Recruiting: Dreadful as Online Dating (Without the Friends or Benefits)

Online DatingYou probably know happy couples who met online. For every happy couple, however, there are 10 horror stories of people showing up 15 years older (or 50 pounds heavier) than their profile picture.

E-recruiting, much like e-dating, has many success stories. The sad part about recruiting, though, is that we don’t get to date the winners very long. As recruiters, we give the best matches to the hiring manager… and then we start searching for “the one” all over again.

Here’s a more insight into the recruiting process (and a little advice on how to make it to the second date).

The Profile

“I like long walks on the beach, Reggae music and I love to cook. I’m looking for someone with 5 years’ experience in marketing, extensive experience with popular software, who has excellent attention to detail and who is willing to work for far less than we can afford to pay.”

We know… this is basically the dating equivalent of asking for a potential mate that already has a six-figure income, a winning smile and saves puppies and kittens from drowning on weekends.

The Speed Dating Round

The first date is the speed dating round. We recruiters schedule entire days of interviews. make sure the person matches the profile and isn’t a complete douchebag. You need to get through the first date to get to the second date with the hiring manager. Here’s how.

Step 1 – Make Sure You Can Back Up What’s Written on Your Resume

You were chosen to be interviewed because of several things you wrote on your resume. We’re going to ask you about them to make sure you did them. Be prepared to elaborate on specific projects. If you told me you were athletic, I’m gonna need to see you run.

Step 2 – Know Yourself Really Well

You are going to be asked to give an overview of your work history as well as what you’re passionate about. Print off your resume and make notes if you have to. Just be prepared to talk about this. It sounds like a given, but a lot of people fail here. If you said you’re from a big family, but can’t list your siblings’ names, I’m gonna get suspicious.

Step 3 – Be Charming

Attitude is everything. I interviewed a woman who had her own tagline. She told me she was “a small town girl with a big city attitude.” I never forgot her name as a result. Just like people don’t forget a good date, they certainly don’t forget a bad date.

Fact: Sometimes the HR guy won’t know all of the intricacies of the app development position you applied for.

Fact: They will be completely aware of the condescending attitude you have towards them.

Actions That Will NOT Get You a Second Date

Please note: recruiters share all of our notes with the hiring manager…

Name dropping: Tell me on your resume what companies you worked for and specifically what you did there. Don’t spend a significant amount of time asking me if I know so and so. (The recruiter is on this date with you… not people you worked with). I’m not impressed by the fact that you worked for Donald Trump unless you can effectively tell me what you did for him.

Recruiters Note: Candidate worked with an impressive list of clients, but was unable to communicate what the hell they did.

Questioning my questions: If I ask you to elaborate on something, don’t ask me why I want to know that or how is that relevant to this position. Often recruiters will want to know about all of your skills. If you’re not hired for the position you’ve applied for, they may contact you in the future for other positions. If I it doesn’t work out between us, I can hook you up with one of my friends, provided you meet their specifications.

Recruiter’s Note: Candidate seemed put off by questions about their prior experience in other fields of marketing. Candidate was not flexible or even very much fun to talk to. Please don’t make me talk to them again.

A Crappy Attitude: Be intelligent, but don’t be smart-ass. You would be surprised at how many professionals, after they realize they’re talking to a lowly recruiter, develop a smarmy attitude. Newsflash! In order to be hired, HR still needs to want to work with you… an no one wants to date a douchebag.

Recruiter’s Note: Candidate has over 10 years of marketing experience, excellent portfolio, possibly overqualified for the position. Complete ass, however… and if you hire him, you’ll also need to hire my replacement; I’m quitting.

Most successful organizations are looking for someone who is a cultural fit as well as someone who can do the job. HR, the internal recruiter, is the one who decides if there will be a second date. HR is who you must impress, first.

Thankfully, getting through the first round and getting past HR, is not a difficult task. Know your resume, be confident and courteous – and avoid being an ass – and we’ll welcome you to date number two!





Scott-KeenanAbout the Author: Scott Keenan is a twenty something with a uniquely cynical view on everything. Scott specializes in Human Resources and Marketing, and he “shares the awesome with you as often as he can.” Check out Scott’s blog, and connect with him on Twitter!



This entry was posted in Job Search and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.