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There’s a dirty little secret in the job search world. It is so common that it’s often becoming the norm. If you are a human resources leader or a hiring manager, this column is for you. There is someone on your recruiting team that isn’t doing their job and you probably don’t even know it.
Before you get angry, hear me out. What I’m about to say in no way applies to every recruiter. Some recruiters are amazing. They connect deserving candidates with bosses who need their help. It’s a win-win on all sides.
Now, let’s talk about what’s happening with the not so great recruiters. Let me describe the typical candidate experience. The job seeker applies online. The recruiter finds their resume and asks them to schedule a meeting. The first meeting is a screening call. The recruiter emails the candidate the same day or the day before and asks them for a time to talk. Sometimes, the recruiter only offers one time. If the candidate is unavailable at a particular time, the recruiter may ghost the candidate.
Let’s assume the candidate and the recruiter schedule a meeting. The candidate cancels their plans to take the call. They study. They practice. They prepare to put their best foot forward! They sneak away to somewhere quiet to take the call.
Then, they wait. And, they wait and they wait. And, then they wait some more. The recruiter calls late, very late. I’m not talking about five minutes late. I’m talking about thirty minutes, sixty minutes, and over two hours late. I have observed this pattern in about 70 percent of recruiter screening calls lately.
If the candidate does not wait, they lose the job interview. But, they are forced to miss all of their commitments and to hide out for an unknown amount of time. When the recruiter calls, the candidate must pretend not to be bothered. If they don’t have time to meet, the recruiter will gladly move on to someone else in their stack of resumes. Without fail, the recruiter will say, “I’m sorry. My last meeting ran long.” As a recruiter, a top skill should be managing a personal schedule. And, if things were reversed, would the job seeker be considered if they were sixty minutes late?
Many recruiters are also not prepared for the screening call. They have not reviewed the candidate’s resume. Sometimes, they believe they’re calling about a completely different job in a completely different department. Oops!
How does this happen you may wonder? Well, as a job seeker, you will never get a job offer if you are the complainer. And, companies very rarely ever ask for feedback on interviews. So, there’s no feedback loop. At the end of the day, as long as a warm body eventually fills the job posting, the company is happy. But, are they really getting the best candidate? This is quite doubtful.
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Applying for a job seems like a fair process. You apply online, and if you’re a good fit for the job, the company will give you a call. You’ll go in person for an interview and show your expertise. Then, the company will carefully decide who the most qualified person is.
When you don’t land the job, despite being extremely qualified, it can leave you wondering what you’re doing wrong. “Why didn’t the company hire me? What could I have done differently?”
The issue is, not everything is really as it seems in the world of hiring. There are a number of things the recruiter won’t (and often can’t) reveal to you when you’re interviewing for a job.
The hiring manager has a preselected candidate. Sometimes this person is internal, and sometimes they come from the outside. It’s not uncommon for the hiring manager to have someone picked out before you get there. But, the company continues with your interview. This is often because they need to meet their internal process requirements around hiring.
The position has been put on hold. I have seen this more times than I care to count. A company is midway through the hiring process. They have already started interviewing candidates. Then, something happens to put the brakes on the entire thing. Perhaps, they have run out of funding, and a hiring freeze has gone into effect. Or, it’s possible that the hiring manager has moved to another department, or has left the company completely. The big boss doesn’t want to move forward until a new hiring manager is in place, so they can make the final call.
The company is reworking the role. If a role is new, it’s possible that after the hiring manager conducted a few interviews, they realized that their expectations were a little off. Perhaps they want to find someone with a slightly different skillset. Or, they may have realized that the talent they’ve interviewed is a bit outside of their price range. Whatever the reason, they’ve pulled the job posting down and are going through the process to come up with a new, refined role.
The organization moves slowly. This one is always a big surprise. Perhaps you had a great interview and were told you would hear something within a week. Then, nothing happened. You assumed the job was completely lost until a few months later, someone from the company calls for a follow up interview.
Your best chance of landing a job is to practice and prepare. But, if you don’t receive a job offer, don’t assume it is 100% your fault. The company has a number of things going on behind the scenes that will impact whether or not you’re hired. Unfortunately, they will rarely disclose these issues to you.
Rather than focusing on failures, use them as practice to prepare for the next big interview!
Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.
