Deven Lall-Perry knows the current job market is wild. On any given day, she'll hear from recruiters like herself that candidates are backing out of offers days before they're set to start; on the flip side, she's also heard of extreme cases where companies are rescinding job offers from new hires.
Recently, she experienced a first — on July 1, the 31-year-old recruiter was laid off from her New York-based tech startup job in a round of cuts that impacted a lot of her colleagues.
Within two weeks, though, she had a new job lined up. Here's how she did it:
She accepted every informational already in her inbox
Even as Lall-Perry was dealing with losing her job, she knew her LinkedIn inbox was full of people asking if she was interested in starting a new job with them.
She accepted all of the cold-messages in her inbox, "even if I wasn't interested in how the recruiter pitched me the opportunity," she says. "Most of the time, the recruiter is not the hiring manager," she says, so they may not know all the ins and outs of what the opportunity will ultimately look like.
What you want to do, she says, is make it to a discussion with the hiring manager, who'll give you a better idea of what the job is, what your priorities will be and who you'll work with.
She also recommends job-seekers make a LinkedIn post to update their professional network about their situation, and mark their profile as "open to work" to get more recruiter leads.
She asked questions to see if companies were hiring sustainably
Lall-Perry has no hard feelings about her ex-company's layoffs: "It's the nature of a Series A startup, so I knew in a sense anything can happen."
It did change some of the questions she asked of prospective employers, though. First, she wanted to know: Have you ever done layoffs in the past? If so, how did you handle it?
Asking a hiring manager to describe the company culture isn't enough anymore, she says — anyone can reel off the highlights of working for an organization. What she really wants to know now: How do they handle the challenges?
It's also a good idea to ask questions about why the job you're interviewing for is open in the first place: Was someone previously in this position, or is this a new role? If there was someone in the job before you, what happened — were they let go, did they move to another job in the company or did they leave voluntarily?
The responses to these questions can tell you whether the company is invested in retaining and promoting talent, or if they're creating new roles to expand the business in new and exciting ways. It can also tell you if the company is hiring strategically and sustainably, she adds. Dig deeper: Why are they growing, and how?
"The market is course-correcting," she says of recent hiring slowdowns. "I get nervous when a company says 'we're growing by 500 people this year.' Unless a company is already around a few thousand employees, that level of growth doesn't make sense to me."
She stayed focused on her career goals
In the end, Lall-Perry initiated conversations with about 12 companies, made it to final-round interviews with four, accepted an offer on July 15 and started her new director of talent acquisition and retention job on July 20.
Her new gig is with another smaller company, this time in business consulting. She says she'd rather be at a smaller firm, where she can make a big impact, even though a big corporation may be more shielded from economic volatility. She's willing to take on a little risk in the name of career growth, she says, and keeping that goal in mind kept her focused on coming into this new job strong.
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