Lay of the Land - Hiring Insights
Lay of the Land - Hiring Insights
December 29, 2016
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I’m seeing some interesting trends through my clients’ experiences, and after being interviewed for a trade magazine article about the current hiring landscape, I’m curious to see if these insights resonate with you. (Note to self: Get better about posting links to my interviews)

The candidate with the most experience doesn’t always get the job. The combination of skills, experience and cultural fit matter most. So when you get passed over for a position for which you feel your completely qualified, you can’t take it personally. But you can do additional research, by talking to professionals who are “in the know”, about how to best position yourself.

Boomerang employees matter – and more companies are invested in making a “parting of the ways” as amicable as possible so you might consider returning to them in the future. Also, if you have a favorable experience with an employer – which is totally possible even if you’re being transitioned out or your position is eliminated – you’re more likely to refer someone to that company. Companies get that this matters as the competition for talent gets tighter.

The hiring timeline is unpredictable. Don’t assume the position has been filled if you don’t hear anything for a month or so after applying. And when a recruiter tells you that the position needs to be filled within a few weeks, don’t assume that they have any control over the schedule. There are just too many variables, including workload, budget, resource allocation and unknown priorities, to play the guessing game.

The candidate with the most experience doesn’t always get the job.

Candidates aren’t doing enough “shopping around” as this career coach would like. A short job search is a successful job search, right? Not so fast. Even though job searching might never been one of your favorite activities, don’t short-change yourself. I’m hearing from more and more professionals who have landed a “bad fit”. So instead of having a short job search, they find themselves having to jump back into a second job search. Don’t let this scare you off or prevent you from leaving a job that makes you miserable. Growing professionally is always worth it. Even if the outcome doesn’t turn out as planned, you’ll learn a ton in the process. Remember that no one is able to predict every outcome with 100 % accuracy.

Company needs change. Priorities shift. Funding gets cut. Resources get allocated to new areas. So when you apply for a job, and get called for an interview, there’s a chance the job might never be filled. As a business practice, it sounds crazy, but companies do go through the entire process and not hire anyone. Not because you’re not a fabulous candidate. But when you hear “we’ve decided to move in another direction” or “we’ve put this position on hold for now”, it’s not code for “we’ve found someone else”. It happens, so you’ll have to move on quickly. The upside: When you get a call for an even better-matched position than the one you originally applied to.

Hiring managers use the interview process to help them define what they really need in a position. Let’s say they start out with three potential candidates. As they go through the interview process, they discover that they need less experience in one area, and more experience in another. And while they were initially open to hiring someone from outside their industry, they now discover that they’re too deep into their project that they can’t afford their new hire to have that steep of a learning curve. So they decide that no one in the current candidate pool fits their needs. Or they decide to split the position into two different lower-level roles.