By Michelle Wanjiku
You are not looking for a new job because you are satisfied with the one you currently have, then out of the blue, a recruiter or HR manager calls you with a job opportunity at another organization.
The pay is way better than what you are earning now; the responsibilities are exactly what you would want to do on a daily basis and all you have to do is attend an interview.
This might seem like a dream but really is something that happens more often than you would think. There are people who don’t have to look for jobs, the opportunities come to them and all they have to do is pass an interview.
So how do you become someone who can be poached?
1. Demonstrate your talent
Think about it, in order for you to be someone worth poaching, you need to possess certain skills that are relevant to the market and the employer will be looking for.
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This means that if you are a bit experienced in your industry then you need to be known for a specific specialty and be the go to person. That way when an employer is looking for someone with your skills they know who to contact.
If you still don’t have a lot of work experience, then you should try and gain as much knowledge as possible, work on various projects that would boost your expertise.
2. Be seen – people have to know you to offer you jobs
There is no point in doing all of the above if no one gets to see it and know of you.
“Most recruiters’ and HR professionals ask around for referrals when trying to fill a position. They will ask questions like” who do you know who can do this?” This is why you need to have people who can refer you,” says Cynthia Wangeci, a recruitment manager at Corporate Staffing Services.
You need to try and build up strong networks by attending networking events, staying in touch with former colleagues and never be afraid to meet new people even in your social life.
You need to make an actual effort to make people know you exist and know what you do.
3. Be searchable – make it easy for employers to find you
How easy is it to find you and your work online? Your social network profiles need to show what you have to offer and they also need to be easy to find.
When employers are looking for people to poach, they go online to platforms such as LinkedIn. Can you be found by an employer when they are looking to hire someone with your expertise?
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For example, if you are in the marketing field, if an employer is looking for a marketer, they will search using keywords in the industry, if your profile does not have these keywords then you will never be found.
Clearly you need to ensure that your LinkedIn profile isn’t just seen by people in your connections. You need to make sure than whenever someone searches something to do with your industry you appear in the results.
4. Be responsive – reply to all the inquiries
It doesn’t matter how many emails or calls you receive from employers. If you don’t respond to them you won’t get poached.
Even if you are not interested in that position, you should respond to the employer and let them know. Although, you could first try and get to know more about the job and company before deciding you are not interested, you just might find that you actually love the job.
Not only that, but even if you don’t end up taking the opportunity the employer will still keep you in mind for other jobs that match your qualifications if you reply as opposed to someone who doesn’t respond.
You need to ensure that the contact information you give on your profiles work. Always update your contact information the moment you change something like your phone number.
5. Be prepared
You also need to remember that just because you were contacted by the employer directly doesn’t mean that you got the job. You still have an interview in order to get the job.
You will not be given special treatment just because you were called without applying. You still need to show that you possess the skills to do the job and that you are truly interested in the position.
Your main objective in the interview is to impress the interviewers, that way even if you don’t get the job, they still remember you when other positions you are a fit for come up.
So you have to ensure that you do all you can to better your chances of passing the interview and getting the job.
It’s a great feeling when employers come looking for you, but the best thing about getting poached is you end up getting a better job, better pay and a great opportunity to grow your career.
Yes, becoming a candidate worth poaching is not an easy thing to do, but if you put in a lot of effort and work you will be able to make yourself poachable.