick?

Yeah, definitely. Great question. Yeah, I mean, the biggest thing I think is, the goal of our overall trip was to see all 50 states. So, we had seen I think 20 something states previously, before we started the trip. So the goal was to, “Hey, let’s see, the rest of the 30 states we haven’t seen.”

So we’ve just kind of put a general map together around some big events that we had planned throughout the year, and just kind of cruise the states to be able to check off some of the different areas that we hadn’t seen. Yeah. So, in terms of just some of the things we look for, when we’re traveling, obviously need to work remotely. So wifi speed’s very important. Having a dedicated workspace for at least one of us, is an important thing.

My wife, she has two or three monitors that she uses and they’re pretty critical to her. So having a dedicated desk or kitchen table, somewhere that she can work off of and set up, you know, important part of it. I’m a little more flexible where I can work out of a bedroom or wherever I need to. So just making sure we have a dedicated workspace. Some places don’t offer that ironically, so that’s a big one. Just making sure that we’re in a quieter area. You don’t want to be on a road that trucks are driving on every day.

They’re looked out of construction. Something like that. Speaking of, we might hear a little construction in the background. So yeah, I mean those are some of the things that we look for in some of the different spots that we book. Gotcha. What’s your favorite city so far?

So I would have to say it’s a mix of either Kansas City, Missouri, great food, great people, great culture there. Lot of outdoor stuff. And honestly, Boise. We love Boise so far. That’s what we’re talking about! It’s a great city. Ton of green space, lot of outdoor stuff. It’s great to be able to see coworkers on the road, we don’t get that often.

So yeah, it’s been nice to hang out with you a couple different days and things like that, so yeah. Yeah, we had a lot of fun. Yeah, I mean that’s primarily why we chose to move here to Boise was just the sort of access to all the outdoor adventuring we could do around here. Yeah. I mean, we’ve got the mountains, within minutes, from here.

It’s a great space. I could get off grid and get lost for within an hour of driving from here. And sort of get that time alone to decompress and reset sometimes. And as you know, we need that in recruiting. Absolutely. Especially right now, the job market seems, you know, it’s a little up and down. Yeah, just a little.

You sometimes need to get away a little bit. Totally. So as far as like the logistics, I’ve been like very curious about that. I’m just thinking, you must be thinking about like, how am I going to go from this city to this city, to this city? So you’re thinking far ahead and I’m wondering like, when do you start planning and reserving an Airbnb for the next city and the one after that and all of that.

I’d love to hear more about the logistics there. Yeah, for sure. So, yeah, I mean, I guess it’s twofold. One, in an ideal world we have all the time to plan ahead that we want. I would, ideally in a perfect world, love to book an Airbnb like three months in advance. That would be ideal.

There’s a lot more options. I think prices are probably a little bit cheaper, looking a little bit further out. Yeah. Realistically it turns into, sometimes last minute decisions. Sometimes we have a week or two to book an Airbnb. But yeah, I mean, ideally, like I said, the goal is to book something at least a month ahead of time.

Just to save on some of the costs have a little bit more flexibility there. I guess, this is a recruiting show after all, so, I’d love to turn that on to a recruiting front. Like I said, it’s kind of like a job search, right?

Yeah, absolutely. You want to ideally be able to take control of a job search, start seeking out something new on your own terms is kind of I think the ideal goal for everybody in a job search. Like you have a little bit more flexibility when you’re able to do that. Yeah. Yeah. I found that really interesting. I mean, the comparison between the logistics, as far as planning your trip, to, like your job search. Yeah. So I mean, that’s primarily why we wanted to talk about this.

Absolutely. So yeah, I mean, sorry to interrupt. No, no, you’re fine. Let’s hear about it. Yeah, I mean, like I said, it’s one of those things where, like I said, you want to plan ahead. Like when you’re looking for a new job, like ideally you’re in a stable job right now and you can be a little bit more flexible with some of the things you’re looking for, in something new.

