This piece is perfectly suited for people who possess considerably more confidence than relevant skills for the job they desire.
The current corporate mentality is that a job applicant must have the exact background, experience, skill sets and education to be considered for a position. It is a plug-and-play mindset. A hiring manager wants someone who they can pluck out from another company and seamlessly drop the person into their organization, so they can immediately and meaningfully start contributing on their first day.
There are several problems with this approach to hiring. People with the exact-matching skills and experience may not be interested in taking a job doing the same exact thing somewhere else— unless they are offered a boat load (yes, that’s a technical recruiting term) of money, they’re in danger of losing their job or really hate their boss. Candidates are at a disadvantage because they are not given a chance to prove themselves nor are they offered on-the-job training to get up to speed.
Have no fear though; I have a radical solution for you! The answer is similar to a style and technique that I use as a recruiter (please don’t share this with my clients; otherwise, it’ll be a little awkward). In the course of business, we will be approached by companies inquiring about our recruiting services. Someone from a corporation will introduce themselves and say that they are calling a number of executive search firms in an effort to select a recruiter to assist them in a search. Usually, they will ask all sorts of questions to figure out if we have right stuff (another technical term) to help them. It’s similar to when a candidate is interviewing for a job. They’ll ask about our experience, what areas we focus on, our past success in placing people with the type of background they require, the process we use to find candidates and so on (which feels like an eternity).
I use the mindset and approach that they only chose me and I have the job order to work on, despite the fact that they clearly said they’re interviewing other firms. Here is what I do: I proceed with the conversation in a matter-of-fact manner, as if the decision has already been made in my favor. The tone I take and the questions I ask all come from a place as if they have already selected us. My questions are phrased with the intention that I need more information to fine tune our recruiting efforts. I don’t ask for the job order, but assume we have it and this call is to gather intelligence so we can start finding candidates for them.
“Should we start searching for someone with an accounting degree, MBA and 10 years of experience at a hedge fund?”
I’ll then say something like, “This sounds like a terrific opportunity for the right candidate. I have a few people in mind that we’ll contact soon as I’m off the call! I really appreciate you thinking of us and will start right away!” It doesn’t always work, but many times it does.
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Please don’t misconstrue this as being arrogant or obnoxious (although, I’ve oftentimes been accused of possessing these two traits). I believe that my search firm would work hard and do a great job for the company. We know our market, are honest, sincere, treat people with kindness and respect and will give it our all. The next recruiting firm they call may not offer the same commitment to excellence…