As a job seeker, finding the right position can be a long, drawn-out process lasting several months at a time. It can be intimidating when you don’t hear back after that first or second interview, and it can be difficult to remain engaged during the process. Meanwhile, as an HR talent professional, the pressure is on to find the right person to fill that open position now, so you can solve your organization’s business pain.
There’s a persistent gap between perception and reality when it comes to these two sides of the proverbial career-searching coin. Misunderstandings and wrong perceptions are common, making the process of finding that job and filling that position even more stressful for both parties.
But we believe something can be done about it. We believe bridging this nexus between perception and reality is one of the things that executive search professionals do best.
Here are three ways executive recruiters can provide a strategic advantage and improve the experience and outcomes of job seekers and HR talent professionals alike.
1. Facilitate Post-Interview Feedback
The amount of post-interview candidate feedback we receive from HR professionals and hiring managers is sometimes shockingly little or non-existent. Sharing this feedback is essential to the iterative process of filling an open position—the winnowing-down process of candidates’ skills, motivations, and enthusiasm to fill a position in relation to specifications and criteria laid out for the position. The robust sharing of post-interview feedback enables recruiters to do a better job, bringing the right candidates to the table through the constant refinement of the criteria. Secondly, this feedback helps our job candidates to understand where they fell short. Recruiters don’t need to know if you liked the candidate or not; they need to know if and why they were a good fit for the role; that is, did they possess the right set of skills, the right attitude, the right level of professionalism and energy, etc. This is an objective question, not a judgment, and this helps recruiters to provide a strategic advantage to our client organizations and to our candidates by helping us to know what went well and, maybe where their background didn’t quite line up.
2. Address Candidate Interview Outcome Over-Confidence
In our experience, job candidates are confident that the job interview went well at least 85% of the time, even when it didn’t. This is an obvious breakdown in communication. Now, we all know that a job interview is a two-way conversation, ideally. Each party is trying to assess if this might be a good fit, especially in the first round or two. But the interviewer is in control and holds the upper hand, typically. They’re representing their company and part of their job is to represent that company well. The HR person or hiring manager wants the job interviewing experience to be comfortable for the candidate so they can, at least, walk away with a positive feeling about the company, if not for the interview itself. But most people don’t like to give constructive feedback or don’t know how to do it well. So, most interviewers play their cards close to their vest, asking questions and getting to know candidates and their backgrounds, assessing if they might be a good fit, but never sharing constructive feedback—so most candidates walk away feeling like they did well. But strategic executive search firms like ours work closely with HR talent and hiring managers to facilitate this constructive feedback. Not doing so diminishes the value of the interview process for the candidate, leaving them with the erroneous perception about their performance during the interview process. Granted, some candidates lack good listening skills or a sense of self-awareness, so they may walk away feeling great despite telltale signs that the interview might not have gone so well. But a lack of constructive feedback can skew the candidate’s perceptions of the hiring organization, where a bad review on hiring sites like GlassDoor.com could affect that organization’s ability to find the right talent in the future.
3. Keep Candidates Engaged Throughout The Search Process
We find that there’s a blind spot when it comes to keeping job seekers engaged during the lengthy process of finding and filling an open position; namely, communication. Strategic recruiters are proactive about keeping candidates engaged and interested in the absence of forward-movement or feedback from the client. Good recruiters coordinate with HR talent pros and hiring managers and provide ongoing candidate updates—whether the news is actionable or not. The right recruiter understands the importance of robust communication to avoid the kind of candidate fears and misperceptions that lead to disengagement during the hiring process. In the absence of actionable news or constructive feedback, strategic recruiters like Victoria James Executive Search redeem the time by passing on career coaching tips and preparing job candidates for their next steps. Simply put, strategic recruiters care and go the extra mile to take a personal interest in their candidates.
What Are You Searching For?
If you’ve worked with Victoria James Executive Search before, you already know how we provide strategic value for our job seekers and HR talent professionals.
Give us a call today at 203.750.8838 if you’d like to chat.
All Victoria James Executive Search recruiters have a proven track record of senior-level placements at Fortune 500 firms as well as start-ups. We look forward to hearing from you.
Smile! We leave with the following superb job-interviewing tip guaranteed to land your next job with style
from the folks over at The Poke in the UK (try these at your own risk ):
If asked to describe yourself in five words, say: “I will bring in cakes!” Pull brownies out of your jacket pocket, smile, and give the two-thumbs-up sign.