Inside the Mind of an Overwhelmed Hiring Manager

I know a hiring manager who was overwhelmed, so she posted a job opening for an Admin.

The small company this hiring manager works for doesn’t have a Human Resources Department. So, the job would be posted on a job board with her name as the contact person. How would she field all the resumes and calls that would come in?! This, on top of her already overloaded plate.

Then came the daunting task of reviewing resumes and cover letters. About a quarter of the submissions didn’t contain the required cover letter. Those applications she immediately deleted because they didn’t follow directions. (That helped to pare down the candidates). Several of the submitted resumes were written in Word 2007, which she couldn’t open.

A preferred temp agency had also been contacted and they sent over 3 resumes. The hiring manager put those on top. They had been pre-screened already and prepped.

Now it was time to find 4-5 candidates to call. She was looking for people who could start immediately and just jump into the job. Oh, but wait, a couple of internal candidates came forward at the last minute. They MUST be interviewed.

Between all the other job related tasks going on, the hiring manager finds a few minutes to make calls. She is able to speak with 3 immediately. She schedules two for interviews.

Who were the 3 people she reached immediately? The ones sent over by the temp agency.

This hiring manager only received 77 resumes. She was lucky. Out of these 77 applicants, under 10 have followed up with and email or a phone call. It made her wonder about the interest of the others. 

She shared with me some of her regrets:

  • I would have liked to spend some time speaking with those candidates that were referred, but I didn’t have the luxury of time.
  • I would have liked to have responded immediately to all candidates that applied, but I didn’t have the luxury of time.
  • I had to stop looking at resumes after a couple of days. I couldn’t keep up and I didn’t have time.

She also shared her disappointment:

Most applicants did not tell me why they wanted to work in this job. Some resumes were so off-base, I thought they may have applied for a different job by mistake.

I share this story to help job seekers understand what is happening inside the hiring company and the mind of the hiring manager. So the “take aways” from this story are:

  • Be memorable
  • Be an inside candidate
  • Be an exact fit on paper
  • Be registered with temp agencies/contract houses
  • Be quick to respond
  • Be tech savvy and follow directions
  • Be persistent to show interest

The other important moral to this story is that no two hiring managers have the same preferences or tactics for screening and hiring. There is no rule book that everyone has to follow (besides EEOC). This is why applying for jobs online is such a crap shoot, you just never know.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!

About the Author:  Hannah Morgan brings over 10 years of experience helping displaced workers search for their next opportunity, and has developed and delivered workshops as well as managed the implementation of Career Navigator, a five-day intensive boot camp for professional level job seekers.

In addition to her blog, Career Sherpa, Hannah is honored to be designated as Job Search Navigator on as well as a featured blogger on HerRochester. She also contributes to Career Collective, a community of expert career coaches and resume writing professionals who write monthly on job search topics, and guest blogs for on social media trends and tools. Follow Hannah on Twitter!



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