Companies are catching on quickly: the very best talent is off the market in just 10 days, according to the Harvard Business Review. Unfortunately, the average time to hire for most employers is a whopping 63 days (CEB). Companies are wising up, and they know their process is broken. In fact I sit with multiple large companies who are scrambling to transform their hiring practices to something that resembles the nimble, razor-focused hiring of startups who hire within days--not months.

During our discussions, consistent themes come up as clear evidence that people with desirable talent are indeed in the driver's seat, changing the traditional contract between employer and job seeker.

Here are three ways you can stay in the driver's seat when you decide to make a job change:

1. Choose companies that understand that you are more than your resume. You are more than your past experiences - which for some talented people like graduates - may be few, or mom's returning to work - gained some time ago, or for vets - hard to translate into corporate relevance.

Talented people not only bring the strength of diverse experiences to the table, but they also bring the ability to learn quickly, think creatively and blend effortlessly into dynamic teams. Absolutely none of that comes through on a resume.

To find out which companies inherently get this, seek employers offering an interview-first approach engineered to understand candidates on a deeper level. This often looks like a chance to interact either live or via a recording where you can answer experience, skill and culture related questions that help explain what value you can bring to the organization. You'd be amazed at how passion, determination, experiences and attitude are amplified through video yet fall deaf to a resume search algorithm.

2. Only connect with companies committed to diverse hiring.
Study after study points to the competitive advantage of having diverse teams. They are smarter, faster, more creative, plus they unconsciously raise the bar on performance by eliminating lazy herd mentality.

The simplest way to spot companies committed to diversity is by looking at their culture pages. What is important to their culture and to their employees? Look them up on Glassdoor and of course, check out their alumni on LinkedIn. Do alumni represent diverse educational backgrounds? How about diversity in gender, race and geography? If they past the quick culture check, a genuine commitment to diversity in the hiring process looks like structured questions that eliminate unconscious bias by keeping every interviewer on the same page.

3. Don't let anyone disrespect your time.
The average application process takes hours (even days) to complete. Seriously? Do you really have time for this? Employers who genuinely respect your time will have a published process that focuses on rapid candidate feedback and clearly communicated expectations. They will have tools built into the process so that every member of their team that needs to get to know you will have a chance to do so in a reasonable amount of time. If a recruiter or interviewer can't tell you when you can expect follow up, it's a clear sign that the process is not built around you, rather the other way around - and that's a red flag that this is going to feel more like falling into a black hole than rising up to a new opportunity.

There's never been a better time to be in the driver's seat, as big companies are actively changing their contract with job seekers. In fact this week's World Hiring Day was a strong sign of what's to come. Over 200 employers including Carnival Cruise Line, Hilton Grand Vacations and Marsh & McLennan Cos., invited candidates to introduce themselves. No resumes required - just introduce yourself, answer a few questions through video and get show some passion for your next opportunity.

Published on: Sep 16, 2016
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