Job Hunting in 2016: It’s Complicated


Kathy Lavinder
Owner and Executive Director of Security & Investigative Placement Consultants

Job hunting used to be so simple. Put together a career history résumé, proof it for errors, fax or mail it out, go for an interview or two, and negotiate a salary and start date. That scenario is so last century! Any fraud fighter looking to make a job change these days had better prepare for a lengthy, and sometimes frustrating, process. 

The number of applicants for every position remains high but that’s just one of the challenges. Putting together a résumé that will get past the Applicant Tracking Systems most employers use is probably one of the biggest hurdles. Key word matches are paramount, along with a résumé that has been carefully tailored to the opportunity to reflect relevant experience. Producing a new version of the résumé for every opening is essential and can make the difference between getting traction and being ignored. 

Job seekers also have to continually update and refine their career messaging on LinkedIn and continue to expand their networks on the site, while checking specialized LinkedIn groups for job leads. If you want to be viewed by the fraud-fighting community as someone who is in touch with current issues you’ll also have to share articles on LinkedIn and start discussions about fraud-related topics.

The interview process always begins with an initial telephone screening, either with an external or in-house recruiter. Preparation is the key for clearing the phone screen. Smart job seekers distill their message, succinctly highlighting how their experience is a match for the role. Doing research on the employer, as well as seriously considering the specifics of the role, can lead to insightful questions that cast a job seeker in a good light.

At the in-person interview stage expect a very lengthy process that involves multiple meetings with one or two key decision makers. Finalists can also be asked back several times to meet with individuals across the organization. The jobs website Glassdoor reports that a few years ago it typically took companies 13 days to hire a new employee. It’s now up to 23 days, but even that is much quicker than what I have seen over the past year.

Companies also are more likely to require personality inventory testing to better understand how an applicant thinks and functions within a team. Fraud roles will often include a test that probes on integrity issues. Interviewees may be asked to make a presentation to a panel to demonstrate communication skills and subject matter knowledge. It’s not unusual for finalists to be expected to wait in the wings while an internal dialogue plays out in which one person is selected and a job offer finalized. You won’t know if you’re that person until the phone rings.

The process doesn’t end with an accepted job offer. Any offer is contingent on a successful background screening, and in some cases, a drug test. This process usually takes 10 days to two weeks. Patience, determination and perseverance are necessary to land that dream job.