By: Maurice Gilbert, Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search
You already know you need high standards when it comes to hiring the right person for the job. The best person is out there, and you won’t settle for less, right? Good for you – keep those expectations high. But what about your expectations for the hiring process itself? Are you being realistic about how easy it’s going to be?
The easy part is believing it’s going to be easy. Unfortunately, your high expectations are likely to result in frustration.
To get through the process, reject these myths:
Myth #1: The right candidate will squeak through your automated resume system
Did you know only about 1 in 1,000 applications make it through an applicant tracking system (ATS) and onto the hiring authority’s desk? You programmed it to screen out candidates based on keywords, dates and job titles. And it works! As a result, good and legitimately qualified people can get tossed out in the process. Be aware of this shortcoming of the ATS, but also be aware that the best candidate probably isn’t trolling online job boards right now.
Myth #2: You’ll have time to carefully read all those resumes
In an ideal world, you would comb through that whole stack. Make that a “haystack,” because you’re looking for a needle. How many unread emails are in your inbox right now that have nothing to do with this open job? Yeah, a lot. Look at that number and then imagine the deluge of resumes that are about to land on your head. Then imagine how you’ll focus on other pressing tasks while somehow getting this position filled. You don’t have time for this.
Myth #3: You’ll be able to figure out who is exactly the right fit
The words “figure out” are the red flag here. Why would you need to figure it out? Shouldn’t it be obvious? Or, better yet, shouldn’t someone screen those resumes for you and cull the herd to a manageable number for you to ponder over?
Myth #4: You’ll sense it when a candidate’s passion outweighs his or her lack of qualification
This one’s a long shot. This one’s all about “going with your gut.” This one’s dangerous. Look, there is only so much about a candidate you’re going to learn in a typical job interview. Unless you’re getting referrals from a personal network of thousands of pros who have worked in your industry for decades, you probably won’t be able to do much due diligence on a candidate beyond a perfunctory reference check. Relying on your sixth sense (instead of hard data) can result in an impulsive – and ultimately disastrous – hiring mistake.
Myth #5: You can fill this position without using a recruiter
The process of finding the best professional for a high-level position is difficult, protracted, costly and emotionally exhausting – if it’s done right. The truth is, recruiters have the tools, experience and tenacity to do this better – and more efficiently – than you can. A good recruiter, for example, has a database of professionals who are high performers and are currently sitting in plum positions. They might be interested in your job opening, but they’re not looking for a job right now. We can track those folks down. That network comes in handy too when you want to get 360 degrees of feedback about someone on your shortlist. And there’s more: recruiters help you hone your job description and can show you how to “sell” the opportunity to candidates. Finally, recruiters are valuable as neutral third parties when its time to negotiate salaries, relo packages and other perks.
Hiring’s complicated. Letting go of these myths can make it easier… and so can working with a recruiter. A recent post I penned for Richard Bistrong’s excellent Anti-Bribery/Anti-Corruption blog takes a deeper dive into the process of working with a recruiter. Click here to read it.
Maurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.