LinkedIn released its report on 2018 Global Recruiting Trends. They surveyed 9,000 recruiters and hiring managers from around the world on the state of hiring. Their research found that the biggest game changer in the hiring space is diversity.
LinkedIn broke down diversity into multiple pieces: diversity, inclusion, and belonging. “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and belonging is dancing like no one is watching.” Belonging is a level of psychological safety that someone feels when they’re truly able to perform at their best. LinkedIn found that 51 percent of companies are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ focused on diversity, 52 percent are focused on inclusion, and 57 percent are focused on belonging.
Interestingly, companies are focused on different aspects of diversity. Employers are the most focused on gender diversity, followed by racial and ethnic diversity. Then, they are focused on diversity based on age, education, disability, and religion.
Beyond attracting diverse talent, companies are beginning to look at how their culture embraces diversity. After all, what’s the point of attracting diverse talent if you can’t retain them? 67 percent of companies said they are working to foster an environment that respects different opinions. 51 percent want to encourage people to be themselves at work. 45 percent are embedding diversity in their company mission and values. And, 44 percent are emphasizing diversity in the leadership team.
One company that’s doing especially well is a Silicon Valley startup called Lever. Of their 150 employees, 50 percent are women. 53 percent of its managers are women, 43 percent of its engineers, and 40 percent of its board of directors.
To achieve this level of gender diversity, Lever employs unusual hiring tactics. First, they have removed the requirements section on the job description. Studies show that women are much less likely to apply for a job if they don’t meet all of the requirements. Lever avoids hiring decisions based on “culture fit,” a technique that often results in more sameness on a team. They have also developed a compensation philosophy that benchmarks the value of each role. It doesn’t rely on a candidate’s past salary to predict their future earnings.
An increased focus on diversity can be seen around the globe, with an average of 78 percent of companies focusing on diversity. In the United States, 78 percent of companies are focusing on diversity, compared with 77 percent in Brazil, 82 percent in the U.K., 73 percent in France, and 85 percent in Australia.
It’s clear that diversity in hiring is here to stay. Companies identified three top reasons to focus on diversity. 78 percent want to improve their corporate culture. 62 percent want to improve company performance. And, 49 percent want to better represent their customers. Companies are beginning to think beyond checking a box. They’re focused now on indicators that impact financial performance, showing that diversity adds value on multiple levels.
Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.
Episode 156 is live! This week, we talk with Christine Laird in Oklahoma City, OK. Christine is the Manager of Talent and Business Growth at the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Previously, she was a Senior Recruiter for Kelly Services where she was consistently recognized as a top performer both regionally and nationally.
On today’s episode, Christine shares:
The pros and cons of working with an external placement agency
How to effectively work with an external recruiter
How to handle salary challenges during the negotiation process
How to follow up with the recruiter, even if we don’t get a job
Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.
Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!
I hope your 2018 is off to an excellent start! I hope you had a great holiday season and are making progress on your New Year’s resolutions.
This is my New Year’s resolution! I wrote to you last November to say I’m expanding my career services. This email is a follow up to that message, to provide more information.
First, you should know that I am continuing to focus on career coaching. If you are an individual job seeker, nothing will change for you. I look forward to continuing to support you through your job search in 2018 the same as in 2017.
If you are a hiring manager, I am now available to help with your corporate recruiting and placement. And, if your organization is going through a restructuring and you would like help with your impacted employees, I now offer outplacement services. I will also continue to offer public speaking and classroom teaching.
A number of folks have asked WHY I have decided to expand my services. The answer is this. For some time, I have been providing corporate outplacement services to organizations that have gone through layoffs. I’ve met with a number of large groups and have worked with individuals at some of the organizations you’ve heard about on the news. But, before now, I haven’t publicized this information. Similarly, for the last four years, hiring managers have leaned on me for help when they need to find great candidates. In other words, these are services I have been providing, but had not officially announced.
If I can help your organization, please don’t hesitate to email me, or to call me at 901-878-9758. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also learn more about my corporate outplacement services and corporate recruiting services on my website (where you will also find downloadable PDFs about each).
Again, if you are an individual job seeker, nothing will change. I look forward to helping you to achieve your goals in 2018 through career coaching!
My current list of career services includes:
Individual career coaching
Corporate outplacement services
Corporate recruiting services
Corporate public speaking
Thank you for all your support! And, thank you for pushing me to expand my service offering. I couldn’t have done this without you.