Companies have natural triggers that will cause them to look for talent. See below for my starter list of triggers. Your goal is to look for companies who have recently experienced one of these triggers (say last 12 months) and network your way in to the impacted departments.
Your expectations when finding a trigger has occurred should be as follows:
- Every company will respond differently from one another and perhaps differently to each trigger. Companies who are strong in pre-planning or response, you want to get inside as close to the event as possible. This is where your network will pay rich dividends in getting you necessary insight.
- Decisions on talent may take several months or more so a company can learn how something impacts their business. A good rule of thumb is that areas impacting revenue or customer service are usually tackled first so the top line does not falter, typically followed by getting control of cash and financial results.
- Not every trigger will go public before it happens (e.g. acquisition), however, this is where you study your targeted firms and play a bit of “what if”. For example, if a company has experienced good growth from a core set of products, then it’s a reasonable supposition that they will need to either develop or purchase new markets and/or products to maintain that growth. Seeing the event before it happens will put you at the head of the line.
- You will need to understand how your experience fits with an event (e.g. how you’ve helped a company correct lower than expected profitability) – as you get more information on the company situation, you can adjust which experiences to emphasize in your resume and pitch.
- I would be cautious with any event that is simply a company announcement. Many of these do not come to fruition, therefore, keep you investment of time in check until you can validate how much of the announcement will come to pass.
- Keep tabs of local business media for both the company and its competitors for both specific and potential events.
These triggers are directional indicators (sorry, no matter how hard we wish, not absolute) that helps you both find and prepare for potential opportunities.
Hope this helps and good luck today.
Starter List of Potential Triggers That Can Create Hiring Opportunities
- Acquired company(ies) in last 12 months
- Major competitor acquired or making acquisitions
- New management team (CEO, CFO, etc.) and/or major departure
- Acquired by another company within last 12 months
- Major investment in outside company
- Rapid revenue growth (20%+ annually)
- Lower than expected profitability
- Significant levels of debt (limited cash flexibility)
- Expansion into new line of business by company or major competitor
- International expansion
- Sale of business(es)/product line
- Industry with rapid pricing and product changes
- Consideration to go public