Whether it’s, if you’re in tech, a specific tech stack or specific technologies that you want to work with, is there a specific type of environment you want to be in? Kind of similar to the Airbnb, it’s like, what of our must-haves in a Airbnb versus what’s the must haves in a job search?

Everyone’s going to be a little bit different and planning ahead gives you that flexibility. Unfortunately right now we’re dealing with a lot of the layoffs. Yeah. So, sometimes those do catch people off guard and you have to be a little bit more flexible in terms of, “Hey, what are the must haves versus, what am I going to be able to flex on a little bit?”

And I think being open-minded about some of those things are what’s really important given some of the market conditions that we’re ending up in right now. But I think that’s always why it’s important to plan ahead. Yeah. Well, you you raised an interesting point, so, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are about like, planning ahead if you have a job, because there have been layoffs, so, people get a little caught off guard if they’re laid off and then they scramble to update their resume and they don’t have a plan for finding that next job.

So like, what’s sort of the importance of actually planning ahead, even if you’re in a comfortable situation. There’s always the importance of kind of thinking in the back of your mind that you should sort of be planning for the unknown just in case something happens.

Even if you are comfortable and stable in your job, you never know what could happen. Totally. So like, what are some of the aspects that some people can do when they’re in a comfortable position, but, what people should be doing right now. Yeah. Even if they have a job. Yeah. No, that’s a great question.

Yeah, I mean, I think some of the biggest things that I would recommend to anybody out there, whether you’re looking or not, like make sure to keep your resume updated. I think a lot of us fall into the trap of “Hey, let’s just update our resumes when we are starting to look for something new” and you kind of forget some of those valuable or more critical, maybe goals that you accomplish at your current job.

Especially, I think a lot of times, whether it’s tech or sales or marketing, manufacturing, whatever it might be, I think you always, one of the most important things I tell candidates, like on your resume is you want to have things that you accomplished.

“Hey, I did this, it saved my company X amount of dollars, X amount of time.” Good point. And I think you lose track of some of those things if you wait three, five years to update your resume. So always keeping the resume updated, I think is one. Two, I think just building connections. In general, either in your industry. Whether it’s conferences, just staying up to date with people on LinkedIn, seeing what other competitors in your industry are doing.

And just having like friendly conversations on LinkedIn. Like I think a lot of the times we use LinkedIn as just a job search platform, but I think it’s important to just build relationships in general and be not as transactional on LinkedIn as I think a lot of people are. Absolutely. So I think, yeah, just building those relationships in your network.

Free job search, I think is critical. I see more and more every day on LinkedIn of people finding their next job through connections that they’ve made and through networking on LinkedIn. Absolutely. That’s usually where I hear most of the success stories. Because I speak with a lot of candidates who been on the job market for a few months.

They’re struggling and when I ask what they’ve been doing and it’s just applying to jobs. Yeah, and I guess, sometimes that works and in the past maybe it did, but I think using LinkedIn to go a little bit further and use it for networking purposes is important because most of the people that I do talk to, who have only been on the job market for a short period of time, have used their connections and used their network on LinkedIn to find that job. So I think you need to take that extra step.

Yeah. I think it’s so critical, especially in a market today where it’s so competitive, there’s so many candidates out there on the market, how do you stand out? And I think it’s making those connections ahead of time and building those relationships organically. And not just, “Hey, I need help, give me an interview.” I think that is really critical. Especially in times like these when it’s so competitive. Yeah, absolutely. I think that some of the things you’ve mentioned are some of the things that I have in my mind as far as comparisons to what some of my adventuring is, as a matter of fact.

Yeah, no, that was what I was going to ask next is just how do you prepare for some of the adventures that you take. It’s obviously a little different than mine, so. Yeah. Yeah. So, as I was saying, I had this trip planned over Memorial Weekend to go out to a place, just across the border, in Oregon, in Southeast Oregon called the Owyhee Cayonlands

It’s notorious for having sort of like red muddy clay if it rains. So I had been planning this trip with my friend for two, three months. And I’m sort of now getting into over landing, which is essentially sort of off-road camping. Yeah. Similar to backpacking, but with a car, so. Yeah, absolutely.

