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VOL. 130 | NO. 202 | Friday, October 16, 2015

Angela Copeland

What Hiring Managers Wish You Knew

By Angela Copeland

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Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a group of hiring managers at a conference hosted by the Society for Information Management. It’s an organization that encourages networking and education for technology leaders.

But the group I spoke with wasn’t just any group of hiring managers. They’re frustrated. Hiring can be a hard business to be in, and they’re struggling to recruit the best, most talented employees.

I shared an insider’s point of view on hiring, based on trends I’ve noticed in my coaching. In particular, I shared what it is that gets under the skin of job seekers.

First, the online application process is incredibly frustrating. It’s like a black hole. Human resources folks point us to the company website and say, “If we’re interested, we’ll call you.” Then, they rarely do. Part of the reason for this can be attributed to the applicant tracking systems many companies use. Often, real human eyes may never see a job application when a job seeker applies online. That’s why I advocate for finding alternative paths to apply.

The other issue that can be incredibly frustrating to job seekers is employers who don’t get back to them in a timely manner. Job searching is a time consuming, difficult process. Job seekers spend time updating their resumes, filling out lengthy online applications and purchasing new clothes and haircuts. They have to sneak out of work at least once, if not three or four times, for phone calls and meetings – for every single job.

In the final meeting, the hiring manager often says, “We’re in a real hurry to fill this job and get started. We want to make a decision right away. We’ll let you know something by Friday.” Then Friday comes, and the job seeker hasn’t heard anything. The next Friday may even come, and still, nothing.

The group I spoke with admitted that they have very little control over the speed of hiring a candidate. They must take steps that are established within their organization. This could include approval from their manager or from human resources. It could be additional paperwork or a minimum number of candidate interviews.

The one thing they do have control over however is their communication. When you’re in the position to hire, it’s important to be up front and honest with candidates about the hiring process. If you aren’t transparent, great candidates may get frustrated and talk away.

If you are a candidate interviewing and you experience this, remember that it may not be over yet. Often, the reason you haven’t heard back has more to do with a company’s processes and less to do with you. Stay calm and avoid making up scenarios in your head. Send the hiring manager a follow up e-mail to thank them and check in on the status of their search. If you’re still in the running, there’s a good chance the hiring manager will respond with an apology explaining that the process is held up within the company.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.

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