Take it easy on job seekers

Changing jobs is a highly stressful experience for us humans. Even positive changes can bring about uncertainty, but yet too many people on the hiring side of the desk treat this like a chance to tell people they aren’t good enough or don’t follow directions. I personally think we need to offer a lot more grace in this process and take a few minutes to listen to a candidate. Learn about their skills and why they are interested in joining your company.

Here’s the reality, job seekers get bad job advice from all kinds of people. Employed people think the fact that they have a job makes them qualified to give job seekers advice and that’s not necessarily a fact. People find jobs a variety of ways, and decision makers have a variety of preferences. What works for one job seeker, may not work for another, but job seekers don’t know the difference until it’s too late. They do the best they can with the information they have, yet here we are, complaining about them like they should be experts at landing their next position-especially one with the company we work for!

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In 2019 I want you all to stop disqualifying candidates for things that are not skills related. If the job you are recruiting for doesn’t require uber attention to detail, then stop disqualifying applicants for misspelled words and grammar mistakes. Don’t assume that someone who left their last three jobs before they were there for a year can’t do your job. Make sure you know why a bachelors is “required” so you know what you’re really looking for.

Talk to people.

Look, in all my years of recruiting I’ve learned that your next best hire might make their way to you in one of the most unconventional ways so dial it down a notch. Get off your high horse before karma knocks you off it. When it does knock you off of it, I hope you know everything you need to know to be the perfect job seeker.

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Three Interview Rule

I’ve always suffered a bit of a professional identity crisis. Am I recruiting or am I HR? Am I both? Are they one in the same? I’ve gone back and forth, but one thing I can say without a doubt that fits with both HR and Recruiting is solid relationships with your hiring managers. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to learn how to manage this relationship and the most challenging was when recruiting for a highly technical engineering company. One thing that drove me crazy was the constant need for “more candidates” for one position. If you’re experiencing the same challenge, let me share my three interview rule with you (it’s really simple).

Me to hiring manager: Here are three candidates that fit what you are looking for based on the extensive discussions we’ve had around your current hiring need.

Hiring manager to me: Great, let’s interview all three of them.

*Interviews all of them*

Hiring manager to me: I want to interview more candidates.

Me to hiring manager: What did you not like about these three?

Hiring manager to me: I don’t know.

Me to hiring manager: Then we are starting over.

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Why would I tell them we are starting over? Because if you have found three candidates that fit the criteria you’ve discussed with the hiring manager and they still can’t make a decision, then they do not know what they are looking for. When I talk to a hiring manager we discuss every aspect of the position I can with them- minimum skills required, type of work, who the customer is, who they will report to, personalities of the team members they need to work with, day to day environment, education requirements, length of contract, hours of the schedule, peak seasons, when they might be required to work extra, what materials will they be working with…you get the picture. ANYTHING that is relevant that can help me find the perfect candidate for my customer, the hiring manager.

The three interview rule won’t work when you’ve given them candidates who do not match the job req so you should only pull this out when you’re candidates are a match for what you and the hiring manager discussed. This rule can be applied to any position, not just technical ones. Having the discussion about no more than three interviews the right way will help you build credibility with your hiring managers. Approach it as a way to revisit the job you are working on and what might need to be revisited as a requirement, not as a power move. Use it as a way to show you support the hiring manager and respect their time so you want to make sure you have the right information to get it right and help them make an informed decision. Continuing to give them candidates when they cannot tell you what they didn’t like about the qualified candidates already submitted will only drag out the hiring process.

Give it a shot and let me know how it works! As always, if you have questions, I’d be happy to answer them!