How Employers Hire New Candidates

In last weeks post I talked about How People Buy Stuff. This process is incredibly important when thinking about how potential employers look at candidates for a new position. While we may like to think about the hiring process being a different process than how we buy a soda, at the root of it all it really isn’t. The process is incredibly similar and should be looked at through this lens. When we do we’ll see some important things appear.

1. We Hire People In Our Minds

First thing we have to do is realize the ONLY reason why we hire someone is because there is a problem that needs to be resolved. That’s it. There are no employment opportunities where the position is just “there.” Some problem needs to be resolved and that problem needs a solution.

Once a problem arises that needs fixing we will immediately go into our Mental Memory Filing Cabinet and think of all the people who could solve the problem. We will filter that list by criteria of “Would they do it?”, “Could I afford them?”, or “Would they even want to do it?” These filters will remove the people who are not possible options and leave behind only those we think we can approach.

Once we have that list we will approach those people and see if there is a good fit for what we need. If it works then our search is over. Sure we may need to “Post” the position because of legal issues or other HR needs, but I’ll show you how to overcome those hurdles, or even remove them because I want you to have the position.

Remember: You can only be in this tier if you have a strong positive relationship with people and they know what you can do for them.

This tier can be more accessible by you when you provide value to people. Value is something that I have spoken a lot about in my book and is a longer discussion than we have here. I’ll talk about it in another post I promise!

2. We Hire Internally the People We Trust

If we can’t find a good opportunity from our Mental Memory Filing Cabinet then we will see if there is anyone in our company that might be able to fill the position. We’ll post the position internally in hopes that someone who already works in the organization might be interested and can solve our problem.

Why do this? It’s so much easier to promote from with in an organization than to look from someone externally. Here are a few, but not all the reasons:

    1. Since they already work in our company we know they understand the issues of our company
    2. We don’t need to spend as much money as we would on an external candidate. The promotion has to fit within the HR protocols established on raises and promotions
    3. We have a work history we can see and not just rely on 3rd party information to corroborate

It is so much easier to hire from within the company. There is a level of trust that is established. And that trust is so meaningful.

Remember: Just because you have a job doesn’t mean your employment opportunities are finished. Always perform to your best and you will be seen as a person who should be promoted.

3. We Will Ask for Referrals from People

You’ve seen this before … a company has a listing for a job and offers a bonus to the current employees if they bring in someone from the outside to get hired. This “signing bonus” referral program gives the employees the chance to be a part of the hiring process and bring friends and relatives into a great work environment. It also gives the employers a pool of people that are trusted to filter down to the one candidate who can solve the issue.

It is important to understand why this works:

  • First: The employee doesn’t want to jeopardize their current employment so they will not want to bring in anyone they feel will be a bad candidate
  • Second: Because I trust my employees I can trust their recommendations

What is the worst thing that can happen if a person recommends the wrong candidate? They can lose their employment. Because that is an idea which is always out there most people will only recommend people who they feel is the “best fit” as a solution to the problem.

Remember: When you have meaningful conversations with peers and colleagues you give them the opportunity to think about you when someone needs an issue resolved

4. Depending On Resources We Use 3rd Party Tools

If we have the resources we will spend money on headhunters, temp agencies and other 3rd party tools (like LinkedIn Jobs) to help us discover the right candidates. We hope the investment of up to a 3rd of the annual salary of a person is enough to get us the right candidate for the position.

Remember: Here we are buying trust. We trust that the companies will provides us the best possible choices because they want to keep getting money from us

The biggest problem with going down this route is the ability to effectively explain the situation to the 3rd party. If the 3rd party doesn’t truly understand our problem and a solution to our problem then getting the right candidates might not be as easy as you would think.

Is it important to sign up with head hunter agencies and other groups like that? Sure, but I suggest networking and talking to people is a better use of your time. However, if you think that it will work for you, go out and try it. In my experience, 3rd party tools work maybe around 10-20% of the time. So I would maybe use only 10% on your resources to actively pursue them.

5. We Test the Candidate for 20 Minutes to See What the Next 3 Years Will Bring

So you can’t think of anyone that will work out for you, there is no one in your company who can do or wants the position, there is no one in your network pool who can recommend anyone, and 3rd party resources are not working out for you. Where do you go next? Simple … you post the position.

It’s important to note this: Posted positions are the ones that 1) No one could think of a good person to fill, 2) no one in the company could do the job, 3) No one could recommend a person to do and 4) No 3rd party company could fill. Yet these are the postings that we look at and think, “These are the only jobs out there for us!” How completely warped is that?

And for the company, they don’t want to hire people this way, but we feel like we have to because nothing else was working for us. So we put a posting out in the ether and we get candidates. We then “Test Drive” the candidates for 20-30 minutes in hopes that will tell us what the next 3+ years will bring us. This is not a desired outcome at all.

Remember: We want to avoid this tier at all costs when seeking employment. We are better than this!

So in order to avoid this tier we need to do a couple things. Let’s conclude with this to keep this post positive.

Conclusion (In the Positive)

We want to be in Tier 1-3 if possible. In order to do that we need to do a couple of things:

  1. We need to showcase value instead of showcase things that don’t matter (i.e. skills, accolades, accomplishments)
  2. We need to talk with peers and colleagues. Staying inside our own bubble is not as valuable as you would think
  3. We need to keep a list of Value Statements we can use as WOW moments when talking to important individuals

It is important to realize that a company is purchasing you for a specific need. The more you understand that need the easier it is to showcase how you are the solution to the problem. But they are purchasing YOUR SERVICES. So you need to showcase why you are the PRODUCT they need.

This isn’t as tricky as you would think. It takes a little bit of practice and a lot of understanding about yourself to accomplish, but you can do it. If you want a good guide may I recommend my book, “5 Simple Things to Do to Land the Job You Love!” It walks you through a number of exercises that can show you how to be in tier 1-3 as well as walks you through steps to keep you moving forward during your employment situation. If you don’t want to purchase the book I guarantee I’ll get around to these topics in upcoming posts.

I just don’t know how fast I’ll get around to all of them …

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