There is a “lightbulb” moment for every recruiter when their hiring leaders truly partner with them. It doesn’t happen often enough (unfortunately), but it does happen. And, when it does, we want those leaders to know that we are grateful for your collaboration with our efforts. Together, we can accomplish so much!
I am proud to be a part of a company where every one of my hiring leaders puts hiring as a priority, and sees recruiting as an extension of their own business units. Recruiting is more than just filling seats. It’s finding the best person, with the best skill set, and the best attitude for that seat. It’s finding what works, not only, for the candidate but for the hiring leader. It’s finding that beautiful match.
That being said, to all you hiring leaders who partner with your recruiting team…
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our thoughts are circling around the hopes of our “interests” liking us as much as we like them!
In Recruiting’s case, we want to make sure our candidates love us as much as we love them. But, let’s be realistic. Sometimes, we (recruiting) don’t always do the right things to win them over. Rather, the question should be… what are we NOT doing? Hint: The answer isn’t “sending them flowers on their birthday”
Below are 10 ways to lose a candidate:
- Job description doesn’t match the actual job duties. I cannot begin to tell you how many times a Hiring Manager (HM) has given me a job description to post, only for me to find out later down the interview process that s/he is looking for something completely different. If this is irritating for the recruiter, imagine how the candidate feels. Make sure what you are asking for is what you actually want.
- Failing to update them on their candidacy. This one is self explanatory, I feel. If you’re interviewing, wouldn’t YOU want to know where you stand? Even if it’s a “thanks, but no thanks”
- Being non-responsive. I know a lot of recruiters who let candidates’ emails, phone calls, and text messages just simmer in their inboxes. I don’t know about you, but doesn’t this scream “I [the recruiter] don’t care enough about your candidacy to respond to you”
- Not answering questions directly. Why don’t you know the answers to their questions? If you don’t know the answer, did you go find out and then relay the answer back to them? Not knowing answers is a big red flag.
- Related to #3, dancing around questions. Don’t dance around questions. Answer them directly. Show them you are a no-BS type of recruiter/company.
- Saying one thing, but meaning another. “You’re one of our finalists!”… yet they never hear from you again. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
- Having a tedious interview process. Long, drawn-out interview processes are a candidate killer. There is a limit on what seems appropriate. Depending on the level of the hire, I’d say anywhere between 4-5 interviews should be plenty to know whether you will hire this candidate or not. Do not — I repeat, do not — make them go through 8-10-15 rounds of interviews. It makes it look like you can’t make up your mind, or that the company is unorganized.
- Too much shuffling, too little communication. “Wait, I have a new recruiter? Who’s this new person the recruiter copied on this email? Why is she emailing me now? Who’s my main point of contact???” Keep your candidate informed along the way… all steps of the process.
- Being arrogant. This is simple. Don’t be arrogant. Candidates know you are the recruiter and that they have to, first, win YOU over before you pass them forward. That doesn’t give you (the recruiter) the right to completely disrespect your candidate(s). You were a job searcher at one point in your life, too… and you will likely be one again.
- Undervaluing the candidate. This one is a personal pet peeve. The candidate comes and says “Today, I make 150k base salary, with a 10% bonus”. Once the company gets to offer stage, they offer the candidate 120k base, 5% bonus. That’s a punch in the gut to the candidate. The sell of “If they want to work here, they will take the offer” doesn’t always fly.
Let’s keep our phenomenal candidates and treat them with the respect they deserve!
Head down, chin up!
There comes a time when everyone thinks, “I thought I interviewed well. What happened? Why didn’t I get through to the next round?” I think it’s human nature to always be asking “why”. Let’s split this into a few scenarios:
You submitted your resume, but never heard back. Why?
- Before I make the decision to email/call you back, I look at your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, your blog posts, your Google+ page. I Google you. I have seen the rants about your job, how much you hate your boss, how you can’t wait for the day to be over. I have seen the, sometimes, “unclassy” pictures of your drunken stupor from last weekend. Would you hire you after seeing these things?
- Your grammar. Did you pass 2nd grade? If so, I expect you to know the difference between “their”, “there”, and “they’re”. Not only is this a poor reflection on you, but I risk my reputation as a recruiter as well.
- Your resume is hard to read. Why is it not in chronological order? How long did you work at XYZ Corp? When did you leave XYZ Corp? Why is the font so small???
- Your resume is lackluster. I can tell when you just copy a job description into your resume. That’s great. But tell me what YOU did in that role.
- Your resume lacks information I want/need to see. You’re in sales, and you don’t tell me how AWESOME you are at closing deals? Why not? Are you not proud of your accomplishments? Things that make me go “hmm” will quickly put you in the reject pile.
