Date to get a job?
I have written before about how the dating process is very synonymous to the job search process. Sometimes to get the job you want, you need to be creative and ask for the date.
I have worked with four very experienced professionals on their job searches. Each was approached by employers about positions but… the employer was not quite ready to make that all-important hiring decision. Whether it was budget, cultural fit, or they were just nervous about expanding, a lot of employers drag their feet in pulling the trigger.
How about asking for a date to get a job?
Let me recount four different scenarios that have happened in the last couple of years.
Client #1 interviewed with a small firm that is rapidly expanding. They were very impressed with the client’s skills and, more importantly, the client’s background with a particular channel partner. Client #1 proposed a multi-step strategy during the interview process that the hiring manager really liked. They were not ready to hire though! They put the process on hold.
Client #1 proposed instead a 20-hour per week contract to develop the first two steps of the plan. They liked the idea and asked for more details.
We put together a Statement of Work (SOW) with a rate that was appropriate for the work ($100/hour) and defined the length of the engagement at 13 weeks at 20 hours per week.
The company now had a budget. They accepted.
After the 3 months were up, the company extended the contract to 40 hours per week. After one year, the company hired my client full time.
Rather than going away Client #1 asked for a date to get a job!
Client #2 interviewed with a technology consulting firm. They knew they needed someone with the client’s skill set for a newly created position. But they were not sure how this newly created position would fit in the organization. They again put this position on hold.
Client #2 proposed a 90-day contract to get the ball moving. Think of this like asking for a date.
After the 1st of the year, the company accepted. Like Client #1 they knew the rate and length of engagement and therefore, could budget an appropriate amount.
When the 90 days were up client #2 decided to walk away. He/She did not want to work there and had a better competing offer. Client #2 did not stop looking during the contract period.
Rather than walking away Client #2 asked for a date to get a job but eventually rejected the offer.
Client #3 interviewed for a marketing position with a growing engineering firm. They have never hired a full-time marketing person. Client #3 realized what they really need first is a marketing plan and told them that during the interview.
In the meantime, a critical person was fired from the engineering firm and the marketing position was put on hold while they filled the other critical position.
Client #3 proposed to come in as a consultant to write the marketing plan. Client #3’s proposal was accepted and he spent the next 3 months developing the marketing plan.
Soon after the project was completed the company hired client #3 as their head of marketing.
Rather than walking away Client #3 asked for a date to get a job.
Client #4 was a very experienced business development professional. He had experience in a very niche but growing market and had twice taken companies from inception to $20M. Therefore, we were looking for startup companies in this niche market space.
Client #4 met an interesting startup venture at a Meetup. A couple of months of meeting ensued before they decided to bring client #4 on as a business development consultant. This allowed my client to list the startup venture on his LinkedIn profile.
After 6 months of dating, both sides agreed to part amicably but having the startup venture on his LinkedIn profile was invaluable. It gave my client recent experience and street cred in this market.
Client #4 was able to easily acquire his next position and now is a full-time employee because he had been a business development consultant for the startup.
Dating the startup made him more attractive to other suiters and it paid off.
Dating and Marriage
I am pretty confident that if any of the companies accept the offer to date, the client will get the job, if he or she decides, ultimately, to take it. This is a two-way engagement. The client can and sometimes will walk away after they find out what it is really like to work there.
This is like dating and marriage, you both have to agree that it is the right thing to do.
I have seen a lot of positions being put on hold because the companies are not sure if they know exactly what they want or if the expense is worth the potential reward.
Be willing to be creative and make an offer to date to see if making the hire is worthwhile. It also gives you the opportunity to see if this is someplace you want to work.
Give it a try! Ask for a date to get a job!Marc Miller
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