The prospect of bringing someone onto the team is one that is exciting and full of possibility. I love talking with candidates. I enjoy learning about them and their passions, their aspirations. Hiring should be something that is exciting and fun. The problem is it remains a process and processes are generally less fun and exciting. But, I can say that there are some things that candidate’s do that truly make the process more fun and exciting.
So, what are some things hiring managers love seeing from a job seeker? Here are the six things that a candidate can do that make me want to say, “You’re Hired!”
1. Following the instructions
It is refreshing when a candidate does exactly what we ask when applying for a position. At my company, we require you to join our database. We only use our own tool to identify talent for our open positions. We don’t take resumes. We don’t believe them. But, that’s our requirement. So, when people do what we’ve asked, we are happy. We look at their work samples and try to find the best hire based on what they’ve done.
On the flip side, when people send me a resume… I get really frustrated. It makes me unhappy. I feel it ignores what we are trying to do and that makes me feel like the candidate doesn’t respect what we are trying to do. So, the candidate that simply follows the directions is one that brings me delight.
2. Having focused communications
When a candidate tells me exactly what they are going to bring to the table to solve my business challenges, I pick up the phone and call them. And who doesn’t love it when the hiring manager calls them directly to talk about their experience. When you are writing to a hiring manager, try to keep the following in mind, “What’s in it for the hiring manager?”
When you focus your communication on solving the business problems, I love you for it. I can imagine you doing the job right away, because you get it. And if this makes you wonder, what’s in it for you, the candidate. Well, when we get to the interview, it is up to me to convince you “what’s in it for you.” So, keep your communications focused on how your skills will solve our problems.
3. Being on brand with the company
Our company has a sense of humor. We like funny. So, I love it when people send me contact requests or inquiries that sound like someone here wrote it. This tells me three things: First, you took the time to read our site and understand our personality. Second, you understand our brand enough that the learning curve when you start isn’t steep. See, I can already see you working here when you write in our voice. And finally, it tells me that you also see alignment.
4. Showing examples
Nothing beats examples! Examples are awesome and help you stand out. If you have a portfolio, Slideshare, CredHive, links to documents, spreadsheets, reports, project plans, ideas, and presentations from Dropbox, send them. I love to see your examples what you’re passionate about and what you are good at. Send that information, it helps me see what you’ve done so that I can better imagine you working on our team.
5. Asking good questions
The interview and its precursor communications should help you be able to make a good decision on each step in the process. You should be curious about our company, its trajectory, my management style and the team. You need to ask good questions to help yourself make a well-inform decision. When you ask good questions, I can tell you are curious and that you are thoughtful. These are my top two desired skills.
6. Following up smartly
Nothing seals the deal like a smartly crafted follow-up message. First, there’s the follow up thank you note. I have to admit as digital as I am, I do like a nice hand-written note. But, the email type is also a really nice thing. The net, always send a thank you note. But everyone knows that. The real deal-sealer is when a little time has passed; the candidate sends me a news article or blog post that is thought provoking based on our conversation. This type of follow up almost always elicits a follow up email from me.
I’d love to hear what you think. In fact, let’s flip it. In the comments, tell me the things that hiring managers do that make the experience better for you.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
About the author
With passion and an innate curiosity, Tracey strives to push the envelope to create great experiences for talent. Tracey has been developing digital, mobile and social solutions for nearly 20 years in the talent acquisition space. Currently CredHive’s CEO, she is dedicated to changing the way hiring is done to create a more level playing field for talent. Visit CredHive to learn more.
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