I had a phone interview with the recruiter, but never heard back. Why?
- You didn’t do your research. Tsk tsk. Always – ALWAYS – do a little reading on the company you’re interviewing with beforehand. Know what their offerings are, know who their target clients are, know what questions you want to ask. What else can you research? The recruiter. Find out where they went to school, their career history… use it to your advantage. Build rapport with them off of any commonalities you might have.
- You talk too much. Long-winded answers rarely get you anywhere. Why aren’t you listening to questions I’m asking? Why aren’t you answering my question directly? What are you dancing around? Nerves are hard to overcome in interviews, I get it. But you have to listen for cues. What is the recruiter asking of you? What kind of information does the recruiter need to evaluation your background?
- Your answers sound rehearsed and redundant. Are you telling me the same thing using different words? Have you said these sentences/phrases over and over in front of a mirror, and in every interview? We can hear these nuances.
- You don’t follow directions. I found you on LinkedIn, I already have access to your profile. When I ask for a resume, please send it to me. Don’t direct me back to your LinkedIn page. Not following an “ask” is a tell-tale sign of how much you want something.
- You interview poorly. I have said it a million times, “interviews are just conversations”. We are here to learn about each other. I talk to some candidates where I feel like I’m trying to pull teeth. Brag about yourself! Be confident in your abilities. Ask questions right back at the recruiter. Just as we’re interviewing you, interview us!
I had an interview with the hiring manager, but never heard back. Why?
- Lack of detail. By the time you’ve gotten to the hiring manager, they are looking for details on why you’d be great at a job. If you can’t back up statements like “I’m a successful sales rep” with things like “I achieved 200% of my quota YOY by continuously prospecting my territory, fearlessly hunting and cold calling, and continuously analyzing my plan of attack”, the hiring manager isn’t going to be able to assess how well you’d do here.
- You didn’t send a “thank you”. Call it what you will. Some hiring managers don’t care. Some do. Some make it a “mandatory”, while others are just a “nice to have”. But, why not increase your chances by taking 2 minutes out of your day to email them? Show them you want it!
Job searches are hard. Some would say, interviews are harder. They’re stressful, they put you in a position of vulnerability. Approach your job search like you would any other tough situation in life — head on!
Remember… head down, chin up!
Let’s start off with this. For those who haven’t read my blog on the importance of candidate experience, click here to read why I think this is so important.
I’ll give you a minute to read.
Today, I received an email from a candidate I’ve been working with for months. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Candidate experience is my #1 priority. I would rather hire less people and give them 100% of my efforts, than to hire a ton and to give them 50%.
Emails like the one below make me happy. They let me know I have done right by (one of) my client.
To all the candidates out there, don’t hesitate to show your recruiter some love. They really do appreciate the kind words, and it makes our day!
Have you ever:
- Sent an email to a recruiter… and never heard back?
- Applied for a job… and never heard back?
- Interviewed… and never heard back?
Let’s face it, the answer is a resounding “YES” to all of the above. Don’t be shy. We have all been there. Even the best of us have struggled in our job searches. And that’s ok! So many times, I get asked “What did I do wrong?”
I can sum it up into one word: PRESENTATION. This applies to anything and everything involved in an interview process.
Imagine the following scenario. You email a recruiter, “Hi there, I’m intrested in the sales postion your posted on LinkedIn. Selling SaaS software is my life, and I can’t wait to here from you!” What’s wrong with this? You want me to believe you’re great at what you do if you can’t use spell check? Your crazy. (See what I did there? :))
Let’s try another scenario. You sent your resume into the “resume black hole”. Why didn’t you get a call back? I can go on and on and on about reasons why you didn’t. But, let me list the most common. 1) You weren’t a fit for the role. Did you read the job description? Do you have the required hard skills? 2) Your resume says another company’s name in the Objective. “I want to help build NOT-YOUR-COMPANY’S brand to it’s potential.” Great, good luck with that! 3) No contact information. Surprised? Don’t be. A lot of times, candidates do not provide a good phone number or email address for us to reach them. If we can’t reach you, how can you be considered for the role?
Ok, one more. You got the call back! Congrats! You interviewed with the team, thought it went well, and… nothing. I will say that it is NEVER ok for a recruiter/company to not provide you with an update to your candidacy. But what could have possibly gone wrong? You thought you had it in the bag! Again, PRESENTATION. Did you research the company? Were you an off-the-wall bundle of energy interviewing at an old-school, play-by-the-rules corporation? Did you wear jeans and a t-shirt to a super formal workplace? Perhaps your thoughts were all over the place, or maybe you were a nervous wreck.
