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Recruiting – candidates and hiring managers

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The dynamic between candidates and hiring managers
Hiring someone is just like a dance. In a firm, out of necessity, someone requests a new position to be filled at which point a recruiter steps in and starts the hiring process. A team is formed and the one in need is appointed as the hiring manager, meaning that he is the ultimate decision maker, the one who must give the stamp of approval about who is hired. This is the moment the dance begins. Because the hiring manager is the key member of the recruitment team, the recruitment choreography is structured according to his needs and wants. He is the initiator of the position and he becomes the center point of the employee selection team. The human resources team will cater to his needs with every step of the hiring process.

What hiring managers look at
Hiring managers are involved in every aspect of the employment process and they are the visionaries who set the tone (hopefully!) for the ideal candidate profile. It is an art to come up with the ideal candidate’s profile because one needs to know the ins and outs of the job. When a job order is created, the hiring manager gathers all the insight he has on a particular job and conveys that into specific details on not only what the job is like, but also what the ideal candidate would be like. At this moment, the recruiting team opens up for applications process. They select a group of well-suited candidates and give them the chance to show how they would synchronize their own combination of qualities and experience with the job’s requirements. The spotlight is on them and the hiring manager watches them perform with a scrutinizing eye.

First impression. The candidates put forth the best they have
The candidates step on the stage. Some are shy and some are bold and usually, all of them are prepared as they know that their future depends on their performance. They showcase their talents on that stage, but little do they know that their performance is watched before they start dancing. You see, the hiring manager is smart and wants to know how the candidate moves in his natural environment, in his day to day life. So, he does a background check. This involves every single digital record he can find from Facebook to public information. He might even ask the receptionist what kind of a first impression the candidate gave. You might find this to be quite sneaky but in the end, it’s the smart move to make. The hiring manager always acts in the best interest of the company.

An in-depth look – interviewing
At this point, the candidates made their first move before the hiring manager had the chance to demonstrate who they are and what they can do. And if the way they danced so far screamed “likable” they are validated for the next step in the hiring process: the interview. Up to this point, nonverbal communication was key. But from now on words are gold. At this stage, the candidates move forward with their words. If they master small talk, they are hired. You might be tempted to think that their technical skills are the most important, but, no. You see, they wouldn’t have gotten the chance to perform in front of the hiring manager if they wouldn’t have had the technical skills beforehand. By this point, the focus is on the interaction. The hiring manager wants to see if the candidate would be a fit for the job. By this, we mean that he needs to get the feeling that if he would make the hire, the new employee would not disrupt the job workflow. He will step in and through well-orchestrated questions, he himself will “dance” with the candidate in order to understand the candidate’s skills, attitudes, and perseverance.

The role that intuition plays after an interview
Now the stage is empty, but emotions run high. The candidates try to figure out what they did wrong and the hiring manager is left alone with his most trusted friend, his gut instinct. If he makes a good hiring decision, he will be fine with it but he wants to make the best choice so he will sleep on it. The hiring manager uses the knowledge he gathered along his years of working in a certain field and decides based on the way he feels about each candidate. Although his decision will be based on more of an implicit thinking pattern it will be a well-motivated one. He will assign the role to the best candidate from a technical perspective, as well as from the way he performed regarding his interpersonal skills.

Why SourceMatch?
Being in the recruiting business for more than twenty years, SourceMatch has an in-depth knowledge of the hiring process. We know every single building block pertaining to recruiting. We can assist with identifying the hiring needs, how to create job descriptions and how to post and promote these jobs. When it comes to screening candidates, SourceMatch has the best compliment ever: clients keep coming back for more. If it’s challenging to find and reach candidates at the right time and place to go through your hiring process, you are not alone! Most companies have difficulty in filling jobs, especially because of the skills gap. SourceMatch has a hiring choreography tailored to your needs. Let’s dance!

What are some red-flags that let you know that something’s wrong with your recruiting process?

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Red flags are the absence of an early warning system. Of course, the obvious problems are consequences/effects of deeper causes and require reactive solving.

A strong recruiting process, like any business process, can only work well if it’s built with all its stakeholders’ interest in mind: Recruiter (recruitment company), the hiring manager (internal clients or external client company) and candidate – in this chronological order.

When any of the stakeholders is not given enough attention during recruitment you may see scenarios such as:

  • The recruiter is under a lot of pressure from the client to deliver, cuts corners in the candidate selection process. The client will receive a candidate whose qualifications are at best short of their need. The candidate will have her or his hopes high, expecting the “opportunity of their career”. The recruiter will live with the impression that he’s done a great job for the time he’s been given to find a candidate.
  • The client makes a recruitment order for a new role with the recruiter and picks a standard job description off the internet. The recruiter might look for a purple squirrel candidate that might not exist, or best-case scenario fits the internet’ job description instead of the real needs of the client. The candidate feels she’s a perfect fit and is surprised during the interview when the client brings up all sorts of questions that are beyond the “internet job description!”
  • Candidate interviews with the recruiter and provides basic answers to the vague questions that the recruiter asks. The recruiter is unbelievably happy that the candidate is a “perfect match”. The client interviews the candidate and is dumbfounded when they ask the candidate to elaborate on their experience.

