Have a question or comment? Connect with me at Julie.shipman@jwsgroupllc.com

The economy is really strong right now. Candidates with certain skill sets have their pick of companies. When you are hiring, what sets you and your role apart?

Why do some managers just seem to always be able to fill their positions quickly? I think it’s a couple things: the relationships & reputation they have in their market, how they conduct the search and the criteria they use to fill the job.

I’ve worked as both a corporate recruiter and an agency recruiter. Over the years I have heard a variety of requirements from managers on how they make hiring decisions. This list is a sampling of some of the pitfalls a well-intentioned manager can fall into. A few examples:

  • I’ll only hire the candidate who sends me a thank you note.
  • I googled their home address. They are making way too much money to take this job.
  • I’ve asked him to send me a picture. If I’m going to hire a sales person I need them to look the part.
  • Based on the group they are in, I bet they work with one of my former colleagues. I’ll give her a call and ask her what she thinks of them.
  • I’m never going to hire someone with blue hair, body piercing or tattoos.
  • They told me they are making over $100,000 a year. Why would they be willing to take a pay cut? Something must be wrong with them.
  • What were they thinking? Who wears a boring navy suit to an interview? Didn’t they research our culture?
  • Why didn’t they list any outside interests or hobbies on their resume? I’ll ask what they like to do to make sure they fit with the team. We’ve worked really hard on the culture here and you know one bad hire………
  • I can’t let them work remote. How can they do their job effectively if they aren’t in the office?
  • If they really want the job they will follow up and ask for it. Let’s wait to see how long it takes.
  • If they keep contacting me about the job they must be desperate and I don’t want to hire someone who is desperate.

Are your expectations for hiring reasonable? Are they based on what you said you want in the job description?

We all have expectations: for people, for objects, for outcomes. Having high expectations isn’t a bad thing it’s when those expectations become unreasonable, illegal or ill-advised that we have a problem. When you are hiring, if you are using criteria like aesthetics, anecdotal feedback or perceived “correct” behaviors that’s where the trouble starts.

So what’s a good hiring manager to do?

  • Start by being able to clearly articulate what makes the job your hiring appealing.
  • Make sure your job description is clear, enticing and free of grammatical errors. The job description you use to attract the candidate serves the same purpose as their resume does for you.
  • Think through the dynamics of your current team – are there certain skills or traits that could round out your team, benefit your customers or advance your organization?
  • What do you bring as a manager? People leave managers not companies. How’s your retention rate?

Finally, use your creativity correctly to hire the best candidate for the job. Do this while ensuring the hiring process is clear, efficient and fair. For some good suggestions consider this recent article from Business News Daily – https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7155-startup-hiring-tips.html


Bottom line: Hiring managers and recruiters have just as much responsibility in the hiring process as a candidate does. Ensure your process to hire them is delivering the right result.