5 Ways to Combat Hiring Manager Indecision in the Interview Process

iStockphoto.com ( SIphotography )

iStockphoto.com ( SIphotography )

 

Have you ever noticed that companies are bit slow to make hiring decisions?

It's not unusual for the interview process to take days, weeks, sometimes even months. Or for the process to involve meeting with upwards of 10 interviewers. And to involve reference checks or personality tests or other exams before making a decision.

You're not imagining things, and it's no accident, either. The interview process is taking longer because employers are more afraid of risk.

But first some context. Let's rewind about 8 or 9 years ago, to the height of the recession. There were a glut of job seekers, and fewer jobs to go around. At the time, companies had more of options of candidates from which to choose, so they took advantage of this buyer's market. They became more selective.

It's a great economy right now. If you have talent, it's a seller's market, but you wouldn't know it by the interview process. Here are some reasons why:

  • Companies became used to being able to cherry pick employees in the bad market. They haven't adjusted their mindset to the reality of the moment, which is that there's more jobs than qualified people to fill them. So they're more inclined to wait for that "perfect fit," even if they don't exist.
     
  • Managers are terrified to make a bad hiring decision. They fear that if they hire somebody who doesn't work out, for whatever reason, it's a bad reflection on them. And maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But hiring decisions aren't forever (we're ALL replaceable).
     
  • Blame is to be shared. If you're afraid to make a hiring decision, what's the best way to cover yourself? Why not make sure that the whole team has a part in the decision making process? Many managers are delegating their hiring authority to their teams, their peers, their internal and external customers, and other stakeholders so that if the person doesn't work out, everybody can throw up their hands and say, "Well, that candidate fooled all 34 of us who interviewed him!" No single person then takes the blame for making a bad decision. And how freaking hard is it to impress EVERYBODY that you interview with - without consensus, you likely won't get the nod.

So, what can you do to shake things loose when you seem to be stuck in the wheels of the interview process? There is no guaranteed remedy, but here are some ways to kick loose from hiring manager indecision!

  1. Try your best to take control of the process. Be proactive in asking the recruiter and hiring manager what next steps will be, and when you should expect to hear from them again. Ask if they need anything else from you to make their decision.
     
  2. Demonstrate your interest in the role, right now. Convey excitement. Verbalize this, telling anybody who will listen, "I'm very excited by this opportunity, and would love to joint the team!" You'd be surprised how many job seekers never clearly express interest in the job. People notice.
     
  3. Send thank you notes. To everyone you've met. It's that little bit of extra effort that shows you care and that you listened to what the interviewers said. I've seen well-placed thank you notes put a job candidate over the top.
     
  4. Keep the employer apprised. Check in from time to time. If you are expecting an offer from another company and time is of the essence, pick up the phone and call the recruiter, and let them know that their company is your first choice but you anticipate having to make a decision soon.
     
  5. Be proactive providing references, backup data, and anything else that may help your case. If you show that you are open and have nothing to hide, you may be able to use these little extras to move the process forward.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.

Looking To Relocate? 5 Effective Strategies For Pursuing Work In A Different City

iStockphoto.com ( Satenik_Guzhanina )

iStockphoto.com ( Satenik_Guzhanina )

 

Are you looking for a job in another city?

When it comes to hiring, time is of the essence, and employers may prefer to focus on finding local talent so that they don't have to deal with the time and cost associated with interviewing, hiring, and relocating out-of-town candidates.

If you'd like to continue your career in another city, here are 5 strategies you can use to accelerate your search and increase your chances of snagging the job of your dreams.

  1. Localize your resume. One of the very first things an employer does when looking through resumes in their applicant tracking system is filter the results by geography  in order to zero in on candidates who already live in the area (in the United States, this is usually done by Zip codes). If you're targeting a move to, say, Chicago, ask a relative who lives there if you can use their address on your resume; alternatively, you can rent a local mailbox from the UPS Store or another mailbox service provider. Also, secure a phone number with your target city's area code by using a free service such as Google Voice, which will route calls to your cell phone.
     
  2. Localize your LinkedIn. If feasible, change your address in LinkedIn as well. Recruiters comb the system to find talent. This way you'll increase your chances of appearing in their searches.
     
