November 30, 2017
Seeing, Not Imagining, The Candidate Is Believing

It’s natural to assume that finding a new role can take a while, especially if the candidate has been with the same company for a very long time. There may be many resumes sent out, a number of interviews with various firms until an ideal match is found and – let’s face it – in cases where a company values youth over experience, being over 40 years old doesn’t necessarily make the job search any easier either.

However, we were pleasantly surprised at Roy Talman & Associates to encounter two situations that bucked this trend. Two candidates we were placing who were with their respective employers for over 10 years…received offers after interviewing with just one firm each.

How does something like that happen?

For one, calling the right recruiter FIRST is the critical first step. When you’re working with a recruiter who has less credibility with a client and lacking knowledge of the recruiting process to come associated with that client, your resume can tend to fall into a black hole. In that event, the silence can be deafening! In contrast, if you can connect with a highly experienced recruiter who has a deep knowledge of the client’s priorities, you can potentially avoid wasting a lot of valuable time with a company that isn’t a clear fit.

Next, do you understand everything possible about the firm you’re about to interview with? What do you know about their history? What sort of culture do they have? Where does the leadership seem to want to direct the company tomorrow? If you come into an interview without this depth of knowledge, it could lead to an uncomfortable situation where it looks like you want the job at all costs but haven’t taken the time to know the company in the process.

There’s also no such thing as preparing too much for the interview. Interviewing is a potential minefield in which you could step in the wrong direction and “blow up” based on your answer. While we can’t predict every question an interviewer may ask, we can certainly plan for many possible scenarios and tests. Simply having a partial road map of where the interview process could go will give you the game plan you need to go into the interview with greater confidence – which matters a tremendous amount.

Another crucial piece of the equation: A personal interaction with the candidate can dramatically change any preconceived notions about that individual a hiring manager might have.

This is to say that in the real world, a hiring authority will know they want to hire the person after they meet the person. But the person they actually end up hiring isn’t exactly the same person they envisioned they would hire for the role.

Two of the most successful people in the last 100 years express this sentiment well:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them." – Steve Jobs

With this in mind, what does it mean if the person ultimately hired is going to wind up being so different from the candidate “on paper”?

Let’s recognize a fatal flaw in trying to identify a fit based purely on a job description. Many job descriptions are recycled because they’re easy to dash off quickly with a lot of HR “boilerplate” language inserted in like “progressive organization,” “team-oriented environment,” and “self-starter.” Or you could see the reverse in which every possible responsibility is stuffed into the description because the person writing the job description assumes the person looking at the job only reads the job title. Everything else underneath that title is too much information.

From the candidate’s perspective, you want somebody to sit down and understand your story. Your recruiter is going to be, essentially, your marketer. So they need to be able to figure out what's marketable about your skills, how to present it and who to present it to. If you're a job seeker, it's nice to have a really competent, knowledgeable person putting out a one-of-a-kind, unique infomercial about you to some of the more selective companies around.

If you’re going to hire a person based on the actual interaction you have versus the image of that candidate in your mind, it demands a more personalized approach from the beginning with a specialized recruiter like Roy Talman & Associates. It’s a more intelligent, focused approach to recruitment that both candidates and the companies considering them deserve.