We had been planning this for months and I’d been looking at the weather sort of the week of, and come to find out, there was going to be some storms over that weekend and they were going to be hit or miss, but me not having enough experience and it being super muddy out there and even the most skilled over landers can get stuck out there.

Totally. Yeah. That’s dangerous. So it’s important that when you’re overlanding, go out with a group of people or at least one other car just in case you get stuck. In this case, it was just going to be me and my friend. Sure. So we wouldn’t have another car, but of course we’d have, communication and GPS, two-way receiver, and navigation and all of that. But, I guess the point is that I needed to come up with a backup plan. Sure. And I’m always-

Every adventure I do has a backup plan. Yeah. Whether it’s backpacking or overlanding, hiking, camping, there’s a backup plan with a camp spot, A, B, C, D, and E. Yeah. Just in case one is filled and the next one is filled or whatever.

But for this particular trip, we needed a backup because I wasn’t about to risk going out there and even getting stuck in a little bit of mud. Yes, we would’ve had communication, but I mean it’s far out in the sticks, and there could have been likely a chance of not seeing anybody for a full day, maybe even the entire weekend we were out there.

Yeah. so, I have the emergency Garmin inReach Mini where I could call emergency services to rescue us. But still I’m not going to risk that so I needed a backup plan. Sure. Right. So, I found a place that we could sort of off-road and camp out in the mountains rather than down in the desert, in the canyonlands.

Whereas, the mud isn’t as notorious. Sure. And we wouldn’t get stuck. So, that was sort of the backup plan. But, like I said, in every sort of aspect, every adventure I do, there’s always some sort of backup upon a backup upon another one. Sure. If that means like I have digital navigation, but I also bring a printed map as well, just in case the phone dies. Or if I have navigation on my car, the car doesn’t start, whatever it is. You got to have a map.

Or if I’m out of cell phone service and I can’t get in touch with emergency services or my wife and kids just to talk to them. Sure. I have the two-way satellite receiver where I can actually text my wife through an app on my phone using the satellite system.

And then I can also use the navigation through that if I am out of a service area. There’s always these backups. Yeah. And like Cory and I were talking about, same goes true with your job search. Yeah. It’s always important. Like I said, I talk to people that have been looking for work for a while and, it turns out they’re only just applying to jobs.

Yeah. And they’re blindly and massively applying to hundreds of jobs and it’s not working out for them. So, my next question is, well, have you taken a step back to sort of reassess what’s not working? Yeah. And some people don’t do that. So it’s like, what is the plan B?

Right. Absolutely. If plan A is just applying to jobs, what’s your plan B? And to some of your points, it can be using your network. Are you optimizing your LinkedIn? Are you sort of reviewing your resume again to see, maybe, perhaps you need to be taking a look at a job description and cross-referencing it with your resume?

Definitely. And finding a lot of keywords to add to your resume, as long as they make sense legitimately for your background. Sure, yeah. And your skillset right?

But are you making sure that some of those common keywords for the type of jobs that you’re applying to are on your resume and on your LinkedIn?

Because guess what, I mean, that’s primarily what we’re using to find candidates. Absolutely. We grab a job description and we look for those keywords that are going to be commonly found on somebody’s profile or on their resume. And that’s how we find candidates. So are you doing that to be able to have recruiters find you?

Yes. I think that’s critical. Something else you can be doing is using your network to join groups within your industry. Start to talk with people within your industry, find out where they work. Maybe you have some companies in mind that you want to target, that you really want to work for.

So find some people that work for those companies in those groups that you’ve joined or just reach out and connect with some of those employees at that organization. And start up a brief relationship with them, start talking to them, get to know them a little bit. And that way when a position does open with that company you know that person, maybe well enough, that they’d be willing to share your resume with the talent acquisition team? Yeah. Or the hiring manager, perhaps. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean it’s close to kind of like the planning ahead, if there’s job or companies out there that you would love to work at one day.