  3. Schedule a visit. If you have the time to do so, plan a trip to target destination with the goal of securing interviews. If employers have reached out to you and have demonstrated hesitancy to schedule an interview because you're not local, reach out to then and let them know you'll be in town and would love to meet them. Be proactive – identify recruiters and hiring managers at your target companies (LinkedIn is a great tool for this), introduce yourself, and (graciously) request a meeting for during your trip.
     
  4. If applying internationally, spell out your work authorization status. If you're a Greek citizen applying to a job in Spain, your European Union work authorization enables you to work there without restriction. Spell this out in your resume and cover letter. Consider doing the same if you're following a family member to another country and will be able get work authorization due to their work status and local law.
     
  5. Tell potential employers you're already planning to move. Have you set a move date? Do you have a place to stay? Make this known, and you'll quickly alleviate concerns about  timing and cost.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.

Is It Really The Job Of Your Dreams? How To Conduct A Reference Check On A Potential Employer

iStockphoto.com (vladwel)

iStockphoto.com (vladwel)

 

Prior to extending a job offer, an employer will usually do due diligence on you – background checks, drug tests, and reference checks, among other things – so that they know who they're hiring.

Likewise, you should do due diligence on a potential employer before accepting any position. And with the substantial volume of information readily accessible both online and through your network, there's really no excuse for accepting a job at a nightmare employer without having done your homework first.

Here's five resources you can use to conduct a reference check on a potential employer.

Resource: Glassdoor
What Is It: It's a job board, but it's also a forum where job applicants and employees can post and rate their interview and work experiences with an employer.
Pros: Transparency. There's a huge number of reviews (and growing), particularly about larger companies. Taken in aggregate, you'll get a general picture of the work environment.
Cons: People who have had bad experiences are more likely to post their reviews than people who have had positive or neutral experiences, so the results may skew negatively. The reviews are anonymous, so they're also unverifiable. Large companies can have different sub-cultures across the organization, so the feedback may not be wholly representative. Smaller companies may have few or no reviews.

Resource: "Best Employer" Lists
What Is It: National publications, such as Forbes, as well as regional or local magazines or websites, publish annual employer rankings based upon a variety of criteria, such as the benefits, work environment, diversity, employee engagement, and several other quality of life factors.
Pros: Companies who make the list care deeply about doing so because it helps their employer brand, which in turn supports recruitment and retention. And it's not easy to get on these lists – the selection process typically includes extensive questionnaires, metrics analyses, employee engagement surveys, and audits.
Cons: Companies self-nominate, meaning the pool of potential "Best Employers" consists of firms who are committed to doing the work to get on them; in fact, several employers have departments dedicated to making these lists. Conversely, there are many great employers who don't apply and will therefore not appear on any such list.

Resource: Staffing Firm Recruiter
What Is It: These individuals, also known as headhunters, are hired by companies to find talent for their difficult-to-fill job openings.
Pros: Experienced recruiters know which are great employers and which are revolving doors for talent. Either they've worked on making placements for them, or they know someone who has. And the candidates they speak with provide the inside skinny about their current employers. Bad companies are the ones that tend to be their most fertile for recruiting talent out.
Cons: A recruiter's perspective is going to be tinted by their relationship with that employer. In other words, if the recruiter is works consistently with a company to place talent there, they may be less forthcoming about the negative aspects of working there since the company is paying their tab.

Resource: The News
What Is It: You can search for news about employers on online aggregators, such as Google News or Bing News, or by checking the websites of newspapers, magazines, and television stations.
Pros: If there's information out there to be had, you'll find it.
Cons: Companies don't usually get news coverage unless there's something newsworthy. You'll also need to evaluate the impact of the information; companies usually make the news for really, really good things or for really, really bad things.

Resource: Current or Former Employee of the Company
What Is It: A person who works or has worked there.
Pros: Nobody knows a company better than an employee. He or she will know the politics, pitfalls, and rewards. Ask around, if you don't know anyone personally, chances are someone can help you make a connection to a person who did.
Cons: You'll need to calibrate your opinion based upon the employee's personal experience. If they were fired, they might have an axe to grind.


Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.