EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

One of the core values of being a member of The FENG is that we share job leads.

There are a lot of reasons why we do this, and it isn’t just because it is a nice thing to do. It is actually a very smart thing to do. The only problem is that it is apparently a counter-intuitive idea. So, forgive me if I am going over old ground because you are one of those members who “gets it.”

Let me start you off with the idea that it is impossible to keep a secret these days about any job out in the market. If you still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, I suppose I will not be able to convince you otherwise, but you’ll have to trust me that it is a rare event indeed when there is only one candidate being considered for a job. Usually there are at least 20, 5 or more of whom will actually be interviewed. (Unfortunately, only one of the 5 will actually get hired, but I digress.)

Your actual choice in this world is whether or not you want to ensure your appropriate friends are considered for opportunities you are aware of, or if you prefer that the other folks who are being considered be strangers. I have often been heard to say that it is better that a friend gets the job than someone I don’t know, but perhaps, that’s just me.

On paper at least, you will find that all of the candidates who make it to the final list are technically qualified for the job. The person who gets the job is most likely to be the person who connects most strongly with the “boss.” Others competing for the same job may in fact on some objective basis be more qualified. But, the power of that personal relationship is what will almost always carry the day.

The next big idea I would share with you is that job leads are over valued. Most job seekers would pay a considerable sum of money to hear about a viable job lead for their skills. Hence the success of the public job boards. They sell lifejackets to people who are drowning, which wouldn’t be so bad if the lifejackets they sold actually worked.

If on the other hand, you are prepared to share your leads with those you know have background connections with you, it is more than a dream that they will feel compelled to share what they know with you. The way the math works, if there are 20 candidates, I guess all things being equal, you have a 1 in 20 shot of getting the job. So, in theory at least, if you share a job lead with 20 other qualified candidates, you should in short order hear about 20 jobs. (It’s one of those chain letter things.)

The gift of a fresh and viable job lead is considered a supreme act of friendship. I know there will be folks who won’t get it the first or even the second time you do it, but like buying lottery tickets, you have to play to win. To quote from our website:

“We make every attempt to provide useful leads by inviting other members to participate in leads in which we are ACTIVE candidates.

Counterintuitive? Time is the enemy. The value of any lead is in its freshness.

Keep in mind that you are never the only candidate. If a recruiter is going to submit other names, they may as well be friends of yours.

Our bond of friendship and trust makes the sharing of active searches possible.

We operate on the theory that in today’s world, by the time one is no longer a candidate for a position, it is effectively dead on arrival. The sharing of only old leads is a disservice to all involved. We do not in any way police or monitor your performance on this issue. You will need to make up your own mind regarding the value of your FULL participation.”

So there you have it. My personal theories as to how the world actually works, or perhaps how I think it SHOULD work.

There was a commercial on TV many years ago that had a tag line of “Try it, you’ll like it.” I think that idea is appropriate here.

Regards, Matt

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