Informational Gravity

As someone who worked in the world of “jobs” in one way or another for many years, something always bugged me. Why is the model always “companies post jobs, and then workers pitch themselves?”

See, I think there’s actually a lot of merit to the reverse, as a system. When I was a recruiter, I was very proactive – I sought people out to pitch roles to them. I generally posted job ads as a last resort. The result was definitely more work, but also much more success on my part. Better matches between worker and role, longer tenure in the resulting relationships, etc.

But I’ve realized why it was more work, and why most people don’t do it this way. Because, as a rule, people with less information seek connections in the direction of people with more information, not the reverse.

On average, before any connection has been made, a candidate knows a lot more about a company & role than the company knows about the candidate. Most people are ghosts, with zero ability to find out anything about them unless they volunteer that information to you. This means a company can’t really seek out candidates, because candidates aren’t advertising!

As a recruiter, my method of proactively seeking candidates had one major flaw – I could only ever hope to find candidates who were sending up smoke signals. People who, whether they were actively looking for work or not, were advertising their skill set in some way. People who were writing articles, giving talks, or being active in community spaces. Visible people.

The bad news for the world is that unless this becomes something virtually everyone does – put up more professional information about them than the average company puts up about the average role – then the system itself is unlikely to change. (And this is a shame because the average company puts almost no meaningful information out there about themselves or the roles they’re hiring for, but that’s still more than most candidates advertise about themselves, as a rule.)

The good news for you is that being the exception to that rule gives you incredible leverage. If you create more public information about you than the average employer creates about themselves, then the informational gravity starts pulling the other way.

Make yourself findable – I promise you, people are looking.

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