Paralyzed HR, Active Progeeks

So yesterday, I mentioned that, based on what I've been reading and seeing in people I know doing a job search, the HR/recruiting system of many companies is essentially locked up:

  • When there is a system, it often is disempowered, has mixed duties, and either outsources a lot or isn't sure what to do.
  • Some companies have just turned to recruiters and tossed out some requests, making things more confusing.
  • In the wake of a rather paralyzed HR scene, some smart young companies are trying to jump into business – a sign there's easy pickings.
  • I hear constant complaints from everyone, a sign the whole HR/recruiting scene is not working for people – including those in it.

So my take?  It ain't working.

OK my fellow progeeks, we're smart, we're technical, we're geeky – how do we get around this?

Here's what you do:

  1. Keep using the old system – but maximize time for results.  Sure send out resumes, go to job ads, etc.  Just don't overdo it.  The value has been decreasing anyway.  You probably can create macros, standard emails, etc. you can use to speed this up.
  2. Go to the recruiters.  They're out there, they're busy, they're hungry, use them.  You've got phone books, the internet, and contacts.  Use them.
  3. Help people sell you.  You know what you do, you know what you're good at, you know the powers of your skills.  Other people do not, so you have to make sure your resumes, cover letters, etc. sell you.  You also have to step up and explain all the geektastic things you do to those who may not get it.
  4. Go farther.  Use that artistic skill to make killer business cards.  Use the web skills to make a personal web page.  Do that blog.  Leverage your knowledge of tech, media, and creativity to give yourself an edge with these "extras", enhancements, and edges
  5. Use the social media.  C'mon you probably know more about this than 75% of people out there.  Use this to leverage your job search by posting your needs, etc.
  6. Network like crazy.  Look, yes you've heard this before, and it's even more important than ever to use your business, fannish, and geeky connections to make contacts.  I don't care how introverted you are, networking can get you around the paralyzed recruiting systems, so do it.
  7. Use your hobbies.  Really, see if your D&D group members can help you find a job.  Honestly, why not see if your Gaia online group can help?  You've got these huge amounts of resources no one else has, talk to them!
  8. Use the news.  You're probably an information addict like me, you know industry news for your hobbies and passions – use it.  Company gets venture capital?  Send them a resume.  Company has a new project?  Send them a resume.  Company lays off people . . . er, don't send a resume.
  9.  Refer, refer, refer.  Keep all of your fan, friend, and hobby connections up to date so you know who's looking to jobs- and send them to recruiters and jobs and the like.  It'll build good allies.
  10. Imagination.  Look you're probably pretty imaginative – you may not even be able to slow it down.  USE IT.

OK, so we've got it – HR is paralyzed and often ineffective, recruiting is a mixture of confused, hungry, and unpredictable.  So you've got to leverage your progeek skills.

Because right now?  The situation isn't good.  You need to up your game because the game itself isn't make much sense.

Steven Savage