The Ant and the Grasshopper

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Most of you probably are familiar with Aesop’s fable about the ant and the grasshopper. For those of you who aren’t, here’s the very abridged version: Hardworking, forward-thinking ant is rewarded, while indulgent, short-sighted grasshopper dies.

When it comes to your professional success, you can’t be passive like the grasshopper, just sitting around and expecting good things to come your way — you have to think ahead and plan accordingly. And when it comes to job searches, it’s better to take an active, strategic approach like the ant than to proceed without any kind of plan.

Many people tend to approach job hunts passively, waiting for positions to show up in newspaper classified ads, online job boards or other places.

A new poll from Robert Half Technology (RHT) of more than 1,400 CIOs, however, shows it takes an average of 56 days to fill a staff-level position and 87 days to bring a new manager onboard. That means companies probably needed to fill most of those openings a few weeks before most of them were actually posted (assuming they were posted).

According to the study’s findings, the issue is time. The people making the hiring decisions don’t have much bandwidth in their schedule to really assess the quality of candidates. They have to go through several resumes, conduct a few rounds of interviews and decide who the best person is based on knowledge, experiential and cultural considerations, in addition to their regular duties.

In these circumstances, the “grasshoppers” will scramble to get their credentials in front of the people doing the hiring a month or more after the position should have been filled.

On the other hand, the “ants” will work proactively to get their resumes in front of employment gatekeepers in IT and HR before then, so they’ll have their information right at the point of need. When an opening does come along, they can save themselves a few steps in the recruiting process by going straight to these individuals.

As with proverbial insects, so too with IT pros.

Brian Summerfield
Senior Editor

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