Monday, February 1, 2010

Can YOU Follow Instructions?

I recently had the opportunity to attend a networking meeting where I met Julien Simon, marketing specialist for Virtually Canadian. Mr Simon was looking to fill a position with his website optimization company. He placed an ad on one of the more popular job boards with very specific instructions regarding how candidates were to respond to the advertisement. All of the candidates were to send their cover letter and supporting documents in a PDF format to a specific address and include their salary expectations in the cover letter.

He left the advertisement up for 2 days and received 100+ e-mail from individuals who were interested in the position. Of the 100+ e-mail, only 15 had taken the time to read the instructions and comply as stipulated. Of the 15 candidates who had cleared the first hurdle i.e. responded to the ad in the specified manner, he narrowed his search by eliminating those individuals who priced their services too highly and eliminated those who candidates whose salary expectations were too low. When I pressed him about his decision to eliminate those respondents with the lower salary expectations, he candidly shared with me that he believed that these candidates either, a) were not sure that that could fulfill the job requirements or, b) lacked a sufficient perspective with regard to value the work they were able to do.

There are three lessons to be learned:

  1. Employers don’t have time to work with those who are incapable of following even the simplest of directions regardless of the credentials of the talent

  2. There is a lot of good talent on the market today so, as a candidate, you need to stay on top of your game in the job search department

  3. Candidates need to know the value of the work they can do