On this show, I talk about how to find the back door and avoid the front door

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This is a show where will be talking about how to get to the back door, how to get the people who are the actual decision-makers, instead of being the foolish individual who is applying through the applicant tracking system, applying through human resources, yada, yada, yada.

So, firms want you to do that because, from their standpoint, they have government reporting to contend with … and that doesn't help you. That's just their meatgrinder. They put the sausage meet on the top, then they grind it and you come out the bottom predigested prechewed. It's awful. Even the best applicant tracking system, at the end of the day, is going to be largely ineffective. So, here are a couple ways to find the hiring manager and see if they can get entrée to that person, instead of doing with the company want you to do.

The 1st thing is, of course you have a network; you’ve got friends. Reach out. See if they might know the person. Know anyone who works in that firm? Check Twitter. Check Facebook. Check LinkedIn. See if you have a 1st level connection and reach out and see if they might know anything about the job and see if they might be able to supply you with on name, and email address, phone number, something along those lines.

LinkedIn. Of course, you go to LinkedIn and there's a couple of tools that you can use for searching LinkedIn beyond your 1st level connections, but, these days LinkedIn is a lot more open about this sort of stuff. You can generally get to your 1st, 2nd 3rd level connections on LinkedIn and reaching out to folks that way.

You can also, on someone's page, that you might be connected with on LinkedIn, look along the right-hand column and what you will discover is people who looked at this profile also look that such and such’s profile. And the result winds up being you get even more contacts to reach out to. I want to remind you that you don't have to do it through LinkedIn. Call them. How do you get their phone number? Simple. Do what recruiters do. You pick up the phone, call the firm and try to connect.

If they have a a voice response system, work your way through the voice response system. Is that so tough? You type in the letters of the person's name. See if they’ll give you an extension or just connect you right through. When you get through just simply say, “we hi ! My name is I’m . . . I’m looking for a job at your firm. Would you happen to know so-and-so?” This is if you are not going through to that person you just found on LinkedIn or if you are trying to get to the hiring manager. “Could you point me to the person who heads the function or heads up programming, accounting engineering”, what have you.”

Then, you go to that individual and see if you can network your way through the admin, through to the individual to the actual hiring manager. If you get to that individual (CIO CTO, CFO, whomever) that has that C-level designation, what you do is really very simple.

“Hi! My name is . . . This is what I do. I understand your firm is trying to hire such and such. Who is the person I should reach out to? Not HR, but the actual hiring manager?”

“Why don’t you want to talk to HR? That's the way we do things around here?”

“Well, all that is going to happen is I am going to submit a resume to them and they’re going to be a filter and, maybe, submit it to them. Of course, interviewers miss resumes so I can send it to both. I would be happy to do that. I'd like to get the name of the hiring manager and, when I submit the resume, HR will see that I've copied them on it so they will see, I’m not trying to circumvent them. I just want to communicate with the hiring manager, have them get my resume, respond or not.

Your resume may stink vis-à-vis there job. Lord knows, most resumes I see are in no way shape or form qualified but this is the way you approach it if he actually are qualified.

If you are just a going to be sending out stupid resumes for sport because you think you want to work for this firm but you have nothing relates to what they're looking for, you will be wasting your time and their time.

But, this is assuming that you have qualifications that will matter to this firm that is trying to fill a position. So, what you are trying to do is get to the C-level individual in an organization and have them direct you down and, when you make that call, to that hiring manager, you just simply say, “Jennifer so-and-so gave me your name and number.” Or, “Her office gave me your name and number.” Or, in the case of a friend or family member, “I was referred by so-and-so who told me you were involved with hiring for this position.” Then, you going into a quick commercial about your background and how it fits with you organization’s looking for..

Another way to circumvent the meat grinder (or the sausage maker as some people refer to it) see if you can find your way through the corporate website to different people. In doing that, generally, you're going to get executives but, sometimes you look for a PR person. Sometimes you can find someone investor relations and, through them, get pointed to the right person.

I know in work that I've done in the way of business development to develop client relationships with firms, one of the best tactics has always been you go to investor relations or public relations with the firm. But, again, you're making phone calls. Don't send email! They are not going to respond.

Another way you can find out (this is going to depend on your level of seniority), think in terms of a school's Alumni Association. You can reach out through the Alumni Association, be told who went to your school who is working at that firm. But, they may not be motivated and certainly not get back to you promptly. Remember to think in terms of the importance of promptness because, all the while, people are applying for jobs and getting on this person's schedule. Eventually, this person’s calendar is going to get full. You have to act quickly and the easiest way get alumni information is on LinkedIn. There is a drop-down box. Go across the ribbon along the top and I believe it's either in the profile area or , “find people.”… something along those lines. Just go through the ribbon along the top that is in black with white print. You will find the drop down for people who have gone to your school who work at this organization and then reach out to them. Begin to make phone calls. Talk to people. “I’m trying to do some networking. I’m trying to find who the hiring manager is for this role. Can you point me to this individual?”

And, again, if you not getting through to this person, you can always try to get through the admin for the individual.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1700 episodes and “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com is also a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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