How to Overcome: "Just Send Me More Resumes. I’ll Know It When I See It."

"I'll know it when I see it" is often code for "I'm not really sure what I am looking for." This analysis helps them--and you!

When you do a launch conversation with your hiring manager, you get a lot of information about what the hiring manager is looking for. And you help the hiring manager get more clarity as well.

But even so, you may have hiring managers who cannot make a decision to move candidates forward nor can they tell you why the candidates you are presenting are not acceptable. Everyone has a theory about why this happens, including:

  • the hiring manager is afraid to make a bad hiring decision,
  • the hiring managers think they should see lots of people since with the bad economy there must be lots of qualified people out there,
  • the hiring manager wonders if you’ll come up with even better candidates if you keep sourcing, or
  • the hiring manager isn’t confident they are looking for the right skill set.

This is a case where you can use a simple word table as a visual tool to help the hiring manager. It takes a little time to put it together, but this is truly a case where a picture will save you lots of fruitless discussion time!

First, in a column on the left, list all the requirements for the position. In addition to the official ones, be sure to list anything and everything you’ve heard the hiring manager talk about, even if it was only along the lines of “I’m sure we won’t find this but it would be great if we could”. Include all the soft skills the hiring manager feels are important also.

Then create columns for the best qualified candidates you’ve sent the hiring manager. Pick 3-4, and indicate how they stack up against each listed requirement. You can use a simple 1-2-3 ranking system with 1 being does not meet the requirement, 2 being meets, and 3 being exceeds.

Now set up a meeting with the hiring manager to talk about this analysis that will ensure you send candidates that meet the requirements. Of course you’ve already done that, but no need to rub it in.

Go over the ranking you gave each candidate for each requirement, and ask the hiring manager if they would rank the candidate differently.

You’ll have a very interesting and enlightening conversation with your hiring manager when they see this table. I’ve used this many times to help hiring managers move beyond “send me more resumes.” It will work for you, too.

For more techniques that work right away:

Views: 215

Comment by Gail on February 27, 2013 at 8:48pm

The biggest problem with"I'll know it when I see it" is that they usually don't.  There is no way to really understand the necessary criteria for a job in a resume beyond skills and experience.  We have seen companies hire people that had the "right" credentials and did a decent job of interviewing only to wonder why they never showed up for work after 3 months.  The only way to have a client get what they want is to develop an unbiased an objective benchmark.  Once you have benchmarked the job you now have a fast and reliable way to sort out candidates   Then you can start the process of determining if they are right for your company.  This leads to better employees, less turnover and a more profitable company.


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