I am currently hiring a whole new crop of recruiters and, when this happens, I get to experience things from the hiring manager perspective. It's always a great reminder of what works (and what doesn't).
Listen, it's pretty simple. Assuming a candidate has the requisite skills for the job, the actual and final hiring decision is almost always an emotional (and even subliminal) one. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a hiring manager say "I don't know what it is, but I just like that guy." Remember that they almost always will have 2-3 qualified people to choose from. And they will choose the one they like the most. Period...end of story.
The best way to start getting the hiring manager to like you is to accommodate them.
Think "old school Butler" here in the way you interact with them. No, I'm not asking you to bring them their slippers and breakfast in bed. What I am saying is that you should come from the position of serving them. Ask yourself what you could do to make things easier or better for them. A busy hiring manager just wants one thing...to simplify things. Be someone who does that.
Here are some things people did for me this week during my interview process with them. What a shocker...I really liked them and want to bring them all back in for the next round! ;)
- Good Example #1: My cell phone went off (my bad) during an interview. I saw the number and actually did want to pick this person up, but wanted to be polite. Instead of doing nothing and hoping our conversation wouldn't get interrupted, the candidate smiled and said "Like your ring tone....do you need to grab that? I completely understand. " HINT: Let them grab their call! They'll most likely keep it brief and, when they get off this call, they'll feel completely appreciative towards you
- Good Example #2: I was speaking with a candidate about doing a second round interview and they could clearly see on my desk the large list of people we've interviewed and my unorganized, scratchy notes on who was coming back when. They said, "I'm sure it's been hectic getting everything organized...just know that I can do whatever interview times workout best for you." It is absolutely daunting to keep track of all the people you spoke to, when the candidates are available, when your team is available to meet them, and to somehow pull this all together seamlessly into an organized schedule of interviews. HINT: Do everything you can to both acknowledge this scheduling effort and be as flexible as possible.
- Good Example #3: I always set up check in calls for feedback. Saves me the time of chasing candidates down. I asked a candidate to call me on Thursday at 3:00pm and, voila, he called me smack dab at 3:00pm. I said this window because I knew I had that time free and if he was checking in later I might not be able to discuss the feedback with him. By sticking to this, he demonstrated that he listens, follows direction and is willing to accommodate my availability to speak. HINT: If a hiring managers give you a specific day/time to check back in, follow those instructions exactly. If they leave things loose with you about calling them back, ask them if a particular day/time works best for them to show your interest in accommodating their schedule.
Next up...examples of things we intentionally or unintentionally do that make things more difficult on the hiring manager. Stay tuned!