The Challenger Executive Networking group welcomed Cynthia Solie, global head of talent acquisition for top corporations such as Gardner Denver and IDEX, to discuss the job search process from HR’s perspective. She gave a peek behind the curtain of the recruiting process, as well as best practices for the job search.
First thing’s first: from where are candidates recruited?
The majority of candidates are recruited from the inside first, about 37 percent. Another 31 percent come from the companies’ career pages, indicating that a job seeker is targeting that particular company by going to its career page and searching for jobs. Thirty percent come from social media, while 22 percent of candidates come from referrals.
The Job of recruiters
Job seekers sometimes do not fully realize the role recruiters play in the hiring process. They typically are trying to fill many open positions within an organization at once, reviewing between 500 and 5,000 resumes per month, and often are also scheduling all interviews.
Due to the busy nature of their work, an important aspect for job seekers to keep in mind is that recruiters typically spend less than one minute on a resume. Automated resume tracking services can screen resumes for key words and skills necessary to the role, but once in a recruiter’s hands, the major points they will look for are names of companies, titles, and dates of employment. Cynthia recommends writing a brief description of the company, as well, especially in the cases of lesser known companies.
This lets the recruiter or hiring manager know quickly the industry with which you have the most familiarity, the sizes of companies in which you’ve worked, and whether you have global experience.
How do I stand out?
The process begins with the resume. Most importanly, make sure you have the key words and skills necessary for the position on your resume to ensure you will be included by which ever applicant tracking system the company uses. This may mean having multiple resumes, one for each position for which you are applying.
Networking is so important to landing a role. Use your LinkedIn, professional, or personal networks to see if you know anyone who already works at the company that interests you. You never know who is willing to help, it may come where you least expect it.
Once you are called in for an interview, Cynthia stresses the importance of data and results. Discuss a specific project or task you developed or implemented, and then be sure to include the outcome. An interviewer wants to know that the contributions you made to a situation had a beneficial result. She also pointed out that “being warm and approachable builds trust faster than confidence” in these situations, so be aware of your body language and tone. Overall, just be genuine.
Follow up! Always send a thank you note, either electronically or hand-written, to the people who interviewed you. Email is probably best, since it’s instant, and can be sent quickly while you are still on the hiring manager’s mind. Include a specific reference to how your skills are a good fit for the role. Cynthia encourages polite persistence to recruiters and hiring managers. Get a timeline for next steps, and follow up until you get a final decision from the company.
Thanks so much to Cynthia for her great advice and insights! To learn more about Cynthia, check her out on LinkedIn