The moral of the story is: presentation. Be diligent with you who present to your potential future employer. How do you want them to see you? What kind of person do you want them to view you as? What is it they will gain by hiring you?
As always… head up, chin down! Good luck!
Friends, we have all been there. The wonderful world of dating! Whether you are still courting your neighbor, flirting with every cute girl that walks into your office space, spending your time with your one-and-only (for now), or fully committed to Prince Charming… we have all “been there”. The trials and tribulations of dating teaches us so many things in life.
… Like how to job search!
What?! Seriously, Lianne? Yes! Let me explain.
PART 1: Finding the “one”
- Setting standards. As in dating, we need to know what we want. If you have no direction, how will you ever find Mr. Right? Take your standards and apply them to your job search. What are you looking for? What excites you? What is an absolute deal-breaker? What are you willing to compromise on? Do you have your heart set on anything?
- First impressions matter. Ask anyone about what they first noticed about their partner? For fun, I asked my sister’s boyfriend and he responded, “How put together she was compared to everyone else”. Couldn’t have said it better. What is going to set you apart from everyone else? How will the employer remember you, and not the guy who interviewed before you?
- Desperation stinks. Who wants a stage-five clinger? Don’t be that person. Employers want to know they are hiring someone with options, not someone who will take the first thing thrown at them. They want to know they are investing in YOU and what you bring to the table.
- Be yourself. You want your date to like you for who you are… not who you pretend to be. In the same regard, employers want to hire YOU! Not who you are pretending to be. Facades only get you so far.
- Two way street. Dating is a two way street. Do you like me as much as I like you? No? Then it probably will not work out in the long run. A job hunt is the same way. While it may work in the short-term, the company has to be just as much a fit for you, as you are for them.
- No big egos. Big egos are a turn-off in almost any situation. Need I say more?
PART 2: Stages
- Courting. Flirting with disaster? Luring the forbidden? Whatever you call it, you need to find a way to make them notice you! How will you do that? Wearing a big sparkly hat at the restaurant? Maybe. In a job search situation, being an industry expert certainly sets you apart.
- Dating. This is essential. It is where people learn about each other, where they learn whether or not they like what is under the makeup, where they determine if you fit their “standards” (see Part 1, #1). Dating is like interviewing. It’s a time for both parties to ask questions, to probe and to prodder about things that they want to know about, to find out what they love and hate about you.
- The Close. After a few weeks, you know you’re 100% into her. You want to spend all your time with her, and no one else. You know you’ve found the match! Now what? Close to deal. Make her your “better half”. Just as in dating, when you find that company that is a mutual fit, find a way to seal the deal. Sell them on your ability to transform their organization.
What do you think now? Dating and job searching are pretty similar, huh? That’s what I thought.
I wish you all a life full of happiness together 🙂
As always… chin up, head down!
Hiring Managers, this post is for you.
As your recruiter, my job is to help you hire your perfect candidate. My job is to understand your group’s weaknesses, faults, and areas that you need to improve upon. My job is to help you fill the gaps and inconsistencies. My job is to help you. I have said it a couple of times in previous posts, “help me, help you”. We work as a partnership. We need to be friends and each others’ most critical colleague.
In my career as a Corporate Recruiter, I have come across different Hiring Manager types:
- The “Helper”. In my opinion, this is the best type of Hiring Manager to work with. This is the one who wants to help the Recruiter do their job. Responding to emails, answering calls, providing feedback, being readily available for interviews… all in a timely manner.
- The “Do It For Me”. This is the Hiring Manager who thinks that the perfect hire comes without work. That they will just appear. Typical behavior of this Hiring Manager is a “do what you want with the candidate” attitude. Everything is done … albeit, slowly, and at their availability.
- The “Ghost”. This Hiring Manager is the hardest to work with. They are the ones who never respond to emails, calls, text messages. They don’t provide feedback on candidate resumes, interviews, or questions about their open positions. They are the ones who get angry at you for not filling their position three weeks ago, when you otherwise hadn’t heard a peep from them.
Each profile has their pros/cons, as with everything in life. But as YOUR Recruiter, here are some suggestions on how to work with the ones who are trying to hire for you:
- Be responsive. All the time, on time. We work hard for you. We cold call, research (some call it “career stalk”!) candidates, extensively screen candidates for tough information (ie: salary and compensation structure, reasons for leaving, what they hate about their current position). We spend a LOT of time trying to find the best candidate for you. Please respond timely to emails/phone calls. Your company’s Candidate Experience relies on it also.