These are just some examples, but in our experience, at SourceMatch there are a few guidelines for recruiters, which will help everyone in the process win. Here’s the early warning system for recruiters:

  1. Get to know your client, their trade, their culture, values, the hiring manager, the team where the new hire will work in, tangible and intangible factors, must haves and nice to have. Set the expectation early on with the client that you expect them to help you understand who they are and who they are trying to hire. The Job Description is at best 50% of all useful information. Once you have all info, ask the client to confirm in writing that there’s nothing left unsaid about their expectations for the new hire (in essence, that you understand well what they need).
  2. Always strive to exceed client’s expectations when it comes to due diligence for the candidate’s qualifications, experience, skills, behavior, performance etc. Ask meaningful and detailed questions of your candidates. Ask for real-life examples. Let the candidate know that it’s the only way they can present themselves in a unique way.
  3. Be transparent and honest about the job when you speak with the candidate. If it’s a parallel move for them, don’t make it sound like it’s something else. Be open and let them know of the advantages and challenges of the role at the same time. If they are at a different point in their career than what you expected, don’t oversell the position. Same can be said with candidates that miss the mark on the client’s expectations.
  4. If a client has unrealistic / hard-to-meet expectations regarding the speed of recruiting or available candidates in the talent pool, you must speak up! You need to act as a consultant to the client. Because you are the expert of your trade, you will have unique perspectives that have been tested and validated throughout tens or hundreds of recruiting engagements.
  5. When you present a candidate to the client (ideally over the phone or in person), make sure to show clearly why they were selected, and to what degree they meet/exceed the expectations that were agreed in the first place. Don’t just present a resume, but also let the client about your thought process. This is a tremendous opportunity to act as a consultant to your client.
  6. Time and information will break you regardless if you are disciplined or not. That’s why you need to have a system – an applicant tracking system – to follow through your process and to keep you on track, remind you about upcoming calls, meetings, deadlines, tasks, etc.
  7. Always follow up with candidate and clients with regular updates, even if they are negative – i.e. a different candidate has been selected following the in-person interview with the client. When you don’t communicate in the recruitment process, stakeholders will assume the worse.

You may start with these 7-steps early warning system and develop your own version, but thinking proactively about everything that can go wrong will prepare you for most of what can go wrong.

 

Photo credit: Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

What is the best strategy when a recruiter asks about your current salary before making an offer?

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What your strategy shouldn’t be: go in with a mindset that goes something like “I wonder what they’ll offer me” or “they should be paying me more than I make now!”, “I’ll negotiate up from whatever they offer me.” That’s a recipe for losing this important part in taking on a new role.
Be straightforward about your current compensation, and ready to talk about your top 3 reasons why you should be paid more in your new role.

Here are some pointers to help you figure out what they are:

1. Research how your current salary stacks up against your peers (i.e. Glassdoor) in the industry. Is it less? Then probably you are being underpaid while still having awesome results – that’s a sound reason to switch. Is it more? Then that might be a sign that your company values your skills more than other companies do! Use that to your advantage.

2. Research the typical salaries for the new role, considering company size, location, seniority etc. If they are lower than your current one, then you need to ask yourself whether this is a kind of position you want to take. However, listen to what they have to say/offer. If it’s higher, then it becomes a valuable piece of info in your discussion for the new position.

3. What’s the difference in responsibilities between the current and the new role? If the new position requires more then there’s a strong reason for you to ask for more salary. If it’s about the same or less, then think about different factors.

4. Is this new role going to challenge you and require more time than the current one? That’s great and you’re ready to go the extra mile, but your potential new employer should too, so consider that as well.

5. The standard of living – if you are moving to a new city, region or country for the new role, then you need to factor the cost of living in, but don’t forget about expandable income. If at the end of the month you’re left with less than what you previously had, and it’s important to you, then think twice.

6. What are the other components of your compensation package? Do they stack up against your current one? If the hiring organization doesn’t have comparable components, you should quantify their value and include that in the salary discussion.

7. Be creative about asking for a higher salary – if the hiring organization has good reasons to not give you a higher salary right off the bat, then fall back to asking for an incremental increase that’s time and legally bound (shows up on your employment agreement). I.e. after 6 months in the role 5% increase, and after 12 months in the role another 5% increase.

Keep in mind, your approach should always reflect (and come from) a genuine desire for both your and the hiring organization’s win.

Photo credit: Photo by Jessica Sysengrath on Unsplash