PayScale recently published an article, “6 Things Your Recruiter Expects From You, Even Before the First Contact,” where it advised job seekers of how to be prepared to talk to a recruiter.
The author, Padmaja Ganeshan-Singh, writes that there are a few basic expectations that a recruiter will have when he or she is calling a candidate. Those include:
-Understand the job description: At least most of it. Granted, job descriptions can be confusing, but make sure that you have most of the skills listed to perform the job well.
-Be available: If you’ve received a request asking for your availability for a discussion, make sure you only share time slots that you are able to commit.
-Know your basics: What are your career goals? What is your salary expectation and how flexible are you? Why have you applied to this company and why have you applied for this role? How soon can you join? These are questions that the recruiter will try and get answers to in the initial call.
-Be prepared with examples: If a particular type of experience is mentioned as absolutely essential, rest assured you will be asked about it.
-Be courteous and display a genuine interest in the job: The assumption here is that you did not randomly apply to multiple jobs. The recruiter has your resume because you are interested and possess the right skill set. Remember that every time you make a contact in your filed, you have the potential of building your professional network. So be cordial in your interactions.
-Be curious: Your recruiter will expect you to have questions – this is after all your first interaction.
While I agree with Ganeshan-Singh’s six points, I don’t believe that they only apply to job seekers. When someone applies for a job, there are certain things he or she will expect from the recruiter or hiring manager as well. Oftentimes the employer’s wants/needs are highlighted while those of job seekers are overshadowed. Yet, just as an employer would want to hire “grade A” talent and expect those types of job seekers to have certain qualities, talented job seekers want to work for an employer with a great brand and culture—and provides a positive candidate experience during the hiring process.
There is so much advice telling job seekers how to prepare themselves for the employer; this time I’d like to offer some tips on how the employer should prepare themselves for a job seeker. So, using Ganeshan-Singh’s advice as inspiration, below are five things job seekers want from recruiters/employers during the hiring process:
1. Understand how the candidate’s qualities relate to the job description. I’ve had experiences where a recruiter will bypass 90 percent of my resume and focus on the skill that equals 10 percent of my experiences. Then he/she would try to match me with jobs that required 90 percent of the skill set of which I only possessed a small amount. This isn’t a good practice.
Recruiters, job seekers are coming to you for your help and expertise. They trust that you’re able to look at their resumes and find roles that will best suit them. If you see that a resume is filled with sales experience and has one line about written communication skills, don’t send the job seeker marketing and communications roles. Make sure you understand how the candidate’s qualities and skill sets relate to the job description. It’s important that his/her background actually qualifies the person for the job—and job seekers are going to want you to explain this when pairing them with roles.
2. Respect the job seeker’s time. If you schedule a meeting or interview at a certain time, be there on time. Don’t have job seekers waiting forever for a meeting or interview that you scheduled. They respected your business enough to show up on time; show them the same respect and courtesy.
3. Know the company basics. This is similar to point number one. If you’re matching a job seeker to a specific role, you should have some background information on the company and why you believe he or she would be a great fit at that organization. Ganeshan-Singh advised job seekers to know why they applied for the role, their career goals and salary expectations. She’s saying job seekers need to come prepared knowing what they desire professionally and how that role plays a part in getting them there. Recruiters need to know the same when matching a job seeker to a role. Based off the job seeker’s goals and interests, how does this company benefit the job seeker by working there? What is its mission? Starting salary? These questions are important to give job seekers the “basics” when it comes to a role and he/she deciding whether or not to pursue it.
4. Be courteous and display genuine interest in the role and job seeker’s needs. Nothing is more unappealing for job seekers than an employer that doesn’t even seem interested in the role it’s hiring for. If the hiring manager is nonchalant about the company, why would a job seeker want to work there?
Also, don’t forget to express genuine interest in the job seeker’s wants and needs, as a recruiter. A job seeker will not want to work with someone who seems uninterested in helping him/her.
5. Update the candidate. This is probably one of the biggest things job seekers hate about your hiring process. Keep them updated on their status with the company or a role they applied for. The resume black hole is annoying, but being contacted by a recruiter or hiring manager, promised further contact at a later date and then never receive that call or email is even worse.
Are you in the midst of a job search? What other tips can you offer employers for what job seekers desire during the hiring process?