Tricks & Treats
Posted on October 31, 2017
Happy Halloween! In honour of this costume-laden, jack-o-lantern carving, cobweb decorating, candy-filled event I’ve decided to share some tricks that are actually hidden treats for hiring managers who are on the hunt for the best and brightest talent around. Enjoy!
TRICK: Use tests, case studies and on-the-job scenarios (anonymizing important information and data, of course) during the interview process.
TREAT: Relish in knowing the candidate can handle – at the very least – what your current challenges are or is well-equipped to tackle your projects head on. Be wary of any ‘tricky questions.’ You’re trying to discern whether a candidate would be able to work through the challenges s/he would face on the job, not trick or discourage him/her.
TRICK: Pass the torch to your team.
TREAT: Nothing is sweeter in the interview process than foreseeing the collaboration and synergy that will happen when a candidate is hired. Giving your team the opportunity to interview their next team member demonstrates your trust and confidence in them (empowering!), it also enables them to see what their future team member can bring to the table.
TRICK: Create a cheat sheet or checklist for talent specialists, recruiters and HR.
TREAT: No cookie cutter job descriptions here – partner with your hiring team and tell them what you’re looking for. Avoid any elaborate titles or jargon. Identify the skills and experience that make a top candidate and characteristics of those that may have the potential to be. The extra effort will translate into truly short-listed candidates and a shortened hiring process.
TRICK: Take advantage of video technology.
TREAT: Say, “Candy!” Resumes can be fairly limiting when it comes to learning about the personality of a candidate. Coupling the CV with a video adds another dimension to the candidate you’re reviewing. It also encourages efficiency in the hiring process if you’re a hiring manager that tends to be at multiple places at a time.
TRICK: Share your own story with candidates.
TREAT: Sharing a bit about your career journey, your passion for what you do, your accomplishments is a little like opening the Halloween bag to reveal the treats inside. It’s a great way to break the ice and put candidates at ease so their nervousness does not overshadow their ability to tell their own story about who they are, their relevant experiences and where they can add value.
TRICK: End the interview when you know it’s time.
TREAT: When the candy runs out, turn out the lights. You will both save time if you bring the interview to an end when you know it should. Be sure to find a moment to transition the conversation so candidates don’t get caught off guard.
TRICK: Be prepared to discuss the tough stuff.
TREAT: There’s no need to hide behind that mask if you believe in your company and team. The reality is, there’s no way to stop someone from posting a bad review or a negative comment online. What you can do is be prepared to share your opinion and experiences; the candidate will be grateful for your candidness and your commitment to what you do and where you work.
TRICK: Be a social butterfly.
TREAT: Yes, it’s fun to dress up as one but it’s more effective to simply be an active member of your social networks. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find the candidate you’re looking for so remember to tap into your network.
TRICK: Get those creative juices going.
TREAT: There are only so many houses you can walk to before it starts to get dark and your bag of candy becomes too heavy to carry home. If you’re faced with a limited hiring budget, be creative. You’ll be surprised at the number of ways you can make that budget work hard for you.
TRICK: Listen to your gut.
TREAT: There’s something to be said for going with your instincts. This shouldn’t be the only basis for your decision but it should play a role in it. If you’re sitting on the fence and can’t decide, take this as a cue to re-evaluate the individual’s candidacy. The best decision may be to continue the search until you find that hidden gem you’re looking for.
–Patricia Whitney, VP, Recruitment Services