Reach out to people like, “Hey, can I spend 10, 15 minutes just to chat with you about what it’s like to work here?” Maybe, it’s not a place you talk to somebody and it’s not a place or an environment that you feel you would fit in. It might be a company you’re interested in, but maybe it’s not the right environment for you.

Absolutely. You can get to know the culture as well before you even apply for the position. Exactly. Which is a great point. Some other things you can be doing is reaching out to recruiters directly at that company. I talk to a lot of candidates who apply to a position and they leave it at that, right?

Yeah. And they don’t maybe perhaps hear back from anybody at that company. So I ask like what are you doing to take it a step further? And usually the answer is nothing. Right. So, what can you do to reach out to a recruiter as your plan B? Craft a detailed, but specific and short message to a recruiter.

There’s nothing worse than reaching out to a recruiter and saying, “Hey, here’s my resume. Can you help me find a job?” Yeah. Right. They’re likely not going to respond back. Yeah, we’re all very busy. But if you reach out and connect and say, “Hey, I applied to this job, this is my background and why I feel like I would be beneficial bringing these skills into the company and can we connect? Would you be open to having a brief conversation?” At least get on that recruiter’s radar and maybe perhaps they don’t even respond back, but they’ve seen your message. Totally. And if they come across your application in the database- your name might ring a bell. Yeah, it’s going to ring a bell.

Yeah, I mean I look at kind of to your point, like I feel like those organic reach outs and those well crafted messages to a recruiter internally, kind of the modern day cover letter in a sense. Exactly. Like I know a lot of companies are going away with the cover letter, don’t require one. A lot of people don’t like to write a cover letter.

I get it. But yeah, I mean I think just reaching out to someone organically like that, just getting on their radar whether they answer or not, to your point, like maybe they crossed your resume. “Hey, like this name sounds familiar. Why does it sound familiar? Oh look, this guy does have perfect experience for this role. Like let’s reach out.” Whether it’s through that LinkedIn message you sent or not, like maybe your name does pop up and that’s how you get to meet it. Yeah, absolutely.

And another thing you can do, I mean as far as like getting on a recruiter’s radar, if you’re targeting a company that you’re interested in and you follow that company on LinkedIn, a recruiter on our side, if they come across your profile in their search for your type of background, they’re going to notice that you follow the company.

Yeah. So they’re going to be eager to reach out to you because for one, they’ve identified you as being a fit through those keywords. Totally. But two, they see that “Hey, this person’s actually interested in our company.” Yeah. So, likely I’m going to get a response back to this candidate.

So if you follow the company, that’s good for the recruiters to see, but additionally, if you’re targeting that company and you follow the company and you set up alerts, if you’re struggling to apply and you go to apply and you see hundreds of other candidates are applying to that position and that discourages you.

Set up alerts for a company. Sure. Because then you’ll get alerted to when a position opens and then maybe perhaps you can be one of the first to actually apply. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Setting alerts on LinkedIn, I would say are so critical if there are companies that you’re interested in. Again, it goes back to just kind of that planning ahead.

You don’t have to be on the market and looking for a new job to set up a job alert. Just because you set up job alerts, you don’t have to necessarily be open and looking for something new but, it allows you that, again, flexibility to plan ahead if you need to.

Yeah, absolutely. Cory, I see you’re crying. I can tell this is a really good conversation. That really hit home. It does. It does. I’m very dedicated. Seriously, sorry about the smoke. No, you’re good. Hey, we’re in the outdoors. It happens. Yeah. This is what happens. So yeah, we thought we’d just record this and see what happens.

It was an interesting conversation. Yeah, definitely. And how we can sort of compare our adventures to what we do every single day. Absolutely. I mean this is the life we live, primarily adventuring and working and yeah, recruiting is everything. Yeah. So, yeah. I think that was all great advice.

Yeah. And hopefully, hopefully that’ll be beneficial to anybody listening here. So, thanks so much for joining our fireside chat. Yeah. No, it was great. Yeah. Hopefully more advice to come. Absolutely. Take care. See you guys.

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