A Look Inside the Thoughts of a Hiring Manager
Haven’t you ever wished you could hear the thoughts going on inside the head of a hiring manager? If you had the inside track it would help you understand what’s going on in the process and how to get a competitive advantage.
Let me offer you that insight. I hired hundreds of people in my 21 years as a manager and also hundreds more as a recruiter. I also have compared my experience with other managers to help me improve my process and to broaden my perspective on hiring.
- This is a PAIN… I’m already working 10-12 hours a day just to get my work done and now I’ve got more work to do just to hire someone. Who knows if the person I hire will work out and if they don’t then my life is seriously miserable. Yep, I think a root canal is sounding like more fun.
- I want this to be over quickly. Maybe I can get this over fast. I keep a stash of resumes of people who have been referred to me in my desk, let me start looking at those. I really hope one of these matches what I’m looking for because if it does, I might get this over A.S.A.P.!
- I’ll ask around. I’m going to call and email a few people I know that always seem to be well connected. I’ll find out if they have any hot resumes or know of people they think would be good at this job. I’ll make it known to lots of people I know so maybe I can speed up this process and I won’t have to post. My history tells me that referrals are always the best hires anyway.
- I guess I better write job descriptions and posting. I’m going to see if I can find an old job posting I used last year to copy from so I don’t have to start with a blank page. Maybe I can find someone else’s job posting and just reuse the parts of theirs that work for this job. I never know what to write for a job posting anyway. This is just another part of this whole process that I hate. I dread the idea that we’d actually have to go so far as to post this online. The deluge of resumes is a killer.
- I can’t read another resume! OMG! All of these resumes look and sound alike. How am I supposed to pick from this pile of 50 resumes? – And there are another 300 in the system I’m sure are the same. None of these resume’s stand out unless they are seriously bad or unqualified. At least the bad ones are somewhat entertaining. I can’t believe that someone with none of my hiring criteria is even bothering to send me a resume…it looks like they completely ignored my hiring criteria.
- Now I’ve picked a handful of resumes, someone saves me from this misery! So, I’ve picked out 10 resumes that all look like they can do the job. I’m still holding out some hope that one of my “feelers” is still going to work out and a referral calls me.
- Phone screen time – I actually don’t mind this part. The fun thing about calling these applicants is that most of the time I don’t actually get them so I leave a voicemail. If I don’t hear back from those people in 24 hours, I pitch the resume and move on to someone else. I use follow up and attention to things like voicemail as part of my screening process. It’s amazing how many people are soooo bad at responding in a timely manner. They’re either rude or stupid – both things I don’t want to hire.
- Phone screen for real. I still like this part of the process because all I’m trying to do now is find a reason to not interview someone in person. Short and sweet with only a couple of questions. I can get this done before lunch. I’m still hoping for a referral.
- UCK! Interviewing. Talk about a contrived event. I’ve tried to figure out what the best questions are to ask all the applicants so I can compare them all when I’m done. BUT, it only marginally helps the decision process in the end. I might have a trusted staff member or peer interview my top candidates to help me sort out my decision but even that isn’t always a good thing to do. At some point, interviewing is boring because it’s almost like reading resumes – they all start sounding the same.
- I’m still hoping for a referral. I don’t care how far along I am in this process. If the right person were to come along, I’d dump all these candidates for a person my network endorses.
- Decision time. ☹ It’s been 3 weeks since I interviewed the last candidate – 5 weeks from the first interview. I had a big presentation to do and it took all my time, then I had some other business issues to deal with. I didn’t think it would take this long to get around to making a decision but that’s how business works. I’ve got to take care of priorities and hiring just had to take second place.
I think I remember which person I thought I’d choose. I hope looking over the resumes and my interview notes help jog my memory. I think this is the one. I’m sure this person can do the work but mostly I really liked them, which makes me hopeful that we can work together well. That’s what it’s all about. I’ll get with HR and work up an offer. Who knows how long that will take?
The hiring process for most hiring managers is not a fun activity. It’s extra work and never goes as fast as anyone thinks it should. At some point, all the resumes and candidates blend together unless someone just happens to stand out. That doesn’t happen very much. At the end of the day, the manager hires the person they liked most because they all appeared to be able to do the job.
What should a job seeker pull out of this? They should focus on referrals and networking. You will always stand out if you do.
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Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.