- Provide feedback. Did I send you a candidate profile that wasn’t a good fit? Tell me why. Was it his personality? Was he missing a programming language? Did he not show up to the interview? Wrong background? Too tenured, too junior? The more feedback we get from you, the more refined our search becomes for your perfect hire.
- Accept interviews. We understand you are busy doing your “real” job… the one your title suggests. But, to build out your team, you will need to accept interviews at odd hours (sometimes after 5pm). If you don’t make time to interview these candidates, how can we get to the point of extending an offer? Bottlenecks are not good.
- Be open minded. No candidate (and I repeat … no candidate) that is 100% what you are looking for. Be open, and willing, to think outside the box. You never know who may surprise you, and with what.
As always… chin up, head down! Work hard, stay humble.
I am an optimist. I always try to find the best in people… Until I encounter something ridiculous. I am always surprised by what I encounter on a weekly basis as a recruiter.
When interviewing with a company, the rule of thumb “don’t burn bridges” applies greatly. I had a candidate who was interviewing for one of my open positions. Seemingly great background, good personality match, and he and I had a great conversation. But, we aren’t moving forward with him… And here is why:
- Hung up on his interviewer. He was mid-conversation with the Hiring Manager (HM) when the HM asked a tough question about management, who he works under, etc. Understandable question since HM used to work for this candidate’s current company. The candidate must have been terrified because he quite literally hung up on the HM, and was not reachable after that.
- Was misleading about their employment. As mentioned above, the HM had previously worked at the candidate’s “current” company. I put current in quotes because the candidate was no longer an active employee. Naturally, we (recruiters) will find out as much as we can about a candidate through means of our own. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts… We know people, who know people.
- Hit on the recruiter. Check out the final email I received (below). This is not ok. Ever.
My advice? There is a way to bow out of an interview (or anything, really) gracefully. Don’t burn bridges; you never know when you will need that network.
I like to try to keep an open mind, in everything that I do. This goes for my personal life and my professional one. As a corporate recruiter, I’m strong to believe that having an in-house recruiter is the best way to go. From a company’s perspective, though, it may not be what you need/want.
Below, I outline some pros and cons to using an agency to fill your open positions.
Pros. Agencies …
- … are able to provide you with a wide array of candidates due to the network they’ve built out with their candidate pool
- … can be hired on a contingency basis, meaning they are not paid until their candidate gets hired.
- … often specialize. Sales, admin, tech, etc. If you have a certain need, there is an agency out there that can help you fill it.
- … offer a company the “try before you buy” model. No commitments made.
Cons. Agencies …
- … don’t understand your company or the culture you’re trying to build.
- … can be expensive! Let’s look at the two types of agency fee models. Let’s take the contingency model as an example. Contingency fees are usually 18-25% of a salary, paid on placement. Assuming a 20% fee, on a 80k salary, that is 16k per placement. If you have this agency fill ten roles, that’s $160k. I’m positive you can find an in-house recruiter for less, and who will do more.
- … are not just hiring for you. They are hiring for a LOT of clients. Never think that you are their priority.
- … don’t give you a commitment. Unlike in-house recruiters, agencies have no emotional ties to your company.
I leave you with this question: What are you looking to get out of your recruiter?
Let’s take a look at this infographic. What this is saying is that: for every 1000 people that see a job posting, only about 100 actually complete the application. If the company you applied to uses a resume scanning software, only 25% of those applicants make it through to a live human being. Of those 25% that made it to a live screening, only 4-6 get selected to interview. Only about half of those interviewers get selected for final round interviews. And, only ONE gets offered the position.
The numbers are shocking, aren’t they?
So, now you ask… why isn’t my resume making it through? Simple answer: you don’t have the right keywords in your resume. This is how a resume scanning software works. A recruiter puts certain keywords from the job description (example: enterprise sales, solution selling, consultative, SaaS, Cloud). Any resume that comes through the system that does NOT have those keywords, automatically get thrown into the “reject” pile. The resumes that DO have those keywords, move forward in the process.
“But, wait! I’m qualified!”
While not all companies use this scanning tool, the ones who do are looking to narrow down their candidate pool to ones that have the highest probability of being a match for what they are looking for.
“What does that mean for me?”
Take the time an customize each and every resume you’re sending in. It sounds like a hassle, but as statistics show, you’ll have a much better chance of making the “cut” if you can identify keywords from the posting and insert them into your resume. It takes a mere 5 minutes, and can save you the heartbreak of another rejection email.
As always, keep your head up! The search for your dream job isn’t easy, but it WILL be worth it!