by Pierre Coupet
Fierce Competition Due to Widely Available Highly Specialized Knowledge
As to why there is such fierce competition, the principal reason is because we are living in an information age whereby highly specialized knowledge is widely available to all and no longer restricted to an elite few with advanced degrees from some of the most elite educational institutions in the world, the net effect of which is, "depressed wages." In fact, these very educational institutions, almost without exception and regardless of their pedigree on the world stage, are having a hard time catching up with all the innovation and highly specialized knowledge out there, struggling to reinvent themselves in order to remain relevant in the 21st century and beyond.
New Focus on Contribution of Practical Knowledge to Bottom Line
Candidates are no longer "primarily" evaluated on the basis of their "Ivy League" or "top 10 business schools" or any other so-called "top ...." background. As well, they are no longer strictly evaluated on the basis of how many years of experience and the standard personal references. The emphasis on what a candidate truly knows and can readily contribute to an employer's bottom line is the new focus due to the "absolutely fierce competition" that employers themselves are being subjected to.
Consequently, what this means is that, regardless of who the players are (employers, current employees or candidates), there is absolutely no room for mediocrity, thus creating this atmosphere of fierce competition across all sectors.
The Status Quo on How to Stand Out Is Not Enough
So, as a candidate for one of these positions, besides social networking and social job search, how do you make yourself stand out from all these other superstar candidates out there in "your neck of the wood"? Being one of these old-timer recruiters going back to the 80's - ancient is more like it - back in the days, we used to counsel our candidates on how to interview for a position, proper attire, background info on the hiring managers, our client's corporate culture, how to create a killer cover letter and resume, compensation advice, and all the other mumbo jumbo stuff that typical recruiters and executive search consultants do to help their candidates "stand out" in order to secure a position.
Sadly, that is not enough in today's day and age; but if that is not enough, then what the hell is? Well, calm down a bit--didn't mean to ruffle your feathers--and let me give you the simple answer you've been waiting for.
How to Stand Out From Other Superstar Candidates
Turn the Tables Around. Instead of being one out of hundreds or thousands of candidates looking to get this Awesome Job with this one employer, turn the tables around and become this One Awesome Candidate looking to get a job with one out of hundreds or thousands of employers worldwide looking to fill an awesome position.
Establish a Global Footprint. The best way to do that is to increase your footprint to a global level. Make the entire world the location where your prospective employer can be located and let that be known to these prospective employers who may have a need for your services; regardless as to whether or not any of these employers ever even thought about recruiting someone outside of their local area AND regardless of any existing corporate recruitment policy they may have in place. The best part of it all is that you get to stay right where you are this minute, if you so desire; in other words, you don't have to relocate if you don't want to.
This strategy calls for the following:
- Attach a cover letter to your resume which tells your prospective employer (right now it would be the recruiter or corporate recruiter reviewing your resume) that you are also available to work for the employer in a "virtual" or "virtual organization" environment IF they never thought about recruiting someone for the position outside of their local area or certain geographical area, or if their existing corporate recruitment policy does not allow for non-local candidates due to "relocation costs" or any other factors; AND
- You are willing to allow them to subject you to a "virtual organization aptitude assessment" conducted by an independent, third-party, world-renowned virtual organization aptitude assessment solutions provider in order that your prospective employer can determine whether or not "you are able to thrive--and LEAD--in a 'virtual' or 'virtual organization' environment."
- (Please do NOT mention any variation of these deadly words, "telework, flexible work, work remotely, work from home, home office, virtual team, managing in absentia," in your cover letter. As well, do NOT explicitly mention Virtual Organization Recruiter, only copy and paste the foregoing link as shown.)
- Provide them with an opportunity to schedule an On-Demand videoconference with you regardless of time zone or location. Let them know there is no need to go back and forth with respect to scheduling the interview or meeting date and time; and that the time and date they select will automatically be confirmed and the videoconference details will be sent to them almost instantly along with a meeting reminder up to 10 minutes before the meeting time. (If you don't know how to do that, join me on the Virtual Organization Recruiter community on Google+ and I'll show you how.)
What are the advantages of such a bold and pro-active move?
First and foremost, assuming that all things are equal (meaning you are really an Awesome Candidate that this employer just cannot afford to filter out right off the bat), you have basically differentiated yourself in a positive way from all the other candidates out there. Some candidates brag about how they "think out-of-the-box" but, in your case, you would actually be "acting out-of-the-box."
Second, now you are no longer one out of many desperate candidates chasing One Awesome Opportunity with One Employer. You are now One Awesome Candidate under consideration by Hundreds of Employers for Hundreds of Awesome Opportunities.
Third, there are a lot of good and practical reasons why an employer will not consider non-local candidates or what they call "remote workers, teleworkers, work-at-home personnel, home office-based workers, virtual workers, or flexible workers" and I happen to be in 1000% agreement with these employers. For myself as well as for many other employers out there, that brings to mind "nightmarish events" that no employer should ever willingly subject itself to.
However, that being said, the virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines have made 99.999% of these reasons obsolete - although the majority of employers and candidates don't really know much or anything about the existence of these two (2) disciplines.
Thus, it becomes incumbent on the candidate to educate their current and prospective employer that they (employers) now have other reliable and very viable options that they can--and should--consider when evaluating candidates for a position. Moreover, the fact that you, the candidate, are providing them with that information makes you a bit special--or different--in their eyes. It puts you squarely in the 21st century and innovation category.
Fourth, you are not asking the employer, as the expression goes, "to buy a pig in a poke" by only providing the employer with references (dubious and suspect, at best) from your friends, colleagues, and current or former associates about "how great you are at working - and LEADING - in a virtual environment."
Instead, you are confidently stating to your current or prospective employer, "Assess Me by an independent, world-renowned, competent third-party virtual organization aptitude assessment solutions provider and let the chips fall where they may!"
Fifth, and most importantly, this sort of bold and pro-active move provides you with plenty of options and frees (or greatly relieves) you from the normal fears and insecurities corporate executives and other personnel experience when considering a move: a) an opportunity you just can't afford to pass by because, if you do, it might be a very, very long time before another one comes your way, b) potential pay cut and loss of benefits, c) loss of seniority and advancement opportunities, d) trauma of relocation, e) adjusting to a new corporate culture and becoming a member of the good ol' boys/girls club, f) learning curve at new job, g) implicit or explicit probation period, and h) all other related personal and family issues.
While your colleagues are busy scrounging and stressing, hoping to get a tiny piece of one pie, you can set your sights on hundreds and thousands of pies by telling your prospective employers, "Assess Me!"
About Author: Pierre Coupet, CEO & Q of Virtual Organization Management is the founder of Virtual Organization Management Institute (VOMI), VOMI Virtual Organization Academy, and Virtual Organization Recruiter; and is also the founder of the modern virtual organization management and virtual organization recruitment disciplines pioneered since 1997. Contact directly at email@example.com; via the Virtual Organization Recruiter community to discuss this article; or via CHAT.