Passive Job Seeker Becomes Active Applicant

Jason Rhodes began looking at job postings to explore his options, but when the right job found him, it didn’t take long to get a new job.


Jason Rhodes was a passive job seeker. He had a good human resources job in Louisville at a health care company with a supportive boss.

But in September Rhodes began to consider a career change and at the urging of his boss he began to explore his options within company.

“She was trying to coach me in the right direction,” said Rhodes. “She knew my energy wasn’t being utilized in the best way. She saw that I needed a challenge.”

He also decided to explore his options outside the company and in July, Rhodes joined OpsLadder. But he remained a passive job seeker. He said he was there just to research the market and explore his options.

Although he worked in HR, Rhodes background was IT and a skill for bill analytics that he wasn’t utilizing in the HR department where he worked. Operations seemed like a good fit for Rhodes, but, according to a free resume critique from OpsLadder, his resume didn’t reflect his skill set or emphasize his experience in IT. He rewrote those sections and posted the resume on OpsLadder. Even though he was a passive job seeker, he wanted to see what companies might need a guy like him.

He found out in August, when a recruiter who was looking for an operations manager with HR and IT experience and analytics skills happened upon his resume. The recruiter wanted Rhodes to consider a position as compliance manager at AkzoNobel, a chemical manufacturer in Louisville and Rhodes became an active job seeker.

He went on three round of interviews and became more and more interested in taking a new job at a new company.

The compliance manager would be responsible for ethics training, ensuring that employees have received proper code of conduct training, and understanding the company’s business principles, something that relied on his HR and IT background and his analytics skills.

“The company was looking for someone who had many disciplines, someone who could work in different parts of the company,” he said. “My roles in IT and HR were things they were interested in… It was the type of work that had a degree of analytics to it.”
But one of the most appealing facets of the company was its entrepreneurial spirit, something that was missing from his previous position. “It was a change from the health benefits, paying claims, where you don’t make anything. Working for an industrial company is different, what you do is more tangible. Also, it’s a multinational company, there are some opportunities there, with colleagues that are in other parts of the world.”

But Rhodes also appreciated AkzoNobel’s local presence in Louisville. He had a new baby and a recently purchased home and had no desire to move his family from Louisville.

He went through three rounds of interviews and in October, AkzoNobel offered Rhodes the job and he accepted. From start to finish, said Rhodes, his job research, which turned into a job search, took 90 days.

“What the decision came down to was that the company offered me the opportunity to do best what I do everyday; even more than the salary or benefits, that was the appeal,” he said. “Being at a company that you like, being with a team you fit in well with, doing work you are good at, the money will follow, I’m convinced of that.”

And the decision to leave the healthcare company and a supportive boss was an easy one after all.

“I knew something was going to have to change, and she recognized it, as well, and that was helpful,” he said. “It’s hard to look for a new job when you already have a job; it’s a full-time job in itself. The fact that she approached me, and talked to me and helped me to focus on what to look for was the catalyst to make a change for the better … I might still be trying to figure out what type